“The idea of healing in my music is the most important thing" explains Emanuel, Toronto R&B singer/songwriter and Universal Music Canada signee. Having grown up in London, raised by his Ethiopian parents, Emanuel was exposed to a plethora of various forms of musical artistry and sonics.
By the tender age of nine, Emanuel could sing without having had any formal training. Exposed to music from all over the world by his parents, Emanuel states Boyz Il Men and Bob Marley as the artists who set the foundation for him. While projects like "To Pimp A Butterfly" are the reason that he seeks to make music that lingers around long after the song has ended. With Emanuel aiming to give listeners the same curative transcendent experience that he had creating the music, he explains how had performed on stages for fun and didn’t really take it seriously until he realized, "It has to be deeper in order to take me further." And it's undoubtedly evident within the emotions that accompany the Universal Music signee's music.
His debut EP, "Session 1: Disillusion", is a phenomenal exhibition of how he Is fully capable and able to use his voice to convey his intended emotions. It’s also a display of his fine ear for production and how he utilises the production as an aid which helps him fully convey emotions. Production on songs like his lead single, "Need You" alongside "Thought It'd Be Easy" are largely driven by calm and ambient piano arrangements. Those instruments allow him to use his smooth voice to shudder listeners with emotions. Contrastingly, "Addiction" is an upbeat song highlighting the ups and downs of living a high life.
With “Session 1: Disillusions” being the first batch of songs on Alt Therapy (his debut album), one can only look forward to “Session 2: Transformation” and what the Ontario artist has in store for us. The lead single, "Black Women", is a chord-based ballad dedicated to black women in his life and all around the world.
Prior to hearing the chord progression that his producer was looping, Emanuel had found himself evaluating his relationships the black women in his life. After watching the 1971 conversation amongst James Baldwin and Nikki Giovani ( he pondered about the relationship between black men and women. This lead to him trying to write an impactful song for a few days until inspiration came naturally when he heard the chords.
“What did I do to deserve you?
Why do I always desert you?
How do you feel when they don't feel for you?
How do you love when they don't love you back?”, he sings in question.
Speaking on how although the black woman is always being neglected and kicked down by the very same people, who are supposed to protect and exalt them, they still find a way to forgive and love them. And for that, they are "Superwomen". "Wake up and see the queens around you and see these beautiful women and the work they do and stop hindering them” is the message Emanuel wants people to get from “Black Woman".
Black Woman is a beautiful lead single with a very strong message that needs to be heard. One can only look forward to hearing "Alt therapy " after hearing " Session 1” and " Black Woman". I personally have no doubt that Emanuel is in R&B artist to look out for in future. While we wait for Alt Therapy, check out the video for Black Woman.
Written by: Machi’ Mokono (@Machiapostrophe)
Edited by: Dithekgo Mogadime (@DithekgoM)