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Member Focus - Emily Chambers

Posted November 01, 2019 by

What a journey it has been for Emily Chambers so far!  Since moving to Nashville, Emily has been making lifetime memories wherever she goes, whether it’s performing in the “Music City,” or fulfilling her dream of touring in her own camper van.  In this interview, you’ll learn more about her introduction into music, her favourite moments during her tours, and much more!  

Photo by Caroline Viosine

How did you get introduced to music when you were young?
I started taking singing lessons when I was eight years old with a Canadian singer named Joani Taylor.  I trained with her until I was eighteen years old.  She introduced me to the world of soul and R&B music, including Motown music, and artists such as Donny Hathaway and Etta James.

After your freshman year, you journeyed on a busking adventure across France and Italy.  What did you draw from that experience that you made you come to the realization that you wanted to do music?
I think it had something to do with the fact that people were on the streets and listening to us, right then and there.  There were so many different reactions in Europe, and just such a different respect and love for the arts.  People were very receptive, and I think because of all that, it made me believe that this was what I supposed to be doing.

You've toured across the U.S. in your own camper van, which was a dream of yours.  How was that like?
It was awesome, and I still do it!  Van life is awesome, but it can be exhausting.  You have to get going every morning, and there's lot of new cities that I have to do research on.  I just think it’s a very cost effective way to tour, and I get to do some traveling and see lots of cool cities that I get to spend some time in.  

Having moved to Nashville, what similarities and differences are there in comparison to Vancouver?
In Nashville, there's an incredible support for the arts and live music everywhere, something that I think Vancouver is unfortunately lacking.  At any night of the week, there's around five shows in the city.  That's definitely an awesome way for me to get inspired.  In terms of similarities, there's a corporate scene here, although there's definitely a bigger corporate scene in Vancouver.  Both cities are filled with great people as well.  

What were some of your favourite moments during your tours?
I've played some really great shows at the Peppermint Club in Los Angeles, as well as another great show at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York.  There's also been some stories of when things have not gone right, like the van breaking down or running out of gas and learning how to use a jerrycan on the spot - those are the things that memories are made out of.  I also take the van every month with the guys to Memphis.  Just being able to have a full band in there is great - it's always filled with laughs and good times.  

Album artwork for Emily Chambers' album, Disappear.  Photo by Caroline Voisine.

When writing music, what kind of methods do you utilize for inspiration?
It happens in all different ways.  Sometimes I'll get inspired by other artists.  Sometimes I'll sit down on the piano and start picking around, or do the same with the guitar.  

Even on Facebook or Instagram, there might be a topic and it's like, hey, that's really cool and interesting!  I try and take it from wherever it comes, really. 

For all the young and aspiring musicians and artists out there, what advice would you give to them?

I would say to be authentic, something that I think as artists, we struggle with on and off.  You have to be honest and true to yourself, and let the process of learning guide you. It's a lifetime errand, and you have no idea what might happen along the way, so have fun with it! 

Looking ahead in future, is there anything on your bucket list that you really want to accomplish, in terms of your musical career?

I would really love to go to the UK, which is on my list of things to do in 2020.  I’d love to go back to Europe and reach audiences there to grow and expand.  In terms of particular venues, I have list and lists, as well as different cities.  But being in Nashville, the Rymen (Auditorium) is definitely on my list.  There's a million artists that I'd like to tour and open for.  Maggie Rogers comes to mind as somebody that I'd like to be on the road with.

Be sure to check out Emily's brand new single, releasing on November 14th!  Visit Emily’s website for more information, including upcoming tour dates.  Emily will also be in Vancouver for two shows - December 6th at Frankie's Jazz Club, and December 28th at Guilt & Co.  Want to connect with Emily Chambers on social media?  Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter