One day you’ll see her name in lights – well that is her plan, anyway.
Emily Rice has an impressive set of pipes and a passion to share her music with the world.
The 20-year-old was one of six finalists in the University of Auckland’s songwriter of the year competition, held in late September.
She hopes to make her mark on the music industry.
“I pretty much want to be singing and writing and gigging and traveling.
“I want to find a way to live with my music,” she says.
She describes her sound as “jazzy organic soul” and says she has a variety of influences, including the likes of Kimbra, Sting, Norah Jones and Jon Foreman.
Rice says the most important thing for her is to write music she believes in.
“It is important for me to be completely in the music, to write from the heart and soul.
“I like singing songs that have got hope in them. Songs that are going to make people see things they might not have.”
Emily’s sister Sophie is one of her biggest supporters and says Emily has been performing since they were kids.
“I remember when we were younger and she would always want to do musical numbers at family dinners.
“It did not matter what time of the meal, she would always get up there and go for it.”
She says she believes Emily has what it takes to make it in the music industry.
“Em has the drive, a real passion. She wants to take risks and jump in the deep end.
“I have definite faith that she will go far,” she says.
Sophie says Emily has an extensive fan club of family and friends who love to watch her on stage.
“Every time she performs I get more and more stoked because I can see how much she has grown. We are so a part of her journey, we’re her supporters,”
Emily is in her third year of a music degree at the University of Auckland.
She started by doing a year of jazz but has since cross-credited into the popular music major.
One of Emily’s music tutors, Stephen Matthews, says Emily is outgoing, enthusiastic and joyful.
“She has a real joy in her connection with her music,” he says.
He says her vivacious personality comes through in her musical writing.
“Her lyrics are playful but they are imbued with her own personal take on life.”
Matthews says he thinks Emily has the drive needed to have a career in music.
“You have got to have a tenacious spirit to make it in the business and she has certainly shown that she’s got that.
“You have got to have talent and skill, but you need to have the drive to keep connecting with the world, despite the challenges.
“She’s got that connectedness as well, that wonderful intent to dig deeper,” he added.
As for Emily, she says she combats fear about her future by writing songs about it.
“I wrote a song called Waits for Me and it speaks about how I really don’t know where I will be in five years, but I do know that whatever happens, it is going be good,” she says.
“I trust that there’s a plan for my life, sometimes it is a little scary not knowing, but it’s also incredibly exciting!
“So I guess I will just wait and see where my music takes me.”