Emily King Biography
The offspring of two internationally renowned jazz singers – one Italian, one African-American – 20-year old Emily was exposed to music since early childhood. The mean and loving streets of the lower eastside (where she still lives) were her nurturing ground, and imparted a world view that can be felt on songs like “Business Man” (a commentary on heart¬less capitalists, and the first song she completed) and “Colorblind,” the last song she wrote for EAST SIDE STORY. It is also the one that most directly addresses her experience as the child of a bi-racial marriage. “I think that song really brings it all together,” she says. “It sums up what I’m about, where I’m from, and gives an idea of the passion behind what I’m doing.”
Throughout EAST SIDE STORY, Emily’s eclectic range of heroes and influences can be recognized, from the Beatles and Nas to Sarah Vaughan and Radiohead, from Michael Jackson to Neil Young. “Every record that I’ve ever heard has been an influence on me,” she says, “there are so many things in this world to talk about.” From banging around on a guitar in her apartment to performing on the local folk club circuit at such noted venues as the Bitter End and CBGB’s Gallery, Emily’s musical vision grew. It soon encompassed hip-hop as she met producer Chucky Thompson, a member of Bad Boy Entertainment’s famed Hitman studio team who had recorded smashes with the likes of the Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige.
Emily was signed to Thompson’s production company and her first round of demos got the attention of J Records. Work on her album proceeded over nearly two years, as she collaborated with such notable producers as Salaam Remi and Marsha (from acclaimed rap duo Floetry). EAST SIDE STORY brings together Emily’s roots as a singer-songwriter with soul-drenched vocals and fluid hip-hop beats – resulting in a truly special blend, a place where the coffeehouse meets the dance floor.
Emily’s life and personality suffuses her music, from the undulating “Walk in My Shoes,” to “U & I,” the latter based on the story of her “biggest influence,” her parents. There is the gorgeous, yearning “Hold Me,” while “Ride” is described as “a nice easygoing song with a basement reggae feel to it, and a real Beatles influence.” Emily also delivers a sultry cover of Bill Withers’ classic “Ain’t No Sunshine.”
“I’ve always been an observer, I’ve always really tuned in to people and their stories, their feelings,” she says. “I’m just finding my own culture within myself. We have a lot of division in our society, but I was never raised like that. I feel like what I’m doing right now is going to bring a lot of people together.”