Something Different: Emma Lea
Something Different: Emma Lea

Ahead of appearing at Swingamajig and Shambala this summer, we caught up with one of Electro Swing’s hottest acts, Emma Lea.

At Pop Playrooms we’re all about the hottest hits, with a little discovery thrown in, and Emma Lea is here to serve up something a little bit different.

Signed to one of the UK’s biggest Electro Swing labels, Ragtime Records, Emma Lea has been so lucky to work with some of the best artists in my genre and will has just released her 15th Electro Swing track, ‘I got you’.

“What inspired me to create Electro Swing music, was the creativiy. There are no limits to your creative imagination. In commercial pop/dance, you’re always so focused on what is the right fit for the current market, where as in Electro Swing, it’s more about what feels great!”

“Growing up, my teachers were the likes of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone and Whitney. These woman just ooze soul and true raw talent. When you hear them perform, you feel everything!

I would also say my father had a major impact on me, as he too was a singer in a band and I wanted to be just like him. He would take me gigging with him from 13 and I would sing in his breaks. He gave me the confidence to believe I could do it.”

Inspired to get into Electro Swing by the freedom it affords the artists, Emma is a firm believer in crediting the people who make the magic possible,

 “I’m surrounded by inspirational artists every day and the list just keeps growing. I would also like to highlight one of my biggest inspirations and that is an incredibly talented, wonderful soul called Tom Hyland. Tom is one of the owners of my label home, Ragtime Records, as well as the man at the helm of my favourite band Electric Swing Circus and my right hand musical man! He is the master behind organising my musical life, so I can concentrate on the creative side, as well as being my main vocal producer.”

There’s loads more to come from Emma in the coming months, and plenty of new music try out if you’re up for discovering Electro Swing (which we highly recommend).

“My next release is with one of Austrias favourite artists, the band Deladap, called “Boopbabadoboo”, released on the 27th May, which is a very different sound to what I’m used to. This track features lots of traditional Austrian sounds, mixed with Electro Swing and more of a festival feel. I also have further tracks with Tom ESC (Electric Swing Circus), Odd Chap, Bart & Baker, Atom Smith, The Swing Bot and many more. Also later this year, we will also be releasing my debut Electro Swing Collaborations album, so exciting times ahead.”

You have an authentic artistry, so what’s your take on AI in music?

“I hate it! Music, in whatever form, is a human self expression, born from emotion and life experiences, something a computer system has the inability to experience. In my personal opinion, anyone using AI for music is only in the business to make money. I create songs, because I love what I do and I love to tell stories to music.”

Career high?

This one is a tough one, because there is SO many!! From singing with the cast of Miss Saigon as a child, to Pete Tong championing my music, to headlining at the Colston Hall in Bristol with my old band MellowStar, for their multi-million pound relaunch, travelling the world as a dance artist, achieving 7 Spotify Editorial playlist adds, performing at bucket list festivals, to working with the best people in my genre. I’ve been blessed with some truly incredible highs and I just know there are many more to come.