Everywhere she goes, singer/songwriter Em Sloane carries a ring on her finger emblazoned with one word: Truth. This ring is a resounding symbol of her arrival into knowledge of self as a young woman who has been a recording and performing artist since the age of 12. Now in her `20s following stepping stone periods with several high-profile producers and engineers, New Jersey-born Em Sloane (short for Emily) is chiseling out musical and visual performance art that speaks one hundred percent from her heart and spirit.
At age 4, little Emily was taken by her grandparents to experience a dazzling concert by Britney Spears. Eight years later at age 12, she found herself at Westlake Recording studio in Los Angeles with producer Andy Ditaranto (of Disney fame) singing on the exact microphone in Studio C that Britney had recorded hits on. Though her father, a very conservative physician (now deceased), pushed her to pursue a traditional college education, her mother – once a jewelry designer who gave up her art for marriage – instilled in Em Sloane not to follow in her footsteps in that way but to go for her dreams with all the passion she had inside her. Em Sloane and Ditaranto worked together for six years until his passing in 2014 which left Em Sloane stranded, unfinished and unsure of herself.
Over the next several years, Em Sloane worked on scores of songs with producers and engineers including Tony Papa (Willie Nelson, James Brown, “Weird Al” Yankovic). Then a connection with Chris Young resulted in several songs leading to a breakthrough composition entitled “Grace.” This inspired a sojourn and sabbatical to Woodstock in upstate New York where Em Sloane’s songs began to take on a more mature sound and sense of purpose, recalling the voices of strong women from before Em Sloane’s time in the `50s, `60s and `70s. “Woodstock proved to be a very magical place,” Em Sloane marvels. “We’d ask for something and the next day…it would manifest. I’ve been writing since I was 16 but I never had an experience like that – a time that was my college.” Em Sloane also made key performances at World Café Live’s “Love Fest” in “Philly Rising” series (2017-18) and her songs selected twice to perform at Durango Songwriter’s Expo.
Em Sloane succeeded to then chart on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary top 20 with singles Say What You Mean and Hear Your Love. The 2020 debut album, Dear Life, an accomplished, empowering collection of R&B-inflected pop that spawned truth-seeking single “Say What You Mean,” which has had over 800,000 YouTube views to date proved to not fully be what she desired. She knew there was more in her.
“I feel like I’ve been building to this moment, this style and sound, and nobody’s holding me back anymore,” said Em Sloane. “It’s fully me, immersed in this music.”
Em Sloane’s creative emancipation began with an online connection to Scottish producer Gregor Stobie, with whom she began crafting some of the songs that would eventually appear on Divine Eminence. “I was like a bird out of a cage!” she enthused. “Finally able to express everything I wanted to get out.”
Her music flourished further when Em Sloane started collaborating with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Boo Mitchell (Bruno Mars, Silk Sonic, John Mayer, Rod Stewart) and his producer son Uriah. Working at the family’s legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, where Al Green and the Memphis Soul sound were reborn, the trio shaped the sound that became Divine Eminence.
Em Sloane’s new sound incorporates her rock roots – Grace Slick, The Eagles and ABBA – into a pop-rock-soul mélange that brings the emotive melodies and delivery of the 1950s–1980s firmly into the here-and-now through cultured production and an eclectic array of influences including Motown, Michael Jackson, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, and Billy Joel. In contrast to her debut,
Divine Eminence’s uniquely old-as-new vibe is enhanced with a live band and backup singers.
A self-described old soul, on Divine Eminence Em Sloane frames her timeless, classic musicality with a sonic palette that immediately resonates with contemporary listeners. It’s a full-sounding, soul-enriching record that radiates the self-discovery of young adulthood like few before. “Boo and Uriah just let me go; they let me run wild,” said Em. “I needed that like a horse – y’know, they’ve gotta run!”
Em Sloane has also been able to enlist David Ivory, industry veteran, who has been known for his work with the Roots, Erykah Badu and Halestorm. He has been a key component as he molds these records with his vocal production and mixing technique. It takes a village and a great one at that.
Diverse and inclusive, embracing everything from Disney-style choral vocals and ‘70s folk-rock to up-to-the-minute dancefloor sensibilities, the album is preceded by the uplifting, strings-sweetened single “Siphon”. “It’s a big empowerment anthem – I’m rooted in my purpose, and you won’t take it away from me,” said Em Sloane. “Too often, I let people come into my life and take up all the room, but this is the end of an era and I’ll no longer let people with impure intentions in ”
The follow-up single “Back Into Your Heart” is a rock-oriented exploration of renewal of the heart chakra that encapsulates Em Sloane’s diverse inspirations, including an ambitious, Queen-inspired bridge. “It comes from a place where you’ve been so hurt in life and love that you don’t think you’ll ever trust again,” Em explained. “But the Divine can renew your heart and brings people and experiences into your life to reshape that.”
Divine Eminence captures the utterly captivating, ultra-authentic rebirth of an already accomplished young artist and takes a bold, infectious step into Em Sloane’s glittering future.
“I’m not afraid; I’m not holding back anymore,” she concluded. “I’ve taken back my energy, taken back my light source, taken back my purpose. This is what I came here to do.”