She’s the British/Australian singer who leant her voice to a character in JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Emmi is the next big thing, and we sat down to talk to her about shower songs, her singing origins and shooting the film.
Tell us about yourself, how did you get into singing?
“We travelled a lot when I was kid, so I very quickly learned to create this world in my head where I spent most of my time. I would listen to music as a constant and I’d sing along when I was alone, but it wasn’t till much later I would do so in front of anyone else. I wasn’t much a fan of my own voice, see. Really, it was discovering that I loved to write songs that ultimately forced me to embrace singing as my necessary evil. I was working as an actress when I suddenly started writing a tune a day. I knew I’d caught this strange new bug and I had to chase it somehow, so I left a tour and just wrote. The rest is history. My voice and I get on now for the most part. She’s alright.”
What was it like working on Fantastic Beasts?
“Utterly brilliant! Even if, in truth, I had no idea I was working on Fantastic Beasts at the beginning. It was all a glorious secret. I knew I was recording a fairly peculiar tune about unicorns and hippogriffs but I couldn’t know what for. I eventually linked the words to JK Rowling and got quietly excited, but as a creative, experience tells you not to get too ahead of yourself. It wasn’t until I walked into a special effects office in London for a motion capture session I believed it was really happening. I couldn’t tell anyone for another eight months though, so it was like carrying this magnificent diamond in your pocket wherever you went and showing no-one. The Warner Bros music team were really kind to me and invited me down to watch a scoring session at Abbey Road, so I had a tiny peek into what goes into a project of this magnitude. Every inch of that film has unbelievable amounts of love and skill and mastery poured into it. It’s almost overwhelming to think about and I’m just so grateful to be a small part of that.”
What did you initially think of your character in Fantastic Beasts?
“The first time I saw her was in the motion capture session, and she wasn’t fully formed yet but I got a fair gist. I have to say I was surprised to see what a saucy minx she was! She’s changed the face of goblins forever for me. I love her.”
Is Jazz your thing?
“Absolutely. My obsession with jazz started in my childhood/teenage years. My aunty in England would send me CDs as we shared a love for the old greats. Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Nina [Simone]. They have all been in my ears as a constant and it was always the mastery of lyricism and humanity of their voices that got me, not to mention the big band. If I ever ended up on that desert island that all the interviewers keep suggesting I’ll be sent to one day… you can be sure jazz would be there with me (most likely something by Cole Porter).
Get to Know Emmi: