CultureEmiko: 'I want my music to inspire people"

Emiko: ‘I want my music to inspire people”


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As part of our BLACK British edition The Detail which you can read now, we sat down with Singer Emiko to reflect on Black Britishness and his singing career

With a voice so timely yet so timeless West London’s singer-songwriter Emiko is an exciting artist that exudes the kind of energy, soul and quality found in the timeless music from our past.

What does being Black and British mean to you?

For me, I think it means navigating, all the influences that I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to growing up. I have my African Nigerian culture mixed with British culture which Is mixed with the Black British experience.

It’s like finding yourself within all these different forms of identification and its nice because you get to have a mixture of all those types of cultures and it actually gives you a more well-rounded outlook on life. I see Black British as being well-rounded.

How does your music reflect the black and British experience of growing up in the UK?

I’d say it reflects the black and British experience purely because I’m a black artist making music but also because the genre of music that I do (R&B) is inherently an American genre so even in the UK, we are still creating our own version of R&B with a British or Black British spin on it.

It’s quite an exciting time but obviously, we grew up listening to a lot of R&B from the states so it’s nice that we actually get to define what we interpret as R&B in the UK whilst also having influences from the American culture. For me, it’s just telling stories and being able to have my story resonate with another Black British folk as well

Who are the trailblazers who inspire you to curate music and more?

I would say a lot of the time it’s my peers, so people that I’m on the come up with. We see each other progress and see give each other advice. I love my peers in the creative scene and I love seeing other people succeed as well; it’s quite inspiring.

How does your music empower and represent the Black and British identity?

I think that it’s so important that we tell our stories and my story is to do with being British, it is to be with doing black, my experiences, my pain, love, anguish, mental health, all these things that make me who I am and i put them all into my music.

I always want there to be some sort of message or substance to the music I create, whether that’s through soulful sounds or spoken word or even rapping. I also know that the fact I’m doing what I’m doing means that I’m inspiring other people and opening doors for black creatives. They may say ‘well if he can do it then I can do it.

I love how my music can empower others and also how it can show that there are different types of black British identity. I’m just one type being, you know, soulful sounds R&B that type of jazz genre but we have a multitude of genres of black artists who are representing themselves in so many different ways so it’s just letting people know that there’s space for you regardless of what your musical interest is.

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