4 May 1986 |
Guildford, United Kingdom
|Genres||Pop music, Folk music|
|Instruments||Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo, Piano, Cello|
Emma Nadine Stevens (born 4 May 1986) is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, based in Guildford, United Kingdom. She achieved mainstream success with her single Riptide from her first full-length album Enchanted, which was featured as iTunes Single of the Week in October 2013 and achieved in excess of 150,000 downloads. She describes her music as "sparkly folk pop"
Emma is currently promoting her second studio album, Waves, released in November 2014.
Early life and education
Born in Guildford in England to parents Toby and Tina Stevens, she has one younger sister, Ellen. Emma grew up in Shalford just outside of Guildford, where she lived until the age of 17. She attended Shalford First School, St Theresa's in Effingham and St Peter's in Merrow where she studied GCSE Music.
Emma first started playing guitar at the age of 3 or 4, after watching her mother play Spanish acoustic guitar. Spotting this early talent, her parents sent her to Cello & Piano lessons from the age of 6 and she later joined the Surrey Youth Orchestra. From the age of about 10, Emma had orchestra and piano lessons at Charterhouse and attended stage school at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in 1999. Her songwriting began aged around 12 or 13 when she took up the guitar properly - "I’d write a lot of melodies on the piano then too. I started writing poetry as well – I got a poem published in a national competition – and I started combining them with melodies".
Emma's very first appearance on stage was at the age of 13 at a local venue in Guildford. "I was terrified but I remember loving being on stage and singing my songs as I do now".
On her 17th birthday, she was dumped by her then boyfriend - this was later to become the inspiration for the song How to Write a Love Song, which appeared on her first solo EP Heart on Hand.
After graduating from ACM, Emma worked as a session musician playing guitar and piano for groups such as fiN, H-Boogie and Ronit & The Aramingos. She met her first manager, Bob James, and started collaborating with different writers across multiple genres. Work included writing and performing on Britain's Got Talent finalist Andrew Muir's debut album for which she wrote the lyrics to Can't Say That It's Over in 2009. Soon after, Emma penned a song called Wowowow for Korean boy-band SHINee, which appeared on their second album Lucifer in 2010. The song sold 100,000 copies in its first week as a single.
Playing in and writing for band Shooting Lead Rabbits (described as "a three-piece, retro, art house, alternative, folk rock band"), led to a European tour in 2010 and a distribution deal with FNAC.
In early 2012, Emma's mother was diagnosed with cancer. Along with Charlie Midnight, Tina Stevens had been strongly encouraging Emma to embark on a solo career - "she was my biggest supporter and believer in me and would say, ‘You’ve got the potential to do it yourself.’ So I thought, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do it!’".
Two weeks before her mother passed away on 26 March 2012, they sat down together and decided that the first album would be released initially as a series of four EPs. Tina Stevens designed the cover artwork that would be used, in four sections, for each of the EPs. Placed together, the four pieces form the entire cover of the full album, Enchanted.
Earlier in November 2011, Emma had started collaborating with songwriter/producer Pete Woodroffe (best known for his work with Def Leppard) who would eventually co-write 14 of the tracks and produce all four EPs and the album. In an interview in December 2013, she declared Woodroffe as her "Ultimate Hero".
In August 2012, Emma was picked up by the BBC Introducing series for new and unsigned artists and on 19 August 2012 she performed four songs live on air together with band members Sam Whiting, Belinda Webb and Emma Hughes.
Emma toured extensively during the remainder of 2012, promoting the Heart on Hand EP.
During early 2013, Terry Wogan continued to champion the Heart on Hand EP, culminating in a live appearance on Weekend Wogan on 17 March 2013 where she performed the next single to be released, Once. Also appearing on this show was American singer-songwriter Jenn Bostic with whom she performed a live cover of Ed Sheeran's Give Me Love. Emma and Jenn would become firm friends and toured together twice during 2013.
Further support came from BBC Radio 2 Breakfast presenter Chris Evans resulting in a live appearance on the show on 16 August 2013 where Emma performed A Place Called You. During the show, Evans invited her to play at his Carfest festival in aid of the BBC Children in Need charity on 24 August 2013.
Another live appearance on BBC Radio 2 rapidly followed on 18 August 2013 when she performed Sunflower on Good Morning Sunday. The following month, Emma headlined the BBC Introducing stage at Festival in a day in Hyde Park on 8 September 2013.
Recording work on the debut album was completed on 9 September 2013 and growing success led to the accelerated release of the final two EPs. Sunflower, the final EP, was released on 20 October 2013 and contained the third single Riptide as well as the title track Sunflower, the second of two songs written about coping with the loss of her mother - "When I wrote 'Sunflower' I came up with the title because my Mum used to grow Sunflowers at the bottom of the garden when I was a little girl, and I really felt the urge to use that and turn it into a lyric. It's one of the saddest songs I have written, but I just desperately needed to - it helped me in the grieving process after losing my Mum and it helps me every day when I sing it on stage".
