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Written by Brie Jorgensen

The realm of music has always offered an alternate world of self-expression for Emma Dean, whose vibrant and eccentric personality shines through her striking vocals, making her an exceptionally radiant performer.

Having grown up on the classical and jazz influences of her father, a local Brisbane radio station contributor, Emma was introduced to bold instrumentals and musical bravado from a young age, qualities which remain innate throughout her colourful catalogue of music.

Through her schooling years Emma found joy in classical violin and piano, going on to form her first high school band Halo, and performing her first gig at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre of all places as part of Brisbane’s annual Rock Eisteddfod, leaving a grandiose and exciting first impression of performance on the young musician.

With a sparked intrigue, Emma delved deeper into her music, personally experimenting with singing and song writing to expand her musical boundaries. At 18, Emma found herself with a choice: choose between her trustworthy violin, her instrument of choice since age 6, or her newly found thrill in singing and song writing as she entered university at The Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

Ready for change and challenge, Emma chose singing, studying jazz vocals at university and propelling her to take on numerous customer service jobs to combat her shyness and ultimately succeed as a captivating and engaging performer. The hard work paid off, landing Emma in her second band Bittersuite and a newfound confidence in her abilities on stage, going on to join the ranks of Kate Miller-Heidke’s band in 2003 and open for award-winning artists including Katie Noonan, Macy Gray, Amanda Palmer, and Jinkx Monsoon.

All the while Emma was discovering her individual groove, as she developed a taste for the sweet devilries of cabaret. Armed with her loyal piano and luminous voice, Emma fused together her love of over-the-top theatricals, always adding a flavourful taste, and art-pop music, inevitably creating a musical banquet to be feasted upon in her original shows Emma Dean Meets Dr. Dream and Emma Dean and the Imaginary Friends.

Several years of performing to sell-out audiences, award nominations, earning scores of critical acclaim, and even transitioning to stage theatre in Zen Zen Zo’s popular adaptation of Cabaret as Sally Bowles, saw Emma opt for an even bigger stage in 2013, as New York City’s Laurie Beechman Theatre became her domain.

After already gaining attention in standing out amongst the bright lights of New York City, having been named “one of ten artists to watch” (The New York Post, 2011), Emma left the comparatively small-town Brisbane to spend an outstanding year in the Big Apple, where she reached skyscraper heights of command. But, with a new city came a new perception. It is said that New York changes people, and in Emma’s case, it is undoubtedly true. Proving to be an extraordinary year of success for Emma, debuting her original show Imaginarium on Off-Broadway to excited audiences, the hustle, bustle, and chillingly cold winters synonymous with the Manhattan not only brought a new appreciation for the normalcies and values of home, but spurred a new mantra for the next phase in her life.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” (Theodore Roosevelt). The words that inspired Emma to realise something not often achieved: to find what truly matters to and makes one happy. Moving back to hometown Brisbane in late 2013, Emma oriented her life towards one of honesty, fun, and more than anything – happiness! On the back of a bleak loneliness only found in New York winters, Emma has weaved her newfound joy-inspired outlook into her latest initiatives. Re-connecting with the community through her wonderfully colourful Cheep Trill choir, Emma has achieved a balanced world of cohesion between herself and her music career, igniting the same musical flame in others.

Emma’s latest endeavour, Emma and the Hungry Truth, epitomises her range and depth of sentiment, as she comes face-to-face to confront the fears and demons that ran rampant through her mind in this reactionary response to an intensely emotional year in New York. Featuring five other musicians and incorporating vibrant instrumentals, ranging from basic keyboard melodies to surprising Theremin induced oscillations, Emma and the Hungry Truth prove a breath of fresh air in Emma’s reinvigorated career, sending chills down your spine to feel every feeling right alongside Emma’s stirring vocals. Emma’s electrifying voice tells a rich story of personal experiences and emotions from a life on the stage. Working together with The Hungry Truth to fearlessly achieve a magical juxtaposition, Emma’s piercingly beautiful voice collides with the band’s intricate rhythms, rich harmonies, and distinctive instrumentation.

Now balancing her time between Brisbane and New York, and soaring to new heights in both, Emma leaves her audiences spellbound with her enchanting voice. 2014 will see Emma continue an earnest journey of self-discovery and value, using her gorgeous voice and innate quirks to express her stories, leaving you with a warmed heart and a beaming smile, guaranteed to stretch from ear to ear.

Latest Releases: White, Red and Black EP Trilogy

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