THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: University of Auckland songwriter finalist Emily Rice

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Emily Rice: On the Road to Moab
THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: University of Auckland songwriter finalist Emily Rice

Every year Auckland University hosts a showcase for their talented music students. This year in addition to the five finalists for songwriter of the year there are also categories for best vocalist, best lyricist, best instrumentalist, best arranger and best song.

It's a big night with judges from the top of the music industry and once again Elsewhere is pleased to introduce the finalists for the songwriter category.

Details on the the where/when of the event are below, but meantime let's introduce one of the third year music students . . .

Emily Rice has a hint of old worldly charm that trickles through her warm, honey-like vocals and the jazzy demeanor of her work. Her songs take on a vibrancy of interesting layers and rhythmic involvement but can also deliver a warm, chilled lounge vibe. Her vocal layering and arranging offers a treat to the ears, emitting tonal colours and shades to her music. The versatility in her style reflects Emily’s ability to adapt to wherever her writing heart takes her, as she primes her sound, inviting us on those journeys with her.

Her facebook page is here.

The first song which really affected you was

‘Hey Jude’, that song made me SO excited when i was a little one (and still does!)

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were

Shania Twain, Spice girls, S-Club 7, Vengaboys, oh you know.

The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?

Kimbra!

As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Prince or Pink?

Lennon-McCartney! Katy Perry! MJ! and Pink!

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are

‘Au Cinema’ by Lianne La Havas, ‘To Build a Home’ by Cinematic Orchestra andddd ‘No Surprises’ –Radiohead!

Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?

It’s always a surprise for me!

The best book on music or musicians you have read is

The Performers Voice by Meribeth Bunch- I learnt soooo much, and continue to!

If you could co-write with anyone it would be

Tom Yorke.

The three songs you'd insist anybody listen to because they might understand your songwriting style better are

‘Don’t wake me up’ by Lianne La Havas, ‘Prelude to the end of the day’ by Sting anddddddd ‘Stronger than me’ by Amy Winehouse.

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

Frank by Amy Winehouse and Lost & Found by Lianne La Havas

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be

Yesterday - Beatles.

One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is

Come Thou fount of every blessing/Tune my heart to sing Thy grace/Streams of mercy, never ceasing/Call for songs of loudest praise

My favourite hymn because it don’t get more beautiful than that!

Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?

For me I’d say 70/30, usually I am inspired by people or music or situations and from that I birth a song, but I couldn’t do that if I didn’t know how to create the music by learning my instruments or know how to use my voice.

Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?

YES! So exciting when this happens, the last one happened when I was driving in the car. I recorded all these ideas into my phone, got home and played it on piano and there was my song!

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best song ever?”

This is my best song EVER because it’s about a donkey! And who doesn’t love a cheeky donkey!?

The University of Auckland’s Songwriter of the Year Award 2013

Thursday 3 October 2013 7pm (for 7.30pm start)

The Maidment Theatre 8 Alfred Street, Auckland.

Tickets $5-$15. Book at the Maidment Theatre 09 308 2383.

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