Both Riptide and Sunflower were songs that were written in less than a day. BBC Radio 2 again playlisted the new single on 28 September 2013 and further support followed from iTunes when the track became their Single of the Week in the UK, Ireland, Russia and India on 22 October 2013.
After the album had been completed, rather than sign to a major label, Emma decided to self-release Enchanted and a deal with label services company Absolute Marketing and Distribution Ltd was signed.
In January 2014, Emma's then manager announced that Riptide would be released via Go Entertainment in Benelux and Universal in Ireland. In the following month, the single was playlisted by Radio 2 and radiomol in Belgium and Radio 2 in the Netherlands.
During 2014, Emma once again collaborated with co-writer and producer Pete Woodroffe on her second album, Waves. The first single from the new album, Make My Day, was released in August 2014 and was, once again, playlisted by BBC Radio 2. Emma performed the song live on Weekend Wogan on 7 September 2014.
Recording work on the album was completed on 15 August 2014 and Waves was subsequently released on 10 November 2014.
- Heart on Hand (2012)
- Dreaming Trees (2013)
- Underwater (2013)
- Sunflower (2013)
- Enchanted (2013)
- Waves (2014)
- A Place Called You (October 2012)
- Once (March 2013)
- Riptide (October 2013)
- Make My Day (August 2014)
- Gold Rush (November 2014)
Notable television and radio live performances
- BBC Introducing Session (BBC Radio Surrey, 19 August 2012)
- The Late Show (BBC London, 30 September 2012)
- Weekend Wogan (BBC Radio 2, 17 March 2013)
- Danny Pike Show (BBC Sussex, 15 June 2013)
- Breakfast with Spencer Howson (ABC Radio Brisbane, 15 August 2013)
- Chris Evans Breakfast Show (BBC Radio 2, 16 August 2013)
- Good Morning Sunday (BBC Radio 2, 18 August 2013)
- Festival in a Day (BBC TV, 8 September 2013)
- Spencer Howson Christmas Show (ABC Radio Brisbane, 13 December 2013)
- The Late Late Show (RTE, 16 May 2014)
- Muziekcafé (Radio 2 (Netherlands), 17 May 2014)
- Weekend Wogan (BBC Radio 2, 7 September 2014)
Emma embarked on the Heart on Hand tour following the release of her first EP.
|Heart on Hand Tour|
|5 September 2012||Islington||Old Queen's Head|
|8 September 2012||Kettering||Grendon Festival|
|27 September 2012||London||The Corner Shop|
|11 October 2012||Bolton||The Railway Music Venue|
|12 October 2012||Liverpool||Mello Mello|
|17 October 2012||London||The George & Vulture|
|26 October 2012||Matlock Bath||The Fishpond|
|2 November 2012||Llandudno||The Parade|
|3 November 2012||Chester||Crown & Liver|
|15 November 2012||Hove||The Brunswick|
|23 November 2012||Hartlepool||The Studio|
|27 November 2012||Milton Keynes||The Stables|
During February 2013, Emma supported Jenn Bostic on her first UK tour.
|Supporting Jenn Bostic|
|19 February 2013||London||Half Moon|
|21 February 2013||Birmingham||The Bull's Head|
|25 February 2013||Manchester||Band on the Wall|
|26 February 2013||Nottingham||The Maze|
|27 February 2013||Cardiff||10 Feet Tall|
|5 March 2013||London||The Social|
The Dreaming Trees tour promoted EP number two, the first to be released in 2013.
|Dreaming Trees Tour|
|6 March 2013||Guildford||Bar Des Arts|
|9 March 2013||Guildford||Boileroom|
|29 March 2013||York||The Basement|
|31 March 2013||Inverness||Hootananny|
|3 April 2013||Guildford||Bar Des Arts|
|17 April 2013||Cambridge||The Junction|
|18 April 2013||London||Surya|
|19 April 2013||Matlock Bath||The Fishpond|
|23 April 2013||Southsea||The Cellars|
|28 April 2013||Milton Keynes||The Stables|
|3 May 2013||York||Fibbers|
|13 May 2013||London||Dublin Castle|
|15 May 2013||Cardiff||10 Feet Tall|
|17 May 2013||Brighton||The Great Escape|
|19 May 2013||Manchester||Blue Cat Cafe|
|20 May 2013||Liverpool||International Pop Festival|
|21 May 2013||Worthing||Bar 42|
|22 May 2013||Sheffield||The Green Room|
|25 May 2013||London||International Pop Festival|
|26 May 2013||London||The Stag|
During September and October 2013, Emma supported British singer-songwriter Sam Gray on his UK tour.
