From her home town of Toledo, Ohio, Emelee – this week's Band of the Week – has spent the last several years trying to get her music career of the ground. Sounds like a pretty typical story, until you hear she is only 19.
At the age of twelve she confided to her mother she wanted to be a singer. The demo tape she recorded soon after caught the attention of RJ Rice, the President of Detroit-based Barak Records. After some disappointing flirtations from some west-coast labels, she began making weekly trips from her Toledo home to Detroit to record her unique dance sound.
In her sophomore year, she left traditional school to attend a local performing arts school where she honed her craft and met two friends who still dance with her at her performances to this day. Now graduated, she has more time to dedicate to her career and often performs at dance clubs in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, though she is beginning to get the call to appear further away from her home base.
A few weeks ago this young dynamo sat down for a phone interview where we talked about her background, her future, her influences, and songwriting.
I read in your Myspace bio you knew you wanted to do this from the age of 12. Had you taken vocal or dance training before that?
I had a couple of voice lessons when I first started singing when I was about seven or eight, but I didn't stay with it very long. Dance… I took like one class when I was in kindergarten, besides that, no, not really.
The video you made had a lot of dancing in it. Was that hard?
It was really fun. I've always loved dancing, but I never had the time to take lessons because I was in a lot of plays and stuff when I was younger. My sophomore year, I switched and started going to a performing arts school. They had dance classes there, and I took hip-hop dancing. It's where I met one of my dancers who's with me now when I do my shows. One of my other dancers also went to that school; he passed away in April. I had become good friends with one of his friends, and he took his place.
The video was a lot of fun, but it was a lot of work. The shoot took twelve or fourteen hours, maybe longer now that I think about it. We did half the shoot here in Toledo, and the other half in Detroit. We did the first half at the ice cream store that I work at right now. It's called Cold Fusion Creamery.