“All the world’s a stage,” mused William Shakespeare in times past. “And all the men and women merely players.” It’s a particularly pertinent quote for UK-born, Australia-raised, New York-based singer-songwriter Emmi who has shared a new single, “Drum.” The track is the first offering from Emmi’s forthcoming concept project Players – a collection of epic pop songs inspired by the characters of Shakespeare’s plays, but repurposed for our times.
“Drum,” a cacophonous, percussion-heavy banger opens the show and is based on the three witches of Macbeth. Taking the pop nous of Taylor Swift, channeling Kate Bush and then bolting it onto sinister, Arca-esque beats, the song perfectly reads the room of these times, reminding us all “no one’s getting out of here alive, so bang a drum!”
Emmi’s early singles earned her praise from likes of Taylor Swift, Elton John, and BBC Radio 1’s Greg James. Her track “Sleep on It” was a top 10 Global/US Viral charts on Spotify and in 2016 she won MTV’s “Brand New Artist” honor (Australia/New Zealand). That same year she played Radio 1’s Big Weekend and found herself supporting Kygo at Brixton’s Academy 02. She has 2 platinum selling co-writes to her name – Sonny Alven’s “Our Youth,” and Feder’s “Blind”. During this same time period she also landed a movie role as a singing goblin in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Taking a pause to dig deep into inspirations, Emmi returns in 2021 with what is sure to be one of 2021’s most inventive pop albums.
Despite the warm welcome, however, Emmi made the unusual decision to vanish, no sooner than she had appeared. “Deep down, I knew I was only scratching the surface of my creativity with those first few songs. I spent so much time at the beginning asking myself “Who do I need to be to fit in to the pop world? What do they want to hear?” that there was barely any of me left in my own work. Eventually I took hold of myself and asked, “What do you need pop to be to fit you? What do you want to say?”. That’s when I started to think like an artist.”
3 years later Emmi returns with a wealth of songs and stories to set free, with ‘Drum’ proving a key song in the project and a fitting first taste of Emmi’s newfound freedom and sound. “It took three weeks and about seventeen rewrites, but that’s when I truly heard myself for the first time.” In four minutes, Emmi had managed to bottle everything about her character – the performer, the dramatist, the lover, the show-off – into music she could really believe in.