Emma's Imagination

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About Emma's Imagination

A seasoned performer for over a decade, folk-pop singer/songwriter Emma's Imagination became an overnight success after winning the first series of Sky 1's antidote to The X Factor, Must Be the Music. Born Emma Gillespie in Edinburgh in 1983, she regularly moved across Europe while growing up, due to her father's army career. Developing a passion for music at an early age, she taught herself the guitar and piano, and began writing her own teenage angst-filled acoustic material. Encouraged by her best friend, she performed at various open-mike nights, honing her craft while holding down a never-ending stream of unique jobs, including selling vodka jellies at Glastonbury and teaching circus skills in Galloway. After traveling to New York, where she regularly indulged in jamming sessions with local artists, she decided to pursue a career in music and, following a return to the U.K., she moved to Glasgow, where she built up a small fan base busking in the city's streets. In 2010, she auditioned for the Sky 1 talent show Must Be the Music, which unlike Simon Cowell's vehicles, encouraged artists to perform their own material. She received unanimous praise from the three judges, Dizzee Rascal, Sharleen Spiteri, and Jamie Cullum, thanks to her melancholic brand of acoustic folk-pop, and following a semi-final performance of the self-penned "Focus," which reached the Top Ten a week later, she beat new wave band the Pictures in the final at Wembley Arena to win the show's £100,000 prize. Her winning song, "This Day," became her second chart hit, and after signing a deal with Gary Barlow's Future Records label, she recorded her debut album, Stand Still, with producer Martin Terefe (KT Tunstall, James Morrison), which reached number 14 when released in early 2011. ~ Jon O'Brien

Edinburgh, Scotland

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