Emma van Heyn is a singer-songwriter from Cape Town, South Africa. Her voice is paired with a balance of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, subtly making use of instrumental and vocal looping. This brings out the poly-tonal and -rhythmic elements in her jazz pop/progressive pop originals.
Since the age of six, Emma has written and composed music. Known for her honest lyrics, complimented by quirky overtones, she creates songs that glorify fairness in unwanted situations. She made her stage debut at age 7 at Spier Amphitheatre, performing in the production, “Movies’ Greatest Music”. This production also went to the KKNK in 2008. Her debut performance as a solo artist was in 2010, when Imogen Heap requested her to sing one of her originals at her show at the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre. This inspired Emma to further her songwriting, performing on the very same stage four years later, playing her first solo debut set at the Hope@PaulCluver Festival in 2014 under the auspices of the Thembalitsha Foundation..
Before Emma’s solo career took flight, she was the lead vocalist and songwriter of alternative rock band, Morning Ms Dednam. They were a four piece act, known for their jazz-funk infused music. She was also formerly part of the electronic duo act, Emma + i. Emma + i was a collaboration with Helmut Meijer, where Emma wrote the songs and sang the music. Helmut Meijer produced these tracks, focusing on a deep house approach. These vastly contrasting acts have helped mold Emma’s music into what it is today. Now, Emma produces her own music, having Uys Visser at Uys Visser Productions help mix and co-produce these tracks.
“As long as I truly stick to the integrity of the song, I’ll have a truthful outcome in the end”, says Emma. Although it is not always easy to pinpoint her genre, her fifteen track debut album strives to create a versatile body of music that stays true to her main focus - the song. She places focus on themes such as female exploitation, the current state of the country, personal trauma, heartache and heartbreak.
Emma van Heyn is currently finishing up her Drama degree at Stellenbosch University, majoring in acting and physical theatre. This training has influences her to enhance a theatrical element to her music and performance. She directs and edits her own music videos as she chooses to have a true documentary of her creative process.
Choral singing has inspired Emma’s vocal layering through the use of looping. She has sung in choirs such as the acclaimed Tygerberg Children’s Choir (2004-2008) and the The University of Stellenbosch Choir (2014) which was crowned three times world champions at the World Choir Games that same year. She was also part of The Voice of Angels that won a SAMA award for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2009.
“I will not call myself unique or something fresh, because that is the easiest form of promoting oneself. But, I can say this - I write for ears that want to listen.” - Emma van Heyn
Her long awaited debut album “Asylum” will be launched on 31 August at the Drostdy Theatre, 48 Alexander Street, Stellenbosch, supported by her 3-piece band:
Emma van Heyn: Vocals and piano
Guitar - Robin Molteno
Keys + cello + bass - Luke Verrezen
Drums - Lilavan Gangen
Follow Emma on:-
Emma is running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to recuperate costs for the album. Donations, no matter how small, can be made by clicking on this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/asylum-emma-van-heyn-s-debut-album#/
R80 per ticket
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