Emma G returns home with a new look and sound
Emma's coming home but not as we knew her.
The former lead singer with Auckland rockers Static Era, Emma Ghaemmaghamy has transformed herself into a soulful pop diva with her latest single King For A Day since moving to the United States in 2015 in search of new challenges.
Her New Zealand tour, All Roads Lead To Home (not Rome) will also be a challenge within itself with 17 dates in 23 days for the once self-professed gym junkie.
"I'm actually freaking out so much about not having enough time to stay fit and focused on this tour," she says. "I think it's going to be a balance between driving, playing and stalking as many Krav Maga and Crossfit gyms as possible when I get home. While I'm not quite as fit as I used to be (I was spending between 2-4 hours at the gym a day, back when I lived in Auckland), I'm still super active and train (mostly Krav Maga and a bit of weights) 3-5 times a week. I'm definitely going to need it when I get back to Aotearoa – especially with all the driving."
Not only will the tour be a chance to catch up with family and fans but for Aucklanders-only there's a reunion gig with Static Era.
"I'm so excited to be doing a show with my boys at Ding Dong Lounge on September 9," she says. "The main tour kicks off September 17th, so I'll still be pretty energetic at this one, ha ha. But seriously, it's gonna be epic. Dave (Rhodes, drummer and audio engineer) has been focusing mostly on his work at Depot Sound and recording in Devonport, and Chris (Yong) and Victor (Pesch) have been tearing it up with their new project Metaract (other band members are Sharne Scarborough and Clayton Gould). They've been kicking ass."
When she moved to the US, Ghaemmaghamy caught up with family and took seasonal job opportunities while busking on the streets in whatever town or city she found herself in.
"My mum is from Pennsylvania, originally. So yes, I have family in Iowa (my Norwegian side – my mother's mum), and LA (my mum's Iranian dad's side). I've caught up with most everyone since I've been here, which has been an awesome journey of self discovery, as I slowly put the pieces together about who I am. After all, the Maori saying goes 'you don't know where you're going unless you know where you've been, and you don't know who you are, unless you know where you're from'. That was actually one of the main catalysts for me moving here in the first place, that and music.
"As far as 'making money', I worked for six months on the East Coast (Massachusetts and Connecticut) as a youth worker/teacher but, since moving to DC, I've invested all my time, energy and soul into music. It's been awesome.
"Music has always been about growth and development for me but I've always had a bit of tug and war between rock and pop. King for a Day is definitely one of my poppier songs, but a lot of my stuff these days is a little more Pink meets Adele meets Tracy Chapman, which I like. It's got a hint of aggression and sassiness but with a funky edge. It's been a pretty crazy journey in a lot of ways. I'm digging up songs I wrote years ago that just were Static Era-ble but now – living in DC – I've also been featuring on a whole bunch of funk, hip-hop and rap songs, which is hilarious, since I've never really been about that life.
"I do have one rule and that's that I won't partake in any songs that are derogatory towards women, race or sexual preferences, and that contain the N word. And it's working so far! Public Enemy are working on a remix of one of my rockier solo songs Superhero.
And despite now living under the Donald Trump administration, Ghaemmaghamy has nothing but warm fuzzies about her new country of choice.
"You know what? Almost every single person I've run into since November 8 (which happened to be my birthday – ugh!) has been the loveliest human. I feel like we're in the beginning stages of the next political uprising – where young people (and older!) are starting to stand up and really fight for their beliefs and ideas and what is right and wrong.
"It's been pretty intense, so far! Especially as a lot of my music is surprisingly political like Superhero [which is about using love as a superpower to win out over hate, bigotry, racism and sexism], or Sold (Take A Shot), which is my anthem to women in particular with the messaging of 'my body my choice' I wrote it in response to an A&R rep for a big record label here who told me he'd sign me if I sent him nude pictures – sigh."
For Emma G's All Roads led To Home tour dates go to: undertheradar.co.nz
- Sunday News