Name: Emmavie Adeteju Mbongo Born: London 1990 Live: London Can't leave the house without: Not even gassing, my Nuraphones and my iPhone charger
Describe 'you' to our audience —
I am a black, female singer/songwriter, music producer and DJ. I grew up in London, a melting pot of cultures and I absorbed everything around me. I make future R&B that takes its influence from everything from electronic music and jazz to funk and garage. I have collaborated with many artists and producers around the world, including IAMNOBODI, ROMderful and Jarreau Vandal. Most recently, I joined Her Songs, a collective of female singers, musicians and producers from different countries recently signed to Believe Music UK. This summer, we travelled to Toronto to produce an entire album, do a live show and shoot a music video in two weeks.
Tell us about your recent releases —
This summer, I released my self-produced debut album, "Honeymoon” on 22 August on boutique label, Fresh Selects in Portland Oregon. This was my opportunity to showcase the spectrum of sounds that I produce and stories I tell. The album has had awesome support from legends such as Phonte (Little Brother) and is on constant rotation on major UK radio stations, BBC Radio 1 and BBC 1Xtra.
I also recently released remixes of “One Sided” by Joe Hertz featuring Kaleem Taylor and “Girls Don’t Mind” by Lifelines featuring Aanya Martin.
What influence does London have on your music —
Music is a HUGE part of London culture. It’s gritty, often hard but always real. That’s why my music is always honest and packs a lot of attitude. I grew up watching Channel U, a free music channel that showcased independent UK talent. What was so important about this is that it was unadulterated, unprocessed and creative music coming from people that lived around me and it reflected the culture, perfectly. We saw people who produced their own songs in bedroom and garage studios and put out super low budget videos but have their songs playing across the country. Now, ten years later, a lot of them are superstars like Skepta. This inspired my DIY mentality and pushed me to build my studio in my bedroom and start producing and recording my own music.
Tell us about the playlist retreat and how you ended up there —
The Playlist Retreat was an amazing meet of the finest talent in Hip Hop, Soul, R&B and Jazz, hand-selected by the legendary , DJ Jazzy Jeff. I met Jazzy Jeff in October 2018. He was touring in Europe and him and his team had a break in London on one of the days. His MC and my good friend, Dayne Jordan, decided he’d throw his own show that night and invited me to headline. Sure enough, Jeff and the whole team came through and we got to hang out as well as have them hear my tunes and watch me work the crowd. Something special happened that night and everyone connected. We all hung out another time at the beginning of the year and weeks after that, I received the invitation to the Playlist Retreat!
Your reaction to the Nuraphone was lit! Tell us about that first moment —
My mind was blown! I didn’t know at all what to expect and the whole process of setting up and creating your profile builds up the anticipation but does not at all prepare you for how good your music is about to sound. When I switched over to the personalised profile, it felt like parts of my hearing were finally being utilised. I was looking up and around because, suddenly, the music is spatialised and there’s so much clarity. I was also hella excited because I realised I was going to get to listen to music like this forever!