My Name is Emmy J Mac, I’m 22, I was born it Mitcham and now spend my time in between London and the Isle of Wight, where I work part time as a singing teacher at Platform One Music College.
About The Voice, the experience
I recently took part in the BBC One show The Voice. It was an amazing experience of highs and lows. I saw the cut - throat side of the industry, and the reality of TV talent shows, I learnt a lot, and it gave me the drive and determination to try and reach my goals and live my dream. I met some great people whilst on the show, and was fortunate to work with an amazing vocal coach, who really helped me, and played with an amazing band. There were some fantastically talented people, and although it was an emotional and surreal experience, I think it gave me an invaluable insight into an industry that can be both cruel and amazing, and really helped me to focus on my ambitions. I’m now more motivated and determined than ever was before.
A story of my past, my history of singing
I grew up in Mitcham with my Mum who is an artist, and my Dad, who at the time was trying to build a career in acting (you can see where I get my creative side from). My parents loved music and I grew up listening to the Monkeys, Billy Joel, Bob Marley, Elvis Presley, to name a few, their taste was eclectic. The first time I ever performed in public I was 6, I entered a talent show at my local town hall. My mum dressed me as an orphan girl and I performed ‘Castle On a Cloud’ from Les Misērables.
When I was a teenager my family moved to the Isle of Wight, which although was very beautiful, was worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London. I remember screaming my head off that I didn’t want to move! But life goes on and so must you, and I ended up studying at Platform One Music College, which I loved. It was here that I was first introduced to recording studios, music lessons, great teachers, and other like-minded young musicians. I got heavily involved with the festival scene and became a regular performer at both the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival.
After college I left the island to study commercial music at Bath Spa University. I had an amazing three years, performing in several different bands, including a funk band, an electro pop band, and a folk group. I also spent time in my last year writing a series of children’s music books and CDs.
I now work part time as a singing teacher at Platform One; and run ‘Stand Up For Lyricism’ song writing, poetry, MC, and spoken word workshops with a young writer called Buddy Carson. We run the workshops at the Rob Da Bank (Radio One DJ and Bestival organiser) Music Club for young aspiring talent on the IOW and I spend the rest of my time in London trying to promote and perform my own music, and chasing my dreams. I am currently recording at The BGM studios in Farringdon.
I have studied and worked hard over the years and finally feel totally happy with the people I am working with; I have a guitarist called Chris Newnham (who we call Silent Chris), and a great writer/spoken word artist, Buddy Carson, both of whom I write with. I feel like I’ve really found my sound, and am confident, sure, and proud of the music I am making, now more so than ever. I’m currently recording my EP, The first single ‘Useless Shade of Man’, will be out this month, and the video will be released very soon. I recorded the video with Burning Reel Productions who did an amazing job. I’m so excited for everyone to see it; it’s going to be amazing. This year is all about promoting myself, gigging, writing, recording, performing, and really getting myself, and my music out there and noticed. I’m currently not signed to a label and am doing everything independently.
If I had any OTHER career
If I did anything else for a career I would either be a children’s writer, or do something in fashion. I spent last summer in India teaching music in an orphanage, and had the most incredible time. It was a very eye-opening, humbling experience, and I would like to spend more time travelling and meeting people from different cultures and religions, that kind of thing fascinates me.
I knew I was going to be singer when
I’ve always loved singing, but it was in my teens that I started to take it very seriously, which is why I chose to go to Platform One Music College, which was the catalyst for my musical ambition.
What makes me different
I’m highly motivated, and I whole-heartedly believe in the music I am making. I think this is vitally important, you have to be confident, and have un-relenting belief in yourself and your music. If people are going to believe you and your music, you have toas well. I think that translates into your music, or in any creative medium, if you are passionate and honest in your belief of your craft, you can instil others with that same belief and confidence. I’m certainly going to give it my all, my greatest fear, no matter what happens in my life and career, is growing old and regretting the fact that I didn’t do everything I could have, that I didn’t try my very best.
The person who believes in me the most
My Mum; she has sacrificed so much, and for me to do what I love. She worked hard so that I could have singing lessons, and has spent half her life running around, driving me from gig to gig, audition to audition. I owe her pretty much everything. She has made so many of my opportunities possible.
Inspirations, writing, and the creative process
For years I wrote all on my own, I looked for inspiration inrelationships, break-ups, friends, family, dreams and aspirations. I have recently started co writing and have loved it. It’s been great to feed off another writer, to combine ideas and imaginings. It’s great that you can often be each others answer creatively, say for an elusive chorus melody, or that powerful lyric un-reachable. Working with buddy Carson, a writer from East London, has added a whole new, and very exciting dimension to my music. My favourite part of the process is that fire of excitement that roars in your belly after you write a new song, when you just want to sing it to the whole world. When you’ve created something you are really proud of, and are just eager for people to hear it.
