Depending on whom you speak with, it was either a total surprise that Moncton pop singer Emilie Rae would eventually make a foray into the music business or it was no surprise at all. It was never a question of talent, although the charismatic Rae would be the first to admit that she didn’t necessarily believe that she had any kind of gift.
The daughter of a choral member mother and a father who is a veteran of the Moncton music scene for more than three decades now, Rae says that music was an integral part of her childhood.
“Seeing my mother sing was quite common but because my father performed mainly in clubs and bars, I couldn’t see him perform in that environment until after I had turned 19,” Rae says. “But even before that, it was common for me to see my father playing music around the house and of course, we would always sing together at Christmas time.”
Like many teens, Rae’s early musical likes were chart topping pop singers like Mariah Carey. Fortunately, she would be saved from the potential black hole of vapid pop singers by her father and his collection of vinyl.
“As a 13-year-old trying to find my voice, I grew up listening to a lot of Mariah Carey. But then my sister and I fell into our father’s collection of 1970s classic rock. I just totally fell in love with Fleetwood Mac and Queen. To sit down and listen to those albums on vinyl was a real eye-opening experience for me.”
And while she dabbled in some public singing while she was in high school, performing at talent shows and the like, Rae never really considered pursuing singing professionally until just a few years ago.
“I was a very late bloomer with respect to when I started really singing publicly. I did some singing at various talent shows when in high school and while I enjoyed it, I never really believed I was all that talented. But then people started to respond to my voice, and not just my friends and family,” she laughs.
The encouragement Rae received from complete strangers played a big part in her decision to pursue music. She began posting well-received versions of cover songs on YouTube, which fanned the flames even further.
With the help of fellow Moncton musicians including Danny Bourgeois and singer-songwriter Brendan Furlotte, Rae released her debut EP in 2012.
“Trying to make a career out of music is something that has been a little on the overwhelming side,” she admits. “I am still very new to the scene but the support I have received from people like Danny, Brendan and Terry Parker has been outstanding. I feel very fortunate to have surrounded myself with the right people.”
The release of the CD along with a rising profile of live performances has helped Rae’s confidence in immeasurable ways. And though she is anxious to get back into the recording studio for a followup effort, she also recognizes the critical importance that performing live plays in helping break today’s music stars.
“Getting more stage experience is definitely a top priority. Receiving positive comments on YouTube is one thing but there is really nothing that compares to getting up in front of a group of people and singing for them. I love getting up in front of people and singing for them. Having the opportunity to see the immediate impact that my music is having on the audience is just amazing.”
What: Emilie Rae
When: Thursday, July 31, 7 p.m.
Where: Victoria Park, Moncton. In the event of rain, the performance will be cancelled.