For a 20 year old about to release her first single, Emma Deigman has some impressive admirers. Bryan Adams recently turned up to one of her gigs, Gary Barlow has declared himself a huge fan and, on hearing a handful of her songs, Rod Stewart immediately offered to help her break the States.
Read our exclusive: Emma Deigman interview!
Following a year in the studio with pop maestro Eliot Kennedy, a top ten club smash and hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits, Emma finally releases her debut single on March 23, 2009.
Recalling the best of 70s funky soul, "It Was You" is an infectious mix of modern and old school, offering a healthy antidote to the current onslaught of synthetic electro pop. With a voice that recalls her hero Rod Stewart and shades of Joss Stone at her sunniest, Emma's debut single, like her forthcoming album, is soul music to make you smile. And, with a Trudy Bellinger (Girls Aloud, Sophie Ellis-Bextor) directed video, the visuals are guaranteed to extend the feel good rush.
The release of "It Was You" follows a thrilling year for Deigman. Spending the majority of 2008 in the studio with Eliot Kennedy (Take That, Gary Barlow, Spice Girls) and Blair Mackichan (Lily Allen, Will Young) Emma now holds a collection of songs worthy of even the most experienced soul masters.
"A lot of the album is upbeat and lively," says Deigman. "You can hear how much fun we had making it. My best memories are of watching the band in Eliot's studio in Sheffield. Everything was played live, often recorded in just one take. We went back to the way music used to be made - no computers, full horn and string sections. We even had a grand piano in there."
Born in Buckinghamshire, now based in London, Deigman has long seemed destined for stardom. At seven, she made her West End debut in Les Misérables, at 10 performed on Top Of The Pops with rap superstar Jay-Z and, aged 13, appeared in her debut feature film Last Orders with Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine.
By 15, Deigman was writing songs and sending off demos, although it was when she went to boarding school for sixth form that she knew her heart lay in music. "Until then, I couldn't decide between singing and acting," she recalls. "But I hated boarding school and used to keep myself sane by writing songs. Being able to put my emotions down on paper helped me get through a few hard years. My dad got cancer - he's in remission now - and I had to leave school to help look after my little brother and sister. One of the songs I wrote at that time, "Back To One", is on the end of the album. It's an ode to my parents."
With the release of her debut single, Emma hopes she is moving ever closer to fulfilling a lifetime dream; duetting with idol Rod Stewart. "A couple of months ago, my mum won dinner with Rod at a charity auction and took me along. We sat in this restaurant off Park Lane with them and, for ages, I couldn't say a word. In the end, I had to blurt out how big a fan I was or I wouldn't have been able to eat. Now my dream is to do a duet with him. A year ago, if someone had suggested that, I would have laughed at them. But so much has happened already, I feel as though anything's possible..."
Emma has been confirmed as main support to Girls Aloud on their upcoming tour. Dates below.
Girls Aloud tour dates:
(Dates and information subject to change.)
April 24th – Manchester - MEN Arena
April 25th – Sheffield - Sheffield Arena
April 26th – London - The O2
April 28th – Belfast - Odyssey Arena
April 29th – Belfast - Odyssey Arena
April 30th – Belfast - Odyssey Arena
May 2nd – Dublin – The O2
May 3rd – Dublin – The O2
May 5th – Newcastle – Metro Radio Arena
May 6th – Newcastle – Metro Radio Arena
May 8th – Glasgow – SECC
May 9th – Glasgow – SECC
May 11th – Nottingham – Trent FM Arena
May 12th – Nottingham – Trent FM Arena
May 13th – Sheffield – Sheffield Arena
May 15th – Sheffield – Sheffield Arena
May 16th – Manchester – MEN Arena
May 17th – Manchester – MEN Arena
May 19th Liverpool – Liverpool Arena
May 20th – Birmingham – NIA
May 21sr – Birmingham – NIA
May 23rd – London – The O2
May 24rd – London – The O2
May 26th – London – Wembley Arena
May 27th – London – Wembly Arena
May 29th – Manchester – MEC Arena
May 30th – Glasgow – SECC
June 1st – Birmingham – NIA
June 2nd – Liverpool – Liverpool Arena
June 3rd – Liverpool – Liverpool Arena
June 5th – Newcastle – Metro Radio Arena
June 6th – Newcastle – Metro Radio Arena
Emma Deigman on amazon.co.uk
Emma Deigman on YouTube