February 11, 2011

Music Is... Emma Gillespie - Emma's Imagination: Stand Still

Born in 1983, a 27 year old native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Emma Gillespie has her head on straight for herself, in regards to her career and what she wants to project to others. Although she's been accustomed to the guitar and singing for a while, performing in front of a crowd of thousands can still feel like a daunting task as I'm sure it did as she recently performed live at Wembley Stadium located in London, England. She seemed to come out of the middle of nowhere as she is new to me. Not too long ago she was making her way by busking in Glasgow, Scotland. Not knowing what would come out of it, curiosity took over as she made her way into a local audition spot held by Sky One talent show 'Must Be The Music' and from then on her popularity soared.

From what I've learned, she is no stranger to working an array of jobs. Once teaching circus skills, plastering for a friend, labored on a pearl fishing boat and herded cattle with a motorbike to name a few. During this time she always kept her guitar with her as a means of relaxation and to remind her that music was always apart of her. She first picked up the guitar in her teen years, writing poetry and putting it to music. Backing up a bit when her dad was in the army, her family was always on the move, relocating all over Europe and the UK. Her parents weren't all into music a great deal but she was much to the contrary. As a child she picked up a ragedy keyboard and began playing tunes she heard on the radio. Continuing forward, throughout her various occupations and moving, she continued to write,sing and perform.
“I’m very much self-taught, and there wasn’t much outside influence on what I was writing and playing. It was always just me, on my own, playing what sounded good to me.”
I'm not sure if this is a random performance, a gig or at Wembley
At one point at the end of 04' she was in Adaman's, a barely known set of islands were once in the Indian Ocean. During Boxing Day ( known mainly as a shopping day in most Commonwealth Nations), the major tsunami hit the Neil Islands where she was staying just a little while after she left. Needless to say what may have happened had she stayed. For her, that was a wakeup call, letting her know that music was at the forefront and she did something about it. With the help of a friend, Lachlan, living in Brooklyn, NY, she began performing at underground jam sessions. Later returning to the UK, she  focused more intently on her music, playing gigs, still busking and built up a larger fan base. While going over names with her producers, one asked her where her inspiration comes from. She replied her imagination and from there gave birth to her performance name: Emma's Imagination.

Her debut album "Stand Still" consists of songs she'd been writing for the past 10 years of her life. At 10 songs, I'd say that's a solid start. In listening to the samples, its more than obvious that the guitar is her main thing; she plays it on just about all the tracks. None of the songs are overdone whatsoever, they're clean and crisp. I think they are simplified but maintain something to hold onto. If I'm right, all the songs are live recordings, not much artificial stuff clouding it up. Making a comparison I would say she reminds me of singer Jewel. Emma has a folk/pop sound to her music, but really that's up to your interpretation. Songs I've already gravitated towards are 'This Day', 'Focus' and 'Falling Slowly', not to say I dislike the others, just that these catch my attention more so.

Yup, yet another UK artists reviewed. I enjoy it. It's cool hearing new things and I hope you like this one.

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