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Emma Volard Speaks for Those Who Can’t

Article by Emma Volard

Future soul vocalist and songwriter Emma Volard has never shied away from being a warrior for inclusivity, and these themes are often at the forefront of their storytelling. Singing has been a tool for Emma to navigate emotions, conditioning, experiences and self. Having grown up with a sister who is non-verbal, Emma never took for granted their ability to express themselves and share their voice. At the forefront of their compositions and performance is using the voice to fight for others who don’t have that privilege or who don’t feel they can speak up Emma goes into the details of each song on the album for Ramona Mag.

Mind’s Eye

Mind’s Eye is a song that dabbles in the ill fate of perfectionism. I wrote it as a reminder to be easy on myself, but also as a way to keep myself accountable for my actions and self-talk. The instrumental of this track was handed to me near the end of the album writing stage by two of my band members and favourite producers, Harry Leggatt (AKA Uno Lizard) and Tom Edwards (AKA T-edd). I was instantly drawn to the brokenbeat drum break and the hopeful sounding harmony.


I wrote ‘Shinin’ as a shoulder to lean on to a friend who was in a dark place. I wanted to let her know that I was there, and to be gentle with herself. It’s an ode to growth, and a statement that even in your darkest times, you will heal and you will shine again. The lyrics in this track encapsulates the overall theme of the album, grappling with the pain and joy that comes with reconditioning, healing and personal growth. Harry Leggatt (co-writer of the record) and I made this track in my bedroom, and we knew straight away that it had something special. We wanted to create something that was made for the rough edges of the dancefloor harking back to the classic chicago house sounds of producers like Mr Fingers.


I was taken aback by the ethereal vocal chop when I first heard the instrumental for ‘Alibi’ (written by Harry Leggatt). I wanted to dig into this feeling and write an emotional acid drum’n’bass track to fit the mood. I was heavily inspired by the crisp and intricate drum tones of Yussef Dayes, oversaturated guitar and gritty sub phatty bass in the mixing stage of this tune. The lyrics tell a story of toxic romance. In the final coda of the track, it falls into a disjointed and raucous breakdown that signifies someone breaking free and standing up for themself, ending on the line ‘cut that shit’.


This track is an ode to our mothers and matriarchs. It’s about the resilience, care, leadership and innate strength that womxn possess. The incredible, Audrey Powne, features on trