Identified as a ‘potential international hit’ singer with a distinctly pop song, Emi Li’s first song in English (all the previous ones have been in Swedish) normally wouldn’t feature in a publication like this that is dedicated fundamentally to ‘Indie’ music.
But there are several reasons why I chose to write about it. Firstly, the label, TempoCo, is an independent one, and it is new to the Nordic countries; I believe its origins lie in Bosnia & Herzegovina and it selected Sweden as its first Western European outpost, setting up shop in Gävle, a favourite town of mine and a very musical one. In doing so it came to an agreement with local company Comedia, whose artists regularly appear here, as a joint venture in Sweden and with that company’s Chief, Claes Olsen, as label manager and A&R. He’s also the Executive Producer of the song. With Mr Olsen in charge expect a lot of activity and artist releases.
So we’re helping to promote a new independent label as much as anything else.
But more than that. Emi Li is also the first artist on the label, and on which she ‘kicks off’ her international career. (I had to get a football reference in somewhere).
Lastly, I do actually like the song, partly because it has a reggae theme to it and we only recently featured a reggae version of a Tuvaband song, which I never thought I’d hear and because I’ve heard Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’ more times than I care to remember this last week.
A little about Emi Li. Making her debut in 2017, the following year she won the regional final of the Swedish radio national talent competition P4 Nästa with her song ‘OMG’. She has an artistic background in theatre and has studied at Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre in California. The theatre background is said to be evident in her presence, expressions, and body language on stage. Her songs vary from catchy up-tempo pop like this one to ballads inspired by life’s strongest moments and feelings.
Her latest single in Swedish, ‘Under samma Himmel’ (Under the same sky), was recently chosen as the Swedish theme song for the global campaign Act 4 Climate Change, leading up to United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this year.
So there you have it. A new star is born? Perhaps. The final reason I like the song is that it reminds me very much of an English artist you’ve probably never heard of, but should have - Amy Studt - who was writing bubbly pop songs like this by the dozen for fun when she was 15 and who ought to have gone on to be a big star. Unfortunately it all went wrong for her when her label dropped her although she’s still going. Hopefully, luck will favour Emi Li more kindly.
Find her on Facebook.