Other than singing my creativity is
As well as singing I am very into fashion. I also write children’s musical sing-a-long books and would love to get them published one day.
I get so nervous. Before going on stage I sometimes get so nervous I feel like I’m going to faint or throw up and have to take myself off to get into my little focussed bubble, but as soon as I get on stage I feel a transformation. In that instance I fall in love with performing all over again, and realise every time why I keep getting up there. It’s thrilling, and the nerves are all part of it. To do this thing I love so much makes me feel very lucky, it’s invigorating. I can’t imagine not being nervous, that pressure you put on yourself, that desire to always impress, that buzz you float on after a good gig, it’s the reason I do it. I performed at the London Olympics this year and was on a high for so long after, it was the most thrilling experience to be able to perform to so many different people from so many walks of life, so many different countries and different cultures. Even thinking about it fills me with motivation and desire to have more experiences like it.
The song I love at a karaoke
At the moment it would have to be either ‘DNA’ by Little Mix, or you cant beat ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ or even (a guilty pleasure) ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’.
Getting in the way
Singers are always ill; if ever I’m poorly it will go straight to my throat. I swear by Manuka honey and pomegranate juice. Plenty of rest and sleep (though I rarely get this) and constantly drinking warm fluids. It’s vital for me to stay well and look after my voice.
The song I would sing in front of a worldwide audience would be
If I have to choose any song it would be my song ‘Feels Like Home’. It’s a strong and confident song about never giving up, overcoming obstacles, ignoring those who doubt you, and persevering until you get where you want. It’s a head bopping feet shifter too!
I would have to say my Mum; she inspires me every day to be the best I can be and to always believe in myself. But inspiration can be from anywhere, and anything, the first song I ever wrote was about a man at a bus stop I used to see every day.
Two people to sing to sleep
The Queen! That would be an amazing story to tell! and probably the most surreal experience. The other would be Jonny Depp as he was my first love. Haha!
I would like to open for
Plan B or Maverick Sabre. That would be unreal.
I would duet with
I would absolutely love to perform a duet with Plan B, I think he is such an amazingly talented and provocative artist. Or Kanye West, performing with Kanye would be insane.
We didn’t have many traditions as such, but they have always been so supportive and have always believed in me. Family is very important to me.
My music in 5 (ish) words
FRESH, CONTEMPORARY, BEAT-DRIVEN, SOULFUL, HONEST.
When I look back the things that will matter most to me will be my family and loved ones. I think it’s the relationships you have with those around you that brings you true happiness in life. I hope to look back and see that all my hard work paid off and that I will be able to repay the people that have supported and believed in me. I want to be able to look back and be proud of my efforts.
Christmas & New Year
I spent Christmas with my family, it was just nice for everyone to be together, watching films, walking the dog, and relaxing. Unfortunately I caught the horrid fever that was going around so couldn’t party with my friends, and had to spend my new year poorly in bed which was very un rock and roll of me so I’m hoping next new year will be more eventful. My favourite Christmas present was a whole year’s worth of unlimited cinema tickets, which I’m so excited about, as films are another source of inspiration, and I am going to be able to see all of them!
My love life has been a rollercoaster but I’m actually grateful to have already experienced both the good and the bad. I’m glad I have those experiences to reflect on, they come in handy when it comes to writing. And while I’m sure I will have many more turbulent/terrific/tragic times ahead of me, right now… I’m happy, and in a very good place.
Work hard, and surround yourself with positive people who will give you confidence and encouragement in the times you feel like giving up. Be prepared to get knocked down 100 times, 100 times again, and 100 times more before someone takes a chance on you. Failure is not in the falling down, failure is in not getting back up! Never give up, and make sure you always remember that you love what you do and you’re blessed to have such a great talent.
Why I’m different
It’s hard to say, there is so much amazing and different music out there and music is so accessible. I guess it would be extremely hard to create something so truly unique and individual that it couldn’t be compared to something else. But I believe that the music I am making is fresh and honest and I’m really excited about it. I have tried to combine catchy melodies, and cool and original production, with sincere and honest lyricism, I want to make people dance and feel good, but I want my music to have a message, and to make people think.
If I reached №1!
I think I would scream, and dance, and go crazy, and cry and scream some more, cry more, dance more. It would be so overwhelming, a dream come true. It would be the vindication of all the hard work, and effort. There would be lots of hugging, kissing, phone calls from family members who would also be screaming and crying. It would be frantic chaos.
What I’m about in 2013
2013 is all about getting my new music out there. I’m going to keep writing, recording, gigging, promoting, performing, and producing new material. 2013 is going to be a huge year; I can’t wait to get my teeth into it! I’m relishing this year, it is going to be a lot of hard-work, a lot of hustle and grind, a lot of stiff lip, and perseverance, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, I just want to make music I am proud of, and for as many people as possible to enjoy listening to it.