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Born Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres pop
Occupation(s) singer, songwriter, photographer
Instruments vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2004–present
Website emma-lee.com

Emma-Lee is a Canadian pop singer, songwriter and photographer[1] based in Toronto, Ontario. She is considered a mezzo-soprano and is a self-taught vocalist.[2]

Early life[edit]

Emma-Lee was born in Toronto and raised in Markham, Ontario. She started playing guitar at age 14 and credits her father for teaching her. She soon began writing her own songs.[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]

Awards and nominations[edit]

- 2014, won for best female vocalist in NOW Magazine's best of Toronto feature.[14]

- 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.[15]

- 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."[16]

- 2013, won for best female vocalist in NOW Magazine's best of Toronto feature.[17]

- 2012, co-winner ROKKY Award for "Best Album" [18]

- 2012, nominated for a CBC Radio 3 BUCKY award in the category of Hottest Pipes.[19]

- 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".[20]

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)

Songwriting Credits[edit]

Public & Come Back To Me Reign The Beginning EP Independent
Only The Strong Survive (#32 on Billboard Canadian Country) Alee Single Wax Records
Sawdust Victoria Duffield Accelerate Warner Music Canada
You Carry Me Ash & Bloom Let The Storm Come The Orange Lounge Recording Company
What I Want & Pick Me Up, Dust Me Off Carleton Stone Draws Blood Groundswell Music
Lioness Kat Moscone The Next Star Sony Music Canada
Goodbye Gravity Dante Scott The Next Star Sony Music Canada
One More Light Alee This Road Goes Everywhere Independent
Waiting For Wishes Steven Taetz Steven Taetz Independent
U Turn Angela Saini Leap Independent
Grain Of Sand Larra Skye Wishing Tree Independent
Cabin Fever & Man Up! Tia Brazda Cabin Fever Rebeluck Records
Sheets Carleton Stone Carleton Stone Groundswell Music
Fall Apart Sabrina Carpenter Single Independent
It Won't Be Christmas 'Til You're Here Julie Crochetière Single Indie Soul


  • 2004: The Waiting Room (EP)[22] - out of print
  • 2005: The Sneak Peak (EP) - out of print
  • 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. ^ "Emma-Lee Never Just a Dream Review". awmusic.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  3. ^ Carter, Kern (Spring–Summer 2013). "Emma-culate" (PDF). Boss Magazine: 54–55. Retrieved 2015-02-04. 
  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. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "12th Annual Independent Music Awards". Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "12th Annual Independent Music Awards". Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  17. ^ [2]
  18. ^ http://www.rokline.com/first-annual-rokky-awards
  19. ^ Wright, Graham. "Vote now on the 2012 Bucky Award Short List". CBC Radio 3. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Emma-Lee To Release Backseat". Top40.com. 2012-01-24. 
  21. ^ soundtrack, IMDB.com. Retrieved August 2011
  22. ^ Whitfield, Lindsay. "Review of Emma-Lee's "The Waiting Room"". SoulShine. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 

External links[edit]