I caught up with Emma last summer
Keren - Hi Emma, how are you?
Emma - I'm good thank you, how are you doing?
Keren - I'm alright, you just got engaged didn't you?
Emma - I know, it was over in Nashville. Very surprised but obviously very happy, overjoyed. I don't think he could have picked a better place to be honest.
Keren - I think it was perfect for you.
Emma - Perfect for me, yeah.
Keren - So how did you start your music career? What made you want to be a singer?
Emma - I think music has always been a big part of my life. In primary school my favourite lesson was always music, that was just so we could sing. Then I started singing in a little band at our local church, my mum was part of it so I would pick up a guitar, and go and play at church once a month, and there was a west midlands group as well that played at some of the churches, then I went to uni and joined The Open Mic Society where I started playing solo because up to that point I had never played on my own that was only covers and getting your toe in the water.
Keren - I'm glad you got your toe in the water, because you're one of the busiest out there at the moment.
Emma - Yeah definitely trying to keep busy although it will be nice to have a break after the summer, especially on a day like today. You can't stay inside can you.
Keren - No that's true but you've got lots of festivals coming up I'll bet.
Emma - I'm actually quieter than last year. I have got lots of weddings to attend this year. We're at that age where a lot of friends are getting married so a couple of weekends are kind of written off but we're still very busy. Disappointed we can't do a couple of festivals but we're still ticking quite a few boxes and having fun.
Keren - So if you could invite the people who have influenced you in your musical career to a dinner party, who would you invite?
Emma - The Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, how many do I get?
Keren - However big you want to do your party (Laughs)
Emma - Probably Shania Twain, I guess the list just goes on, Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clarke
Keren - That's great. So you do your Country Nights in Wolverhampton which we are going to attend tonight, how long have you been doing that now?
Emma - A year and 5 months maybe.
Keren - And they are very popular aren't they.
Emma - It's growing you know and it's nice to see the regular faces every month, but also people are bringing friends along and also people are saying "I've just heard about this so we'll come next month" so it's nice to see it growing. It's just good to have live music in general. It just doesn't seem to be happening, and pubs aren't putting it on so much. It's a nice intimate venue here, which I quite like.
Keren - I like this venue, I must admit. So how do you see the country music scene evolving over the next 5 years?
Emma - I think the UK scene is growing every year. I think C2C has had a big part to play in it and the fact that they are putting new festivals on and getting American artists over, and even the fact that Miranda Lambert is coming over and Ward Thomas are the support act, and the Shires obviously supported The Coors and things like that. I think as long as UK acts can get on more bigger profile, well get bigger profile opportunities really, it will help to grow it. Even at a festival yesterday some girls came over and said we were here to see Dexeter last year and now we've come to see you and we are fans of Ward Thomas, so I think it's that networking piece isn't it, so the more the UK acts can get out and gig. As soon as someone discovers me, and they see where I'm playing, then they will find all the other acts and likewise from their side.
Keren - So yes it's nice that some of our acts are getting in Firestone Arenas with these very big artists and they are performing on the stages outside where everybody is waiting around.
Emma - Yeah that's what we want.
Keren - That's the way to go I reckon. So if you were to take a well known song and put a country twist on it what song would you choose?
Emma - Oooh that's a hard one cos all I play is country these days mmm I don't think it counts but any Ed Sheeran song, and we love Castle on the Hill and my sister keeps saying can we do that, so maybe get a banjo part going for that cos it's a good song.
Keren - That will be good. I look forward to hearing that. Thanks Emma for talking to me on this glorious sunny afternoon.
Emma - Thanks for coming it's been a long time catch up hasn't it?
Keren - It has yeah and its been a pleasure. That was me talking to Emma Swindells for Forever British Country.