When and where were you born?
I was born in a town called Lower Hutt, near Wellington, New Zealand, in June 1981. My parents did a fair amount of traveling, and had also spent some time in Brazil since leaving university. I only lived there until I was two and a half, when we moved back to England, but I still like to think of myself as an honorary Kiwi! I really love that country - wide open spaces, beautiful scenery and lovely people.
When did you start to play?
I started off playing the piano, when I was four. We always had a piano in the house, my dad is very musical and my mum loved to sing, so I was surrounded by music from a very young age. My dad had to put wood blocks on the piano pedals so I could reach them. I got into singing properly when I got to secondary school, and my music teacher put me forward for an audition to play Cinderella in a touring children's Welsh National Opera production, in an Oxford theatre. I was amazed when I got the part, and went on stage for the first time. I'll never forget that. Since then, I have been singing my heart out at every available opportunity.
Tell us about some of your previous projects.
Aside from playing Cinderella at age 12, running a girls' Gospel Choir and performing in musical theatre productions whilst at school, my professional singing life didn't really begin until I left university in 2003, and got a one-off gig with a certain Australian tribute band who played Pink Floyd. After that first show in Liverpool, the rest, as they say, is history...
If you had to take one album to your desert island, what would it be and why?
Oh Lord, this is going to take some thinking about. I have, let's say, a very wide taste in music; I have all sorts of influences, and my favourites change almost daily! However, I love Led Zeppelin's 'Houses of the Holy', to close my eyes and rock out to; Nick Drake's 'Bryter Layter', which is so good, and reminds me of the early days I spent with my husband, and also of our wedding; and Derek and the Dominos' album 'Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs', which makes me think of summer days, driving along the road with the windows down. Sorry, no way could I choose just one. There are also so many others.
What gear do you tour with?
My voice, Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish for my face, Bach's Rescue Remedy, a large bag on wheels and a pair of comfy slippers. I use Shure SM58 Betas on stage, and Hand Held Audio in-ear-monitors.
One obscure interesting fact about yourself.
Apart from the fact I was born in New Zealand, which is always a good ice-breaker, I can do a pretty convincing Scouse accent. I have this on good authority. Also, whilst working as a waitress at a family friend's party, aged about fifteen, I managed to sing impromptu backing vocals for Steve Winwood. Four years passed before somebody told me who he was.
Emily Jollands website - emilyjollandsmusic.com