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My Greystones: Emma Nicolai

By rights, Emma Nicolai should be a great big shining star, battling the likes of Hozier and Ariana for that top spot.

The lady has got the voice, the look, the attitude, and, perhaps most importantly, she’s got the blues.

A fact that will be obvious to anyone who has caught Emma Nicolai at one of the many foot-stompin’, heartbreaking and stadium-filling Ladies In The Blues concerts. The concept is simple – four ladies, four microphones, and a whole lot of blues, jazz and whatever-you’re-having-yourself classics.

When it comes to Emma’s turn to take centre stage, the songs tend to move up a gear emotionally, and down a gear in pitch, as that distinctive, raspy growl rips the heart out of another soul battle-cry. Think Stevie Nicks, only without all the pampering and posturing.

Of clear Italian descent (thanks to pop, Domenico), Emma is the youngest of sixfour boys, two girls – having grown up on Bray’s seafront, living above the family chipper, sweet shop and amusements arcade. Yowsa.

When the family moved to Arklow, and Emma began various jobs – working with horses, in sales – music was always her no.1. So much so that she signed up for a sound engineering course in Bray, and then a traditional and world music course in Dublin. Life was fine and dandy, but then, suddenly, mum, Violet, fell ill, and in a blink, she was gone, dad selling up the family home and buying a pub, The Well, in Kildare.

After two years of getting the business up on its feet, Emma has now moved back to Greystones, the sea, and her first love, music. Having recently signed with a new management company in England, and with plans for a solo album later this year, for now, it’s the joy of belting out those soul classics with Ladies In The Blues. Next up, it’s Christ Church in Bray, on Saturday, March 30th. Tickets and info here., Ladies’ Facebook page is here, and Emma’s is here.

If you can’t catch Emma there, keep watching the stars. This remarkable singer is just about ready for take-off…

1 Comment

  1. Leona says:

    totally agree – a gem of a lady in every way.

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