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Ring in the new year with the soaring cinematic jazz of Charlotte crooner Emily Sage

Emily Sage performing live at The Loft Sessions CLT.
Christina Gregor
Emily Sage performing live at The Loft Sessions in Charlotte.

When was the last time a voice stopped you in your tracks, a voice so pure that it simultaneously paints a lush soundscape and transports you to a magical place and time? Because cinematic jazz singer Emily Sage can do just that.

"It’s the place where I am emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually even. I’m just using words to paint that."
– Emily Sage, cinematic jazz artist

Interview Highlights:

On her sound as ‘cinematic jazz’:

It’s definitely jazz music but when you listen to it, I love creating a landscape and an experience with words — like that painting idea. So, the cinema of it comes from the listener. It’s in the production, but it also comes from the listener. It’s like a collaboration.

On how her visual art shapes her music:

Whenever I’m writing a song, I always see myself in a place singing it — even before it’s finished being written. So, I need to use the words to describe that place even if it’s not super explicit. It’s the place where I am emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually even. I’m just using words to paint that.

On the Charlotte Loft Sessions:

We started them out of a need and a want to have a space that is welcoming, intimate and homey. (We want the sessions) to spotlight artists in the city, and also create a space where people can come and meet other creatives. (We want to) have this cultivated community of artists listening to a curated listening space.

The Loft Sessions also created an opportunity to meet other musicians in Charlotte that are a little bit more underground. There is a lot here happening underground and you kind of have to dig around to see it. When you do, you can start really feeling the buzz.

On the first song she wrote after moving to Charlotte:

The first song that I wrote by myself after leaving Nashville is called “How to Write a Song” and it’s basically me writing a song to myself reminding me it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s even better if it’s not.

Just sing a melody, just say some words that you like and string them together. Take a deep breath and take a step, and don’t compare yourself because everyone takes their steps one foot at a time. That’s just how you have to live your life.

On writing songs:

There is so much magic in songwriting and collaborating, and I always love changing it up. I can’t write a song the same way twice, so if that means on a different instrument, with different words, with different people, it always has to be new. It’s a new song, it’s a new feeling.

Music featured in this #WFAEAmplifier chat:

Emily Sage - "Lady Darkness"
Emily Sage - "In the Morning (feat. Ellie Schmidly)"
Emily Sage - "Endless"
Emily Sage - "You Have My Heart (feat. Stephen Day)"

Stay Connected:

Click here to subscribe to the Amplifier podcast (and to give the podcast a rating/review in your favorite podcast app).

Click here to discover your next favorite Charlotte musician on our Amplifier Spotify playlist. Like what you hear? Let us know on social media!

Chat with Joni Deutsch and tag WFAE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Joni Deutsch was the manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, at WFAE, where also hosted the Amplified podcast and helped produce such podcasts as FAQ City, SouthBound, Inside Politics, Work It and the Apple Podcast chart-topping series She Says. Joni also led WFAE's and Charlotte's first podcast festival.