Emilia Mårtensson is a London based Swedish vocalist and composer of considerable repute. After her two latest album releases Emilia has built a well- deserved reputation as one of the most exciting young vocalists on the UK Jazz scene and she has this year been awarded ‘Vocalist of the Year’ at The Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Her gently expressive voice and highly personal compositions are firmly rooted within the folklore and countryside of her native southern Sweden, adding to the mystique and allure of a distinctive and truly original artist.
Emilia was nominated and chosen in 2015 to partake in ‘The Take Five’ Artist Program delivered by national music producers Serious. She was also rewarded the ‘Women Make Music’ funding scheme delivered by PRSF for her new Album Project, which will be released later this year on the London Based label ‘Two Rivers’.
Her critically acclaimed contributions (both as vocalist and lyricist) to Kairos 4Tet no doubt helped them bring home a 2011 MOBO Award, while her distinctive voice led The Observer to deem her ‘The New Face of British Jazz 2012′. In the same year, she released her debut album ‘And So It Goes…’ on Babel Label. The album is a project between Emilia and pianist Barry Green, which documents the duo’s shared love of a wide range of material, presenting fresh and exciting arrangements of a superb choice of songs. Drawing on the wistful folk songs of Emilia’s homeland alongside some of the greatest songs of the last century, the recording is a finely poised blend of Jazz, Folk and artful Alternative Pop. The album was listed as one of the top ten best albums in 2012 by JazzWise.
On her most recent album ‘Ana’, dedicated to her grandparents and named after Emilia’s Slovenian grandmother’s Ana-Emilia, Mårtensson continues to blur the lines between Jazz/Folk and Alt- Pop through her own compositions as well as collaborations with some of the finest writers that London’s music scene has to offer. Personal interpretations of tracks by Paul Simon and Joe Henderson also feature and of course a couple of Swedish Folk songs, one of which Emilia wrote herself. This second album demonstrates Emilia’s constant evolution as both a songwriter and performer, retaining tender poignant tones with powerful observations of human nature through her lyrics. The musicians on the album fully compliment this journey, adding their own magical touches to the heartfelt arrangements. The album was listed as one of the top ten best albums in 2014 by JazzWise.
Emilia has toured the UK extensively and in 2013 was nominated by Svensk Jazz for their so called Pulsslags Turnen, commissioning a 2 week-long tour across Sweden, along with her band. Emilia has also performed in venues and festivals such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, The Royal Albert Hall, Pizza Express Jazz Club, The Vortex, The 606 Club, on Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 show, The Love Supreme Jazz Festival, The London Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival (to name just some of the places). She has also appeared on large international stages and in festivals such as Bimhuis in Amsterdam, Sunset Sunside Jazz Club in Paris, Baladoor Jazz Festival in Slovenia, Vossa Jazz Festival in Norway, Umea Jazz Festival in Sweden and Ystad Jazz Festival in Sweden and Fashing in Stockholm and Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana.
Apart from her own albums, Emilia collaborates on many other projects, such as the new ‘Folktronic’ project, going by the name Embla, featuring some of London’s top producers and musicians. Emilia is also featured on many other projects,such as Iain Ballamy’s new project ‘An Apes Progress’ . She also recently recorded vocals for Dave McKeans’s new film La Luna as well as music by accordionist Janez Dovc for the Slovenian movie ‘The Tree’.
“Ana again proves that Martensson has something very special to offer, and the album is something of simple beauty. There’s a brilliantly judged and utterly natural sounding balance between duskiness and pure-toned clarity in her voice, but what really impresses is a talent for story-telling within the context of her songs and for drawing the listener in”. -JazzUK
….”A voice of quite remarkable expressive depth” -JAZZWISE
“Exquisitely beautiful songs… Martensson has struck gold.” – JAZZWISE
…”Martensson invest every sound with a skimming, rapturous lightness and clarity”… JF, The Guardian
…”Ethereal Voice… -Time Out
…”the music is immediately enchanting, bewitching, and approachable…” -AllAboutJazz
‘And so it goes’ could easily turn out to be the best new vocal jazz release of 2012″-Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise
“…Another delighted feature is the pearly innocence of Martensson’s voice and pianist Barry Green’s understated warmth.”-The Daily Telegraph