Emaline Delapaix’s journey has taken her around the world. Originally from Australia, she has lived in Canada and now resides in Germany. Everywhere she has lived she has taken her music with her, and her message of love, peace and respect for all the earth’s creatures. Emaline will be releasing her first full-length CD in the summer of 2013, and she will be touring the US and Canada with her new record. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Emaline, to find out more about her background, her music, and the way she uses her voice to help animals.
We are doing another Vegan Mainstream Giveaway this week! Tell us about a moving vegan experience you have had in the comments section below for a chance to win a free download of Emaline’s Between Breeding Seasons EP! Contest ends Friday, December 21!
Vegan Mainstream: Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you get started as a musician, and why did you decide to make that your career?
Emaline Delapaix: I am originally from Australia, growing up in a small town by the seaside. I moved to Melbourne when I was a teenager, which is a great city for music and art and offered me a lot of great possibilities to pursue my music and meet other musicians to form an all-female band back in 2001. For several years we toured Australia, North America and parts of Europe, but it was always a part-time thing as we had jobs and commitments back in Australia. In 2003 after a terrible break up I decided to move to London for 6 months to play music and see Europe. That was when I fell in love with the Northern Hemisphere and Europe, and decided I had to be on this side of the world. I officially moved to London in 2004. Since then I have also lived in Toronto, a tiny island in Western Canada, in a caravan in eastern Germany and now Berlin where I have made my home. Only a singer songwriter, and not playing any instruments for most of the years of playing, I decided that in order to survive and grow as a musician I needed to learn to play guitar and piano. So I began playing and officially did my own solo show in late October 2010 in Vermont, USA. Since then it’s been a busy time and I have recently put together a great German band based here in Berlin consisting of cello, electric/lapsteel guitar, drums and myself on piano, acoustic guitar and a little baby celtic harp. For me, music was never a choice. Music is part of who I am, what I feel and one of the ways I express myself. I told my father when I was two years old that I would sing and this thought never left my head. Although a slow starter, I always knew this is what I would do and here I am 11 years later.
VM: Can you talk about why you find music an effective way to reach out to others with sometimes difficult messages?
ED: I think as human beings ultimately we want and need to connect with others. Music is a powerful way of doing this and some songwriters take things to a deeper level, using their music to express and convey difficult messages, often healing others while healing themselves in the process. This is how I see my music at times. I often sing about the darker side of life including depression and the darkness that comes along with that. For me there is nothing more rewarding then people coming up and thanking me for speaking openly about my own battle with depression and for my song ‘turmoil of winter’ which talks about a very difficult period in my life. There are several ways a song can reach out to the audience, whether it be with the lyrics, melody, voice – even sometimes visually – so it can touch people in different ways, which is what is so fantastic about music as opposed to other forms of art.
VM: Can you give one or two stories about moving experiences you have had where you know you have reached people?
ED: When I first started playing music around 10 years ago I played a song called ‘reins’ which is about child abuse, and I had a young girl come up to me who was very emotional. She thanked me so much for the song and asked me for a hug. It turns out she had recently gathered up enough strength to leave her home and her abusive father and my song gave her hope that she would find the strength to keep going and get past all the pain. I heard several months later that she had taken up guitar and had been playing this song to people and was doing well. I will never forget her and to me there is no greater reward than to touch another human being and give them strength on their own journey.
VM: Are audiences in Canada, Germany and Australia different? If so, how?
ED: Yes I think audiences in Australia can be very honest at times, and maybe not as polite as Canadians and definitely not as much as Germans. That can be both a negative and positive thing as it’s sometimes hard to know if they really like what you are doing in Germany because most of the time people will sit quietly and respectfully even if they are not that into what you are doing. Personally, because of the style of music I do, I really prefer Canadian and German audiences as for some reason the melancholic and deep style goes down better there but that said, it’s been a long time since I have been back so who knows what it would be like now.
VM: Can you talk a bit about what inspires you when you are writing songs?
ED: Really for me it’s as simple as living life, the people I meet and being touched or challenged by the things I am exposed to. Often I write much more when I am feeling sad or melancholy or the opposite, when I am overwhelmed by the beauty of nature, as cheesy as that may sound.
VM: Tell us about Between Breeding Seasons – in one or two sentences, how would you describe what that CD is about?
ED: It’s a place between the past and the future. Where one can reflect, gather strength and heal wounds in preparation for a new time of growth.
It can be a dark and difficult place, but it’s needed in order to move forward and evolve.
VM: Why is it important to you to visibly support causes that you are committed to with the profits you receive from your CD sales?
ED: There is so much suffering in the world and a lot of it is unneccessary, including what we put our animal friends through. Since I was a child I wanted to help animals and though I don’t have a lot of money I want to do as much as I can within my means. I rescued my cat Reece from a kill shelter in Toronto back in 2005. If I hadn’t taken him in, he would have been dead in one week. He is my companion and he has brought me a lot of joy and some pain! (haha) But he is part of my life and I love him. As human beings, I think a lot of us don’t respect ourselves, let alone other people, animals or the earth. If we can teach children and others to respect animals as living creatures with feelings, I think this will effectively also help us to treat each other better. At the end of the day, I think as humans we need to connect to be able to process and understand things so I want to use my voice in music to gently expose people to the plight of animals in our society and other issues. It’s the least I can do.
Don’t forget to enter Vegan Mainstream’s Giveaway this week! Tell us about a moving vegan experience you have had in the comments section below for a chance to win a free download of Emaline’s Between Breeding Seasons EP! Contest ends Friday, December 21!