With her upcoming tour supporting Girls Aloud and her debut album release this summer, London based singer Emma Deigman is one to watch this year – and Dave and I had the pleasure of meeting her at The Regal Room in London last week.
We had a bit of a rocky start getting to the interview – the Oxford Tube bus broke down on the way to London. Luckily, though, the bus was able to make it to the Hillingdon stop where we conveniently got on the tube to where we were originally told to go, Studio Valbonne in Soho.
Even with the bus incident, we managed to get there early, buzzed the door, we were let in, and we waited a few minutes on one of the red couches (cool club by the way). I think it was the owner, Xavier, who let us in and after about ten minutes of waiting, with no one showing up to meet us, he came over and asked “who is it you’re here to see?”. After a quick call from Xavier’s mobile phone, yes, believe it or not I still don’t have one, we got directions to the actual location for the interview and show – The Regal Room in Hammersmith. We left Studio Valbonne after a few apologies to Xavier (lovely man), quickly got into a taxi, went to the correct location, and ended up being over 30 minutes late. The good thing though, is that Emma and her management knew that it wasn’t our fault for showing up late, and they graciously greeted us upon our arrival!
We were able to chat with Emma for over an hour before her show, and then, after a short wait, we were treated to an intimate acoustic set by Emma and her guitarist, in the packed room, filled with her family, friends and fans. Other acts that also played the Comic Relief Special were Peter Conaty and Dom Scheggia.
Emma’s debut single, “It Was You” is released March 23rd, and radio listeners, music buyers and fans are all in for a treat. The track has an old school feel, along with all the ingredients to make for a great pop song. Fun lyrics (“…I miss you baby, just like all the things I left in the past, but I wish I still had my Jimmy Choo shoes…”), catchy melody and high quality musicianship. What tops it off though, is Emma’s smooth, soulful voice.
It was great to see her perform “It Was You” live, with just the acoustic guitar for accompaniment. She’s set to go on tour with Girls Aloud starting April, and I think she’ll be gaining quite a few new fans during her time on the road – her biggest tour yet.
Emma has more up her sleeve than just music. The 20 year old has been acting since she was five. She’s done a lot of theatre acting, and her film debut was in the movie Last Orders starring Michael Caine and Helen Mirren, and she appeared in the BBC TV drama Daniel Deronda. Although music is her priority at the moment, she said that she would love to continue acting.
Photo Credit: Dave Tommo – Emma Deigman Live at The Regal Room, London
Emma Deigman interview
Jenny May: Do you have any favorite directors?
Emma Deigman: I think that Darren Aronofsky is an amazing director. Requiem for a Dream and Pi are incredible films.
What kind of film would you want to do next?
I would love to do a serious film.
What’s a movie that you’ve seen recently that you liked? That stands out?
Oh – I just went to the press screening of The Boat That Rocked the other night, with The Love Actually and Notting Hill director [Richard Curtis]. It’s a new British comedy film about the pirate radio stations on the boats, in the 60s. It’s absolutely hilarious. It’s so funny, you have to go see it when it comes out!
You were on Top of The Pops with Jay-Z. What song did you perform and how did that go?
Hard Knock Life. I was in Annie when I was ten and we were in the A Group – the group that opened the whole show, so we got to do every extra..and this rapper comes over from America and we had no idea who this person is, this was like ten years ago, and he was like, can we use the kids from your show to do Top of the Pops? and so the director said oh yeah, sure. So he sends us off and we have no idea what’s happening. And we meet the rapper, Jay-Z and we just had no idea, we were more excited about the fact that Five was standing next to us! Now I kind of kick myself thinking, Oh! Now he’s like one of the biggest music stars in the world, and I didn’t even know who he was. But I have a picture of him, so it’s all good!
Someday if you do meet him you’ll be able to bring up the whole story.
Yeah…that was so much fun. It was like a dream when you’re little, and we got to be on it, we were so excited.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Kings of Leon. I pretty much listen to their whole album everyday. I went to see them live. They’re probably one of the best bands that I’ve seen. His voice…it’s so different, it’s just amazing. I’ve been listening to them for years ’cause my older brother is like, obsessed with them, and he’s been listening to them for years, and I’ve been listening to them…and now they’re suddenly just everywhere. But I love the fact that they absolutely love the British, ’cause we’re the people that brought them back! Who else…ummm…I quite like The Saturdays song “Issues”. I just love the girl’s voice – there’s one girl in it that’s got an amazing voice.
Do you think they’re similar to Girls Aloud?
Yeah, they are, they’re very similar.
You’re going to be touring with Girls Aloud.
Yes, I’m so excited. I’m a bit scared.
This will be your biggest tour?
Yes. Definitely. I’m so, so excited…
I think that’s great. This will be a great thing for you.
Yes, this will be an amazing opportunity. I can’t wait. I would never have thought that when I went to see Kings of Leon at O2, me and my boyfriend’s brother were just kind of joking, and he said oh you’ll be up there one day. And I was like, okay. He goes, I’m gonna make a bet. In the next four months. I was like, no, don’t be stupid. I give it three years. And three months later, he’s like, where’s that £50 please?
It’s a good one to lose.
I said how ’bout I pay you backstage at Girls Aloud. Haha.
So Kings of Leon and The Saturdays.
I listen to Gavin DeGraw a lot.
I’m not sure who that is.
He’s American or Canadian. Do you know One Tree Hill?
Do you know the song, (Emma sings the familiar tune perfectly) “I don’t wanna be anything…”
Oh yeah. I like that song!
That’s Gavin DeGraw. He’s one of the most amazing songwriters. He’s just absolutely incredible. I listen to him a lot ’cause I kind of go by one of his songs called “Belief”. Kind of one of my songs that I always listen to. Britney Spears. Good ol’ Britney Spears. I kind of listen to different things. I like to listen to everything. I’ll listen to old school stuff like Marvin Gaye when I’m feeling in the mood…I love Radiohead.
They’re from down our way.
Oh, you’re from Oxford? Oh my boyfriend lives in Oxford.
Do you go to Oxford much?
Yes I do, actually. I like Oxford. I go there whenever I get a few days, ’cause I don’t like being in London all the time. I’ve been brought up in the country, my parents live in Buckinghamshire, so it’s quite nice to go back to Buckinghamshire or Oxford where it’s just so peaceful. You still have the nightlife and the big city in Oxford, so it’s not like you’re stuck away.
There’s a lot of good music in Oxford.
Yes, I’ve been to quite a few random gigs there.
How do you prepare for a live show usually? Do you have a certain routine, warmups?
I probably should say yes, but no. Haha. My singing teacher will kill me for saying that. Do you know what, there’s a lot of things out there that people say, oh, you shouldn’t drink dairy products, you shouldn’t drink coffee, you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that. I just don’t really listen to anything people say…to be honest, I eat chocolate before I go on stage and it does absolutely nothing to my voice. I don’t see the point. I eat cheese before I go on, I drink coffee. Haha…I do warm up at home…
I’m pretty bad too. I’ll just warm up to songs.
Yeah, I warm up to songs, yeah exactly. But again, I’ll probably get told off by my singing teacher for this. But I mean, when I go on tour with Girls Aloud, I’ll probably notice it a lot more ’cause I’m doing gigs like once or twice a week, so I’ll kind of get a few days to get over it, whereas I think 33 dates with one day to rest in between five of them…
The warmups will help you especially on the tour.
Yeah, I’ll do a lot more. One thing I’ve started to do, I love saying it, started. Started this week…is I’ve started going to the gym!
Do you play instruments? I know you write your own songs.
I’ve written poetry and lyrics since I was really little. It’s more lyrics and melody that I write. ‘Cause I can read music, I can sit at the piano and read the music and play it, but I wouldn’t be able and sit down and be like [she does piano motions with her hands]…I can’t play the guitar, I’d love to say I could. I’m gonna learn. Maybe I’ll learn on tour.
Do you have someone that you wrote the album with?
Yeah, I wrote the whole album with my producer Eliot Kennedy. He’s amazing. If you know who he is, he’s kind of written with absolutely everyone.
Is the video for “It Was You” on TV yet?
Yeah – it’s on the music channels.
We’ve been enjoying it!
It was so much fun to make – with all my friends. Also, with it being my first video, it was maybe a 16 hour shoot and everyone was asking, you’re not tired? But the adrenaline was kicking in…I was just so hyper from that day!
The director of the video, Trudy Bellinger has worked with Sophie Ellis-Bextor…
Yes – and she does all the Girls Aloud videos, she did the Rimmel advert with Kate Moss..yes she was amazing. She was really cool.
I watch most videos on the internet, so I’ll look forward to seeing it on TV…
Well, it’s on the chart show at the weekends and on The Box – I think it’s on weekends and sometimes during the week.
Do you have TV interviews scheduled yet?
I did one for the chart show yesterday, where I got to host my top 12 videos. That was quite fun. And at the end it will play my video and that was an interview as well, so that was fun…with it being a pop channel, I managed to get Rod Stewart, The Fugees, Marvin Gaye, Guns N’ Roses…
Speaking of Rod Stewart, what is it about him that you like so much? Jimi Hendrix is my idol, so…
Oh, Jimi Hendrix. I picked a Jimi Hendrix video! Well, when I was little, my dad loved Rod Stewart, my dad’s Scottish, and he would listen to it, and I would be like, what is this? ‘Cause I was really little, I would be like, dad turn this off, we want Britney Spears, we want Five, Boyzone, and then when I got older and started to actually appreciate music, I realized, oh my god, this guy has got an amazing voice, just so captivating. I just love it and his songs. I guess his songs take me back to childhood, I’ve been brought up on his music and a song will relate to maybe a holiday we’ve been on or a long drive.
What is one song by Rod Stewart that comes to mind that really grips you the most?
I know a lot of people would say this is cliche, but probably Sailing, only because it was one of my dad’s favorite songs, and also Maggie May, but Sailing was the one that my dad used to always play so it’s the one that sticks in my mind.
We listened to your Lady GaGa cover of Just Dance on YouTube. We really like that. We’re passing that around. Would you ever want her to write you a song?
I think she’s awesome, so if she wanted to write me a song, I wouldn’t say no!
If you could write a song for someone, who would you want to write for?
Probably Rod Stewart, yeah. Britney Spears. Haha. Ummm, I’d like to say, maybe Britney Spears. I love Rod Stewart, but…I think I might be a bit scared writing for him, actually.
Emma is very nice and down to earth, and I had fun talking to her. As we were leaving The Regal Room, we asked a guy outside for directions to the tube station. He asked if we had just seen the show upstairs. When we said yes, he told us that even though he lives just around the corner, that this was the first time that he had been there, and was there to see Emma play. I asked him how he had heard about her, and he said that she was featured on YouTube. He really enjoyed the show.
Emma Deigman on amazon.co.uk
Emma Deigman on amazon.com
Emma Deigman on YouTube
By: Jenny May – BandWeblogs.com