|Supporting Sam Gray|
|24 September 2013||York||Fibbers|
|26 September 2013||Sheffield||The Greystones|
|30 September 2013||Bristol||Colston2|
|3 October 2013||Norwich||Waterfront|
|4 October 2013||Birmingham||The Institute|
|5 October 2013||Nottingham||Bodega|
|6 October 2013||Brighton||Komedia|
|7 October 2013||London||The Borderline|
|10 October 2013||Eastney||The Cellars|
|11 October 2013||Manchester||Sound Control|
During November and December 2013, Emma once again joined Jenn Bostic on her second UK tour.
|Supporting Jenn Bostic - The Jealous Tour|
|26 November 2013||London||The Borderline|
|27 November 2013||Southampton||The Chapel Sessions|
|29 November 2013||Bristol||Bristol Folk House|
|30 November 2013||Totnes||South Devon Arts Centre|
|2 December 2013||Glasgow||Broadcast|
|3 December 2013||York||Fibbers|
|4 December 2013||Sheffield||The Greystones|
|5 December 2013||Manchester||The Deaf Institute|
|8 December 2013||Hull||Fruit|
|10 December 2013||Norwich||Norwich Arts Centre|
In March 2014, Emma embarked on the Enchanted tour, a national headline tour accompanied by her full band.
|The Enchanted Tour|
|26 March 2014||Cambridge||Portland Arms|
|28 March 2014||Guildford||Boileroom|
|1 April 2014||Sheffield||The Greystones|
|2 April 2014||Wolverhampton||Robin 2|
|3 April 2014||York||Fibbers|
|4 April 2014||London||The Borderline|
|5 April 2014||Manchester||Sound Control|
|11 April 2014||Bristol||Louisiana|
|12 April 2014||Totnes||South Devon Arts Centre|
|15 April 2014||Newcastle||Cluny|
|16 April 2014||Runcorn||The Brindley|
|17 April 2014||Nottingham||Maze|
|18 April 2014||Glasgow||Broadcast|
|19 April 2014||Liverpool||Zanzibar|
|24 April 2014||Blackburn||Middle Earth Festival|
|1 May 2014||Southampton||The Brook|
|31 May 2014||Uttoxeter||Acoustic Festival|
Beginning in April 2015, Emma will embark on the Waves tour, a national tour co-headlining with Blair Dunlop.
|The Waves Tour|
|15 April 2015||Southampton||Chapel Sessions|
|18 April 2015||London||Bush Hall|
|19 April 2015||Marnhull||Pebble Sessions|
|22 April 2015||Manchester||The Deaf Institute|
|23 April 2015||Edinburgh||Caves|
|25 April 2015||York||Fibbers|
|28 April 2015||Lincoln||The Platform|
|29 April 2015||Birmingham||Glee|
|30 April 2015||Nottingham||Glee|
|1 May 2015||Bristol||Colston Hall|
|2 May 2015||Hull||Fruit|
- "Interview: Emma Stevens". Pop Scoop!. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Fast Five: Emma Stevens". MTTM. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens - A Real Guildford Talent". The Guildford Dragon. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Interview: Emma Stevens". Songwriting Magazine. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens talks about what inspires her songwriting". David Spencer. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens: Singer and Songwriter". The Creative Spotlight. 5 January 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens – ACM Guitar Alumni". ACM. January 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens Official Tumblr". Emma Stevens. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Soundcloud: Can't Say That It's Over". Songphonic Records. 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Shooting Lead Rabbits". Third Light Records. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens". Luna Guitars. 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Weekend Wogan". BBC. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Passenger: I'll Be Your Man (video)". Passenger. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Weekend Wogan". BBC. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Radio 2 Playlist". BBC. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Radio 2 Playlist". BBC. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Chris Evans Breakfast Show". BBC. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Good Morning Sunday". BBC. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens: Live in Hyde Park". BBC. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens Official Tumblr". Emma Stevens. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Emma Stevens: Songwriters talk about songwriting". songwriterstalkaboutsongwriting.com. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Radio 2 Playlist". BBC. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Riptide is Single of the Week on iTunes". Emma Stevens. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Universal Enchanted Album Campaign". Bob James. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "radiomol 105.2fm playlist". radiomol. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Radio 2 Playlist". radio2.nl. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- "Weekend Wogan with Emma Stevens". BBC. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "Album 2 is finished". Facebook. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "Singer-songwriter Emma Stevens on her perfect Surrey weekend". Surrey Life. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Verge catches up with Emma Stevens". Verge Magazine. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014.