Fave 5 with Emmet Michael
An Artist Who Inspires Others Lists Artists Who Inspire Him
Emmet Michael has had an exciting 2022.
The Edmonton, Alberta based singer-songwriter received the prestigious Edmonton Music Prize, was booked to play a number of festivals, and got married in August. Michael says the future is “something I am both terrified and excited to ponder at all times. It’s been really cool to be on some bigger stages; that’s not something I had a lot of experience with before. It feels like things are really happening. In COVID, I think there was a portion of time where a lot of people lost hope and weren’t sure about what the future would hold, but now I’m excited again.”
Michael, who never even heard contemporary music until high school, has come a long way since his fundamentalist Christian upbringing. In addition to becoming an accomplished musician, he came out as a transgender man in his late teens and uses his honest lyrics and flowing melodies to inspire listeners. At the same time, there have been a number of musical artists who have inspired Michael along his own artistic and personal journey. Here is a rundown of his top five.
Katie Pruitt and I have a very similar backstory. We both grew up in a religious context, came out as queer and navigated that whole ordeal. I mean, just listening to her live was absolutely incredible. She’s somebody who inspires me a lot to be more myself and to not be afraid of that.
I first heard Allison Russell last year because Brandi Carlile, also one of my favourite musicians, was hyping her up on a podcast episode. So I checked out her stuff and I was like, wow, that is somebody who is not ashamed to say “I went through some very dark times, something really hard and we can get through this together,” and that’s been really, really cool to observe.
And then, of course, Brandi Carlile who is a queer icon in country music. She has a lot of activism in her music, which is something that I really aspire to do as well.
I also really love a band called Manchester Orchestra which is a sort of indie rock band and they talk a lot in their songs about wrestling with different spiritual ideas and relationships. He’s just so poetic in the way he [Andy Hull] writes, which I really, really love.
Wyatt C. Louis
Oh man, how do you pick just five? There’s just so many and then, like, there’s always so few that I really, really love in the same way, but I am going to go with … you know, I came here with the School of Song [a development course for young singer-songwriters]. Wyatt C. Louis (a Plains Cree folk singer-songwriter based in Calgary), who I’ve heard for a while and I’ve been reunited with again. Wyatt is just one of those powerhouse local artists that’s just, kind of a hidden gem. He’s really getting some exposure now and I’m really excited about that.