Prior to playing the Easter Showcase on the 31st of March, Emma Mitchell talks about her music ,the showcases and how she’ll not enter another talent competition.
Given your ability and willingness to jump genres how do you describe your music style and what is your preference?
I never like to be put in to 1 box, I have several boxes and each one is always a nice surprise, but if you pinned me down & threatened me with a classical opera stick and asked me which music style do I prefer I would have to say soul folk rock & funky blues which is a big box of genres all rolled in to one, but like I say when I sing a song sometimes it can move in several directions by the time the song is finished.
You’ve just filmed a video for “Wild Caveman” it seems like a who’s who of the Coffee shop gang and looks like a lot of fun to record, how was the process?
When I arrived it started off with 3 of us and then suddenly there was 7 including 1. Rachel Campbell 2. Mark Dubanowski 3. Rob Ellen (Slimpantellas) 4. Donald Jack (Slimpantellas) 5. Nicky Murray 6. Graeme Mackay (Tweed). More and more musicians & spectators got involved with the music video & it wasn’t hard work at all, we had such a laugh because when you have a bear with a lamp stuck in its head, a duck singing in to a gramophone & unusual instruments you become absorbed in this fantastical musical world of cigarbox guitar meets T-chess bass meets vintage Tea Posy. We had one run through of the song then it was straight in to filming the music video with the lads from Nut Productions Robbie Paulin & Shaun Matheson.
You were auditioned for a place on The Voice, what was your experience like, and what are your feelings for these kind of competitions?
Yes, I travelled all the way down to music hungry Glasgow with a skip in my step & great visions of hopefully making it BIG like the other couple of thousand singers attending & it was just ended up being cut throat audition carnage standing in the wind & rain for 1 hour 34 minutes, then being herded in to groups to then sitting and waiting, watching people walk out with tears rolling down there faces was very off putting & nerve wracking. Susan Boyle’s vocal coach auditioned me with a producer in front of 10 other auditionees in the room with me, I sang ‘In the Arms of the Angels’ (Sarah Mclachlan) to the best of my abilities not singing a note wrong putting emotion in to the performance and then silence, we had to stand outside the room and wait for about 2 minutes then back in and they said thank you to everybody for attending and then shocked us all by saying only 1 would be going through, suddenly smiles turned in to surprised, empty looks of despair, I just walked out and said oh well I tried my best.End of they’re not getting any tears out of me!!!! One thing that did cheer me up was Susan Boyle’s vocal coach said I did really well and that he was sorry but it was out of his hands as it was the producers decision. One girl was in tears next to me so I put my arm around her, she messed up her song and she knew it so she was gutted as all of her family were waiting outside for her, she was grateful for the cuddle though. 10 of us went in to the audition room and 1 made it through that was it THE END.
To be honest these singing competitions are nonsense as 1. They’re looking for one look and that’s it on the day, regardless of how good your voice is 2. The producer who knows nothing about music has the last word 3. Aftercare is non existent 4. Emotionally it can destroy you as a musician if you let it get to you.
My advice Run a million miles away from singing competitions, get yourself recorded, work your butt off organise gigs, try and get on TV and Radio, do a photo shoot, facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation, instagram, make a music video, get inverness gigs to review your gigs hee hee, play at as many events as you can, hit the festival circuit and NETWORK. Even if you’re not a mega celebrity you’ll have fun doing all of the above, remember the reasons you started writing music or when you started playing an instrument & never lose touch with your roots.
If you were able to front a band, you can have anybody in it, who would you have, and why?
I would call it MY IDOL BAND and it would consist of:
Lead Singer – Aretha Franklin & Me (Big Ego lol)
Lead Guitarist – Van Halen & Hamish Roberts
Slide guitar – Bo Didley & Matt Sillars
Drummer – Lars Ulrich & Robin Bell
Bassist – Aston Barrett & Davie Munro
Violinist – Vanessa Mae & Rachel Campbell
Cajon – Juan Carlos Melian & Mark Dubanowski
Celloist – Jacqueline de Pre & Erin Hall-Gardiner
Why? The music video would be epic & the inspiration from your idols would be life changing
What did you think of the feedback from your last appearance at the Showcase, in the Summer?
I was hoping to get voted for a SAM Award but never mind maybe next year. It was really enjoyable singing in a music venue with sound which feels like you’re actually in the speakers totally encased in it & the atmosphere created means the music quite literally takes over your body, it really is that good playing there.
The feedback from music revellers was astounding James Mackenzie said “I’ve never heard you sing before & I can’t believe I haven’t before now, I love the structure of your songs & your voice left me speechless” & The Last Summer Effect said “Well done Emma that was awesome” I was well chuffed, love your tunes too James & Last Summer Effect! Houdi Donnelly & Stephen Bull attended happy snapping with their cameras, got some great pics after that gig, thanks guys.
What do you want to achieve from your music?
Like every other musician Global success, but for now I’ll keep gigging, concentrate on recording albums, music videos & live sessions, get on the TV & Radio, play a main stage at a festival somewhere, play as many festivals as possible, tour in lots of countries & generally keep loving music for what it is, enjoy it & not fall off the bandwagon.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at the Easter Showcase?
MIR – I saw them perform at the Potting Shed Stage at Belladrum Festival 2012 with Rob Ellen and they’re growing in popularity all the time with their Americana swinging songs, Naked Red – sound really rock heavy & grungy so I’m looking forward to head banging at that point in the evening, Against All Flags – I really like their name and their pirate punk music style is something I’ve never heard before, but it made me stand up and listen, Red Ronson – They have a simple set up with ukeles & they remind me of the Moldy Peaches, great harmonies. I’m looking forward to hearing & seeing every band at this showcase.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working on my next music video project so watch this space, the EP which I’m recording with the very skilled & enthusiastic recording producer Graham Gillanders in Inverness & with musicians Rachel Campbell (violinist) & Mark Dubanowski (Cajon player) to be finished by the Summer 2013 and I have a few things lined up to launch and promote it. Festival announcements coming soon.
I’m really looking forward to heading off around Europe for my Bongo Campervan European Music Tour where I plan to get my head stuck in to writing some songs and playing lots of music, I’ll put up a blog on my Facebook music page.
I’m also a radio producer at ABC Radio Alness so no doubt you’ll hear me singing some tunes on ABC Radio Alness (Internet Radio) on my ‘Emma’s Hot Picks Radio Show’ on Wednesdays 10am-12pm & Saturdays 11am-1pm. I’m also writing a book called ‘The Blondie Blues Busker Book’.
You can buy tickets for the Easter showcase via the Ironworks or one of the performing acts.
Keep track of Emma Mitchell via Facebook, you can also read the last review of one of Emma’s gigs.