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Born Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres pop folk alt-country jazz soul
Occupations Guitarist, singer, songwriter, photographer
Instruments vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2004–present
Website emma-lee.com

Emma-Lee is a Canadian singer-songwriter, guitar player and photographer[1] based in Toronto, Ontario.

Early life[edit]

Emma-Lee was born in Toronto, ON and grew up in Markham, ON.


Emma-Lee started playing guitar at 14 and credits her father for teaching her.[2] She has never been formally vocally trained.[3]

Published works[edit]


Never Just a Dream[edit]

She released her debut album Never Just a Dream in 2008 to critical acclaim from the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.[4] The album was picked up by Bumstead Records and re-released on March 3, 2009. Her vocal style is frequently compared to k.d. lang,[5] Norah Jones[6] and Feist.[7] No Depression magazine described Never Just a Dream as "an album so full of ideas and potential that it is hard to know how to properly frame a description of its contents. It is a collection of songs that is far more than the sum of its influences"[8] and dubbed her "the voice to remember from 2009."[8]

Emma-Lee's song "That Sinking Feeling" was featured as the single of the week on iTunes Canada.[9]

Backseat Heroine[edit]

On February 7, 2012, she released her long awaited second album Backseat Heroine, co-produced by Emma-Lee, Karen Kosowski and Marc Rogers.[10] The album features collaborations with Nicole Atkins, Jill Barber and Luke Doucet.[11] Most of the album was tracked at The Chalet, a studio near Uxbridge, Ontario.[12] Backseat Heroine blends multiple musical genres including pop, country, soul and rock. According to her online biography, "Emma-Lee's goal was to make a record that lived and breathed in its own world and could cross genres while still being a soundscape that was complete from start to finish."[13]


  • "Shot in the Dark" (2009) Special Agent Records. Written by Emma-Lee and Karen Kosowski, produced by Karen Kosowski.
  • "Until We Meet Again" (No Big Deal remix) (2009) Bumstead Productions.

Awards and nominations[edit]

-2013, her album Backseat Heroine won "Best Adult Contemporary Album" and the video for "Shadow of a Ghost" was nominated for "Best Short Form Music Video" for the 12th annual Independent Music Awards.[14]

-2013, her album Backseat Heroine won the 12th annual Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Fan Choice Award for "Best Adult Contemporary Album" and the video for "Shadow of a Ghost" won the Independent Music Awards Vox Pop Fan Choice Award for "Best Short Form Music Video."[15]

-2013, won for best female vocalist in NOW Magazine's best of Toronto feature.[16]

-2012, nominated for a CBC Radio 3 BUCKY award in the category of Hottest Pipes.[17]

- 2010, Emma-Lee's song "Until We Meet Again" from the album Never Just a Dream won in the 9th annual Independent Music Awards as "best love song".[18]

Film/TV placements[edit]


  • sings backing vocals on the album "Let Me Prove It To You" by Steve Strongman (2014)
  • sings backing vocals on the album "Rustbucket" by Sean Pinchin (2013)
  • sings on "I Put a Spell On You" and "Ne Me Quitte Pas" on Jesse Cook's "The Blue Guitar Sessions" album (2012)
  • sings a duet with country music artist Josh Macumber on his song "Tomorrow" (Josh Macumber Was Here, 2012)
  • sings on "It Was You" by Peter Katz (Still Mind Still, 2012)
  • sings on Jill Barber's song "Took Me By Surprise" (Mischievous Moon, 2011)
  • sings on Rob Szabo's song "Something Like Me" (Rob Szabo, 2011)


  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "Sawdust" by Victoria Duffield (Accelerate, June 2014 - Warner Music Canada)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "What I Want" and "Pick Me Up, Dust Me Off" by Carleton Stone (Draws Blood, March 2014)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "Lioness" by Kat Moscone (YTV The Next Star Season 6, 2013)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "Goodbye Gravity" by Dante Scott (YTV The Next Star Season 6, 2013)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "One More Light" by Alee (This Road Goes Everywhere, 2013)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "Waiting For Wishes" by Steven Taetz (Steven Taetz, 2013)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "Grain Of Sand" by Larra Skye (The Wishing Tree, 2013)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "White Lies" by Lesley Pike (Tug of War, 2012)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "Cabin Fever" and "Man Up" by Tia Brazda (Cabin Fever EP, 2012)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote "Sheets" by Carleton Stone (Carleton Stone, 2011)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote the single "Fall Apart" by Sabrina Carpenter (2011)
  • Emma-Lee co-wrote the single "It Won't Be Christmas Til You're Here" by Julie Crochetière (2010)


  • 2004: The Waiting Room (EP)[20]
  • 2005: The Sneak Peak (EP)
  • 2009: Never Just a Dream (Bumstead Records)
  • 2011: Shot In The Dark - SINGLE (Special Agent Records)
  • 2012: Backseat Heroine (eOne Music Canada)
  • 2014: What Would Tom Petty Do? - SINGLE (Maple Music)


  1. ^ "Toronto singer Emma-Lee ready for her close-up". thestar.com. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  2. ^ . bossmag http://www.bossmag.biz/documents/Boss-Spring-Summer-2013.pdf. Retrieved 2013-08-13.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Emma-Lee Never Just a Dream Review". awmusic.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  4. ^ "Gold Sprinkled Dream". Globe and Mail. 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  5. ^ "Emma Lee's Never Just a Dream - Americana and roots music". No Depression. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  6. ^ "Album Review: Emma-Lee - Never Just a Dream | Music". ShowbizMonkeys.com. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  7. ^ "NOW Magazine // Music // EMMA-LEE". Nowtoronto.com. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  8. ^ a b Doug Heselgrave (2009-05-05). "Emma Lee's Never Just a Dream". No Depression.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  9. ^ "Free iTunes 2008 - MacRumors Forums". Forums.macrumors.com. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  10. ^ "Karen Kosowski Backseat Heroine Released". Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  11. ^ "Emma-Lee To Release Backseat Heroine Out February 7th On Eone Music". Top 40.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  12. ^ "Raised on Radio Song of the Day". Raised on Radio. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  13. ^ "Biography". Emma-Lee Official Website. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  14. ^ "12th Annual Independent Music Awards". Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "12th Annual Independent Music Awards". Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Wright, Graham. "Vote now on the 2012 Bucky Award Short List". CBC Radio 3. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Emma-Lee To Release Backseat". Top40.com. 2012-01-24. 
  19. ^ soundtrack, IMDB.com. Retrieved August 2011
  20. ^ Whitfield, Lindsay. "Review of Emma-Lee's "The Waiting Room"". SoulShine. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 

External links[edit]