By Barry de SilvaNational Communications Manager
Emily has performed in bands as a backup singer since her teens, touring with the likes of Chris Isaak, Kate Ceberano, The Badloves, and singing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. She was also a published songwriter with Warner Chappell Music at the age of just 22.
“I was co-writing songs at Warner Chappell for around five years. It was great as I got to meet a lot of other fantastic creatives, while honing my skills as a songwriter,” Emily said.
Between juggling her roles writing songs, performing at gigs, and teaching music, Emily was acting as a single parent for her oldest daughter, Daya.
Inspired by her daughter
“When Daya was growing up, it was really hard for me to perform at night, so I had to adapt. This meant I started to do more songwriting.”
At high school, Daya, who was 14 years old at the time, had the opportunity to write and record a song for a school project. Dark to Light, would later go viral – inspiring Emily’s desire to enrol in a Bachelor of Audio in Studio Production at SAE.
“We put Dark to Light on Spotify and it got almost 30,000 streams; which blew us away. Even though she was only 14 at the time, Daya got interest from several major record labels.
Studying at SAE
Now in her final year at SAE Byron Bay, Emily has enjoyed the chance to collaborate with a range of people and develop a strong repertoire of audio skills.
“I love SAE – it’s such an incredible place. Everyone is so encouraging and it’s a diverse mix of people. The common thread between everyone is we’re all driven creatives.”
“Studying has certainly given me really good workflow practices, like managing your files correctly and setting up a session in the studio so you can focus on your music.”
The beginning of her career
Reflecting on the early part of her career as a singer-songwriter, Emily confessed that her voice wasn’t often heard by more experienced musicians and producers.
“I did demos and spent copious amounts of money with seasoned musicians, and it always felt like they knew what was best.
“I’d have a vision and have a very distinct sound of how I wanted my demo to sound like, but because I felt intimidated by them, I found it hard to articulate my ideas to people, so my music never ended up how I wanted it to sound.”
Looking to the future, Emily hopes to collaborate with the students she’s built friendships with at SAE on her next project.
“My ultimate goal is to have my own production studio. I know firsthand how heartbreaking it is to put all your time and energy into a project you’re passionate about, and to then put your faith in a professional and be disappointed.”
The rousing lesson that has come from Emily studying is the work ethic she has instilled for her children and their futures.
“I want to be an inspiration to them. When you really want something, you have to be dedicated and work hard. Anything is achievable, and I’ve proven that to myself and to my daughters – it’s a good feeling.”