Torrini grew up in Kópavogur, where, at the age of seven, she joined a choir as a soprano, until she went to opera school at the age of 15. Her father is Italian and her mother is Icelandic. Because of name regulations in Iceland at the time, her father Salvatore Torrini had to change his name to "Davíð Eiríksson", which also implied that Emilíana Torrini had to use the surname after her father in the traditional way; "Emilíana Torrini Davíðsdóttir". A few years later, the name regulations were changed, and she was again allowed to use her original surname.
Torrini grew up with her parents in Iceland. Her father owned and operated a well-known Italian restaurant in Iceland (Italia, located in Reykjavík). After being discovered singing in a restaurant in Iceland by Derek Birkett, the owner of One Little Indian Records, he subsequently asked her over to London to write a record. Torrini decided to stay and live there. She has a son, who was born on 6 September 2010.
On June 3, 2013 Emiliana revealed to fans that she is expected to release her new album on September 9, 2013 in the UK. The album will be released in Ireland, Iceland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on September 6, 2013. The new LP is titled Tookah. Torrini will play a number of music festivals in the lead up to the album's release in Russia and Budapest. The first single is to be released late summer 2013 and the music video is expected to be directed by Brazilian director Guilherme Marcondes. The album will be released by Rough Trade and produced by Dan Carey. The album will feature songs "Elísabet" and "History of Horses".
On July 29, 2013 Emiliana revealed the radio edition of a new track 'Speed of Dark'. Three additional tracks were also revealed allowing fans to stream these include "Autumn Sun", "Animal Games" and "Tookah".
2002 – "Summerbreeze" ( Mark Abis cover ) Musique de Nuit Vol 5 – Compilation, Virgin/Labels France (2000) Meter Sessies Vol 10 – Compilation, Universal Holland (2001) Chilled – Compilation, Hot Tickets/Associated Newspapers Ltd (2002) The Late Lounge – Compilation, Jazz FM Records (2002) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale (2003 Original Soundtrack release)