On 17 December, Emzae performed a livestreamed set on YouTube to raise money for the Nottingham Hospitals Arts Programme...
Emzae spent six years writing, recording, mixing and producing her debut album All Those Things I Thought I Knew, which was released on 1 September to universal critical acclaim. A frequent performer on BBC Introducing stages, Emzae has played Nottingham's Hockley Hustle, Dot to Dot and Beat The Streets festivals.
This livestream, which took place at 8pm on Sunday 17 December, was in aid of the Nottingham Hospitals Arts Programme, which brings music, poetry and colour to Nottingham's hospitals - a cause which is clearly close to Emzae's heart as she explains at the start of the livestream that she was diagnosed with the chronic illness ME at a young age.
Taking place in Emzae's very own bedroom, with the singer sat on her bed playing the piano, the stripped-back set has a very cosy feel to it - perfect for these colder winter months where hibernating for the evening rather than going out sometimes feels necessary. Emzae promised that she would be performing some covers later on in the livestream, but started with one of her original tracks, I Guess, Anyway.
She said that performing the track was "strangely nerve-racking" and that she "isn't too good at piano" but you wouldn't have been able to tell either of those things if she hadn't mentioned them. It must be strange, though, knowing a live audience are watching you, but not being able to see their reactions. I was anticipating applause but, of course, none came - instead, the sentiment was shared via a flurry of YouTube chat messages.
She then went on to perform a pair of covers; first, a song by Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES titled Are You Awake? followed by Jupiter 4 by Sharon Van Etten, both of which suited her voice very well. She then returned to her own music with the track Clairvoyant from her recent debut album, which proved to be a fan-favourite among those in the live chat, who were very happy to hear it included in the set.
When reading the chat, it was at this point that I spotted Nigel King, who took the very photos used in this article and is a regular contributor to LeftLion, showing support to Emzae, alongside fellow Nottingham artist Simon Waldram, whose song we have reviewed in the upcoming issue of the magazine. That's the wonderful thing about Nottingham - it really is a tight-knit community where everyone supports one another and lifts each other up at every opportunity.
For her final song on the piano, Emzae chose one by Lana Del Rey - Shades of Cool from Ultraviolence, opting to lower the chorus by an octave as she felt it sounded better that way. She then swapped the piano for her guitar for the rest of the set, starting with a cover of Overload by the Sugababes, which she had previously performed on a BBC Radio Derby show.
She then played her final original track of the evening, Another Lesson Learnt, which appears on her debut album All Those Things I Thought I Knew, before ending the proceedings with one last cover, choosing What Is It About Men? by Amy Winehouse - a hugely daunting and legendary artist to cover, but she handled it excellently and really made the song her own.
It's important to remember that this livestream was for a brilliant cause, the Nottingham Hospitals Arts Programme. Emzae has already reached her target of £500 on her Just Giving page, but she is still accepting donations so please do head over and donate if you can.
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