Emma Shaka is a singer, songwriter and performer based in France. Emma produces her Pop-Rock sound, with the help of David.H. Ortola (bass), Vincent Perotti (percussion) and James Le Joliff (guitar). She released her debut album, “Who I Am,” in 2012, and has ventured throughout Norway, France and China, fueling her psyche and vehement drive to succeed in the music industry. A totally independent artist, as far as the creative processes are concerned, Shaka manages all aspects of her project single-handedly, while guitarist James Le Joliff carefully attends to all technical issues.
An unfortunate axiom in music history is that rock music has been and perhaps always will be a male-dominated scene, but that’s not to say there haven’t been any notable females in the history of rock music, but few of them were ever fully embraced. Those who made an impact and a definite difference include (in no particular order); Janis Joplin, PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, The Wilson sisters, Chrissie Hind, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Suzi Quattro, Stevie Nicks, Tori Amos, Alanis Morrisette and there’s still a list of others to mention. Then of course, there is Emma Shaka. She is only her debut album, but what already makes her remarkable, is that she manages to run the gamut of emotions through the course of only ten songs, on “Who I Am.”
Shaka’s vocals are delivered with brazen conviction and her novel approach to songwriting will astound many people upon first impression. Her emphasis on honesty over all else will help break down more barriers for women in rock music, providing a voice to a demographic that is too often ignored. Each of the songs are fresh, raw, and catchy, and the lyrics are honest, empathetic and straight down the line. Just listen to “Sex Away” for a taste of how direct she can be!
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“Who I Am,” is a complete rock package: in lyrical depth, creative melodies, and music that will draw in fans from all genres. Shaka shines in her thoughtful, more mellow moments such as the title track “Who Am I,” which is about self-discovery, “Let Me Try,” and the closest thing to a bittersweet love song, “What About Me.” She also radiates on the other end of the spectrum on more energetic, wisdom enriched and sometimes even angry tracks like “Can You Hear Me”, “Coming Up”, “I Hate This”, “Scared Of You” and “Checking You Were Gone”.
This album is not girl power, it’s woman power. The mixes on the album, balance emotive melodies and lyrics with raspy or smooth backing tones and strong rhythms, while the textures float easily from soft acoustic to heavily-clipped, over-driven guitars. Shaka rants with a venomous tongue over ravaging rock n’ roll energy, chants with refreshing sarcasm, and grieves piercingly to the heart.
Throughout all of the tracks, her vocals and lyrics are center stage. It’s always great to hear a work that represents both passion and professionalism, and in the indie music world, having both of these qualities, is like having a full-house in a game of Poker!
If you’ve got one hand in your pocket, it should be getting out the money to buy this album. It’s worth every penny!
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