Ainjel Emme in her studio
|Occupation(s)||Songwriter, musician, producer|
Ainjel Emme (born September 28, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and producer.
- 1 Background
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Discography
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Born in Martinez, California, Ainjel Emme (pronounced "angel em") spent her early childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Venice, California before settling in Austin, Texas in 1991. She currently lives in Los Angeles. Known primarily as a solo performer and recording artist, Emme is also an accomplished songwriter, session vocalist, musician, and producer.
Emme got her start singing back-up on stage with her mother, also a singer-songwriter. She dropped out of school at age 15 and became a street performer, since she was still too young and inexperienced to play in the clubs around her hometown of Austin. She credits her friend Ray Prim, whose band she followed and had regular, all-ages residencies around town, as being "the only one to take a chance and put me on stage." Not long after that, she was discovered busking next to Austin's legendary Black Cat Lounge by the owners of Sweatbox Studios, who invited her on the spot to record a few demos live to 2" tape.
Not long after her first session, Emme left for Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a professional recording artist. She has occasionally recounted stories of this time on social media, during which she struggled with drug abuse, depression, and anxiety. Eventually, she concluded that she wasn't cut out for Hollywood, and returned to Texas. After working an office job during the week and Starbucks on the weekends for nearly a year, hoping to save up enough money to record her own album, Emme was suicidal. The SIMS Foundation stepped in and helped put her on the path to recovery. She sobered up, attended therapy, and returned her focus to music.
Heartache Is Boring (Album)
Emme's independent debut, Heartache Is Boring, was recorded at Willie Nelson's studio in Pedernales, TX and released in October 2003. The tracks were developed around demos recorded on Emme's Fostex R8 reel-to-reel machine. Some elements of those recordings made it to the album's final mix. Co-produced by Mat Mitchell (Puscifer, Nine Inch Nails) and Kyle Ellison (Meat Puppets, Butthole Surfers), the record received critical acclaim ["Shimmers with art and soul" – BUST Magazine (Spring 2004), "Hits the mark right out of the chute" – The Austin Chronicle, (October 2003)]. Heartache received regular airplay on local radio in Austin and made Top 10 CDs of the Year at KUT 90.5 FM. Only 1000 physical copies of the album were ever manufactured. The CD went out of print in 2006, but it is still available digitally through iTunes and other online retailers.
In late 2004, Emme moved back to Los Angeles. She worked as a waitress, music teacher, and session musician while developing material for her second album. Interning at various entertainment companies and studios around the LA area, she focused on furthering her education in artist development, audio engineering, and music production. She also sharpened her chops as a musician, working for hire both on stage and in the studio. In 2006, she traveled to Lollapalooza and Coachella with art-rock outfit MASS Ensemble, and toured part-time with all-girl AC/DC tribute Whole Lotta Rosies on rhythm guitar.
Quiet Hour Demos (EP)
A longtime home recording enthusiast, Emme released a limited edition collection of demos on CD, entitled "They Promised You America: Quiet Hour Demos Vol 1" in 2005. It was tracked, mixed, and mastered on a Korg D-16 digital multi-track recorder. 100 copies of the CD were released. It never received a digital release.
SPIN Magazine’s Hot Pursuit
The lone solo artist to be voted into the semifinals for SPIN Magazine's Hot Pursuit competition in 2007, judge Perry Farrell described Emme as "rich in character" and former SPIN editor Doug Brod noted, "Very impressive stuff." She ultimately did not win the competition. 
On the recommendation of co-producer and engineer Mat Mitchell, Ainjel was invited to contribute vocals and guitar to the debut album for Maynard James Keenan's ongoing collaboration-based side project, Puscifer (Momma Sed and The Undertaker). The album, "V" Is for Vagina, debuted at #1 on the Billboard independent charts. Her performances are also featured on the remix album, "V" Is For Viagra.
Everyone Is Beautiful (Album)
Everyone Is Beautiful, Emme's sophomore record, was recorded over a year-long stretch of Fridays in Gardena, CA with friend and co-worker Robert Black. Black and Emme worked together at a café in Venice; she in the front as a waitress, he in the kitchen as a cook. Friday was the one day of the week they mutually had a day off, and they spent the entire 24 hours holed up in Black's studio space, tracking. Post-production took place at Threshold Sound + Vision in Santa Monica, CA with engineer Todd Bergman handling the final mixes and Capsule Labs' Gil Tamazyan mastering. One of the studio owners at Threshold took an interest in Emme's work and licensed Everyone Is Beautiful to be released through Spin Move Records on January 11, 2011. The Down Song is featured in the opening montage of action indie film Dead Drop. Straight To Hell and The Priest have been featured on MTV's Teen Mom (Episodes 302 and 407).
Damn The Moon (Single)
"Damn The Moon" was released in September 2014. It was recorded at Glenwood Place Studios in Burbank by Todd Bergman, and mastered by Peter A. Barker at Threshold Sound + Vision in Santa Monica, CA. Drummer Anthony Paul Lopez and lead guitarist Michael S. Pozzi backed Emme on the track. Emme played bass, rhythm, and 2nd lead guitar.
Nameless, But Not Few (Single)
"Nameless, But Not Few" is the first studio track entirely produced, recorded, and mixed by Emme. It was written and tracked at her studio cooperative, the Block Of Joy, in Hollywood, CA and released in June 2016.
This Business Will Break Your Heart
In November 2016, Emme debuted a new song, "This Business Will Break Your Heart," at a live performance in Los Angeles for Sofar Sounds. Soon after, she revealed that she would be releasing the song as a single on Valentine's Day, 2017.
- They Promised You America: Quiet Hour Demos Vol. 1 (2005) – out of print
- "V" Is for Vagina – Puscifer (acoustic guitar, backing vocals on "Momma Sed", backing vocals on "The Undertaker")
- "V" is for Viagra: The Remixes – Puscifer (acoustic guitar, backing vocals on "Momma Sed (Tandemonium Remix)")
- "Love Gun" (20th Anniversary Edition) – KISS (engineering assistant)
- "Live in London, Hammersmith Apollo 1993" – Dio (engineering assistant)
- "Drown in the Crimson Tide" – Nakia (backing vocals on "Make Up with a Gun")
- "Songs From The Shed" – Cameron Daddo (backing vocals)
- "Buysexual" – The Seems (producer, album art, backing vocals)
- "Lift Your Gaze" – Deborah Falconer (backing vocals on "Lift Your Gaze" and "Color Your World", album art)
- "I Only Remember The Good" (Single) – Tony Scalzo (backing vocals)
- "Knock Yourself Out" – Shandon Sahm (lead guitar, backing vocals)
- "Hello World" – Hello Kitty (featured vocal on title track from the album, "Hello World")
- "Spark And Fury" – Alfa Garcia (audio engineer, vocal production, additional vocals, electric guitar)
- "Ryantology" – MC Werdplay (backing vocals, synth on "Immunity")
- "Pilot" – Jessarae (bass, piano)
- "Without A Stain" (Single) – Karlis (songwriter, co-producer, backing vocals, wurlitzer piano, piano, bass guitar)
- "Breaking Free" (Single) – Rochelle Diamante (songwriter, co-producer, vocal production, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, synth/programming, additional vocals)
- "You Never Let Me Down" (Single) – Akaylah (songwriter, co-producer, piano, vocal production)
- "Sheboygan EP" – Sheboygan (drums, backing vocals)