Emma Stevens

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Emma Stevens
Emma Stevens 1.jpg
Background information
Born (1986-05-04) 4 May 1986 (age 28)
Guildford, United Kingdom
Genres Pop music, Folk music
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo, Piano, Cello
Years active 2008–present
Labels Rising Tide
Website emmastevensmusic.com

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.[1] She describes her music as "sparkly folk pop"[2]

Emma is currently promoting her second studio album, Waves, released in November 2014.

Early life and education[edit]

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.[3] She attended Shalford First School, St Theresa's in Effingham and St Peter's in Merrow where she studied GCSE Music.[3]

Emma first started playing guitar at the age of 3 or 4, after watching her mother play Spanish acoustic guitar.[4] Spotting this early talent, her parents sent her to Cello & Piano lessons from the age of 6[5] and she later joined the Surrey Youth Orchestra.[6] From the age of about 10, Emma had orchestra and piano lessons at Charterhouse and attended stage school at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre[3] 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".[4]

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".[6]

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,[5] which appeared on her first solo EP Heart on Hand.

From 2006 to 2007, Emma attended the Academy of Contemporary Music and graduated with a Diploma in Guitar and Contemporary Performance.[7] This is also where she met her guitarist Sam Whiting.

Early career[edit]

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.[8] She met her first manager, Bob James, and started collaborating with different writers across multiple genres.[4] 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.[9] 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.[7]

Playing in and writing for band Shooting Lead Rabbits (described as "a three-piece, retro, art house, alternative, folk rock band"[10]), led to a European tour in 2010 and a distribution deal with FNAC.

It was during songwriting sessions in Los Angeles with Charlie Midnight that, with his encouragement, she began to seriously consider a future solo career.[4]

Other collaborations have included Sharon Vaughn, Eric Shermehorn, Andy Goldmark, Wayne Rodriguez, Mimoza Blinsson, Adam Kagan, Will Simms, Russ Ballard and John Beck.[11]

In 2011, she toured with British rock band fiN, supporting Incubus, Mona, The Kooks and Feeder regularly performing on stage in front of crowds of 20,000 people.

Solo career[edit]

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!’".[4]

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".[1]

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.

The first single, A Place Called You, was released on 28 October 2012 and received its first national airplay on BBC Radio 2's Weekend Wogan show on 2 September 2012.[12]

Emma toured extensively during the remainder of 2012, promoting the Heart on Hand EP.

In January 2013, Emma collaborated with English folk-rock singer-songwriter Passenger, which resulted in a song I'll Be Your Man.[13]

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[14] 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.

Soon after this appearance, Once was playlisted by BBC Radio 2[15] on 27 March 2012.

Following the success of Once, the original single A Place Called You was re-released and was subsequently playlisted by BBC Radio 2[16] on 27 July 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.[17] 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.[18] The following month, Emma headlined the BBC Introducing stage at Festival in a day in Hyde Park on 8 September 2013.[19]

Recording work on the debut album was completed on 9 September 2013[20] 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".[21]

Both Riptide and Sunflower were songs that were written in less than a day.[1][21] BBC Radio 2 again playlisted the new single on 28 September 2013[22] 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.[23]

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.[24] In the following month, the single was playlisted by Radio 2 and radiomol[25] in Belgium and Radio 2 in the Netherlands.[26]

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.[27]

Recording work on the album was completed on 15 August 2014[28] and Waves was subsequently released on 10 November 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Emma still lives in the Guildford area.[29] Other than her music, her greatest passions are surfing and the sea.[30]



  • 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[edit]

Solo tours[edit]

Emma embarked on the Heart on Hand tour following the release of her first EP.

Heart on Hand Tour
Date City Venue
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
Date City Venue
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
Date City Venue
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
Date City Venue
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
Date City Venue
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
Date City Venue
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
Date City Venue
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


  1. ^ a b c "Interview: Emma Stevens". Pop Scoop!. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Fast Five: Emma Stevens". MTTM. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Emma Stevens - A Real Guildford Talent". The Guildford Dragon. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Interview: Emma Stevens". Songwriting Magazine. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Emma Stevens talks about what inspires her songwriting". David Spencer. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Emma Stevens: Singer and Songwriter". The Creative Spotlight. 5 January 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Emma Stevens – ACM Guitar Alumni". ACM. January 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Emma Stevens Official Tumblr". Emma Stevens. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Soundcloud: Can't Say That It's Over". Songphonic Records. 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Shooting Lead Rabbits". Third Light Records. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Emma Stevens". Luna Guitars. 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Weekend Wogan". BBC. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Passenger: I'll Be Your Man (video)". Passenger. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Weekend Wogan". BBC. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Radio 2 Playlist". BBC. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Radio 2 Playlist". BBC. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Chris Evans Breakfast Show". BBC. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Good Morning Sunday". BBC. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Emma Stevens: Live in Hyde Park". BBC. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Emma Stevens Official Tumblr". Emma Stevens. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Emma Stevens: Songwriters talk about songwriting". songwriterstalkaboutsongwriting.com. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Radio 2 Playlist". BBC. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Riptide is Single of the Week on iTunes". Emma Stevens. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "Universal Enchanted Album Campaign". Bob James. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "radiomol 105.2fm playlist". radiomol. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Radio 2 Playlist". radio2.nl. 19 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Weekend Wogan with Emma Stevens". BBC. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "Album 2 is finished". Facebook. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "Singer-songwriter Emma Stevens on her perfect Surrey weekend". Surrey Life. 13 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  30. ^ "Verge catches up with Emma Stevens". Verge Magazine. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 

External links[edit]