Interview – Emma Wright

14-year-old, Emma Wright may be young, but she’s no stranger to the music community. She recently released her single, “Heroes on the Wall” and will be donating $0.25 per download to CCISF (Canadian Critical Incident Stress Foundation) in support of PTSD initiatives and Camp F.A.C.E.S (families and children of emergency services) which supports families of line of duty death and suicide.

On top of this, she is performing at Boots and Hearts this August, which is nothing short of amazing. Find out more about Emma in our interview below, and check out her single.

Hi Emma, first off, care to tell our readers a bit about you?

Well, I’m 14-years old and live in Meaford, on Southern Georgian Bay. It’s about an hour from here. In addition to singing, I’m active in sports and the community. I play on a rep Basketball team, figure skate and enjoy waterskiing in the summer.

You have been singing since 4 years old, but when did you know this was something you wanted to pursue as a career path?

I would say that I’ve always had a passion for singing. Over time that led to a few paid gigs, and who knows if that might lead to any type of career opportunity. For now, I’m just taking it all in stride, enjoying collaborating with other artists and hoping people enjoy my music.

You recently released your new single, “Heroes on the Wall”, what can you tell us about this track?

Heroes on the Wall reflects on the many different heroes in life, from everyday people to our soldiers and emergency responders. It was my first original single, co-written by Doug Adams of Damage Entertainment and David Rosenthal, who many recognize as the keyboard player for Billy Joel. The lyrics are pretty thought-provoking and tell the story of those special individuals that give everything of themselves to make the lives of others better, sometimes at their own expense.

$0.25 per download will be donated to CCISF (Canadian Critical Incident Stress Foundation) in support of PTSD initiatives and Camp F.A.C.E.S (families and children of emergency services), supporting surviving families of line of duty death and suicide. Care to elaborate a bit more on this? What made you decide to do this?

PTSD is a serious injury that can develop after a person has experienced a traumatic event. Although many now recognize it as affecting soldiers and emergency personnel, anyone that has witnessed trauma can be prone to PTSD.  If untreated, it can lead to depression, feelings of helplessness, or, in a worst-case, to suicide. When Heroes on the Wall was about to be released, my Dad was talking to me about PTSD training he had taken. My Dad is a firefighter, both of my parents were in Search and Rescue in BC, and we have several friends in the Canadian military. I decided to get in touch with CCISF as it really seemed a logical fit and Camp FACES is a great way to support the families affected by PTSD.

I have noticed that you support various charities with your music, how do you find these events differ from full-on ticketed live shows?

I enjoy supporting various causes whenever I can while sharing my passion for music. There are a lot of folks out there who can really use support and at 14 this is one way I can help. I’m fortunate to be Canadian, so singing the national anthem at various events is a way to show my pride in our country. Getting to see the game afterward, is usually an added perk. Ticketed events are a place where I can collaborate with other talented musicians and can feed on the energy of the bigger crowds.

You performed in a number of talent competitions across Ontario, what have you learned from these competitions?

I attended my first competition at a local mall when I was 6 and have been in many competitions across Ontario since. Talent competitions have really helped me to develop my voice, confidence and stage presence. In most cases, the judges are extremely experienced and give helpful feedback on your performance. The crowds are always supportive and are pretty forgiving if you happen to mess up. Most of all it’s a great way to meet people from other communities and to network with other artists.

Chosen as part of the top 11 for the 2017 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artists Showcase, that must have been an amazing moment, we’d love to hear about that. What was the first thought that went through your head when you found out you were chosen?

My dad had bought our family tickets to Boots and Hearts 2017 as a Christmas present which I was already excited about. But when I found out that I made the top 11 and might be performing I couldn’t believe it. We had been following the Boots website and Instagram account and when I got the email I was almost in tears. Boots and Hearts is a huge music festival with many of the top country musicians that I love listening to. It was such an honor that I was chosen!

You will be performing at Boots and Hearts this summer, what can festival-goers expect from your performance?

As one of the youngest artists at Boots and Hearts, I encourage everyone to come watch. If all goes as planned they will leave with a huge smile on their face, blown away by the performance. My band and I have a great mix of country songs including a few originals that I’m excited to release. My bandmates are all talented musicians from Georgian Bay, so I hope we can represent the amazing talent this region has to offer and get Saturday afternoon off to an exciting start.

There is a slew of immense talent at Boots and Hearts this year, many of them Canadian, is there anyone you’re hoping to meet during the festival?

The line up this year is amazing. Honestly, it would be so cool to meet any of the artists. But I’d have to say that Florida Georgia Line and Brett Young are probably my favorites. Meghan Patrick is really talented as well. She has an amazing voice, has a passion for the outdoors like I do, and I love listening to her music.

What about performances you hope to catch?

Well, I was planning to be here even before getting the invitation to perform. We’re camping out, so my family and friends will be catching as many of the acts as possible. Florida Georgia Line, Meghan Patrick, Allan Jackson, Brett Young, Thomas Rhett, Midland and The James Barker Band are all performances you can expect to find me at.

Will you be performing anywhere else this summer that you can tell us about?

For sure. Some performances are already booked, and others are in the works. Fans can catch me at:

June 20 – TD Harbour Summer Nights, Owen Sound
July 1 – Canada Day at Blue Mountain Village
July 22 – Country Crossroads, Blue Mountain Village
August 15 – The Last Waltz, Blue Mountain Village
September 2 – Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular, Owen Sound

Last but not least, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

First, I want to offer a huge thanks to Boots and Hearts and all those that have supported me over the years, especially my family, my friends and fellow musicians. You’ve all contributed to getting me to this amazing opportunity.

Second, there are tons of amazing musicians in the lineup so if you haven’t got your passes yet, be sure to do so. I will be performing at the Front Porch Stage on Saturday, August 11th, the band and I look forward to seeing you there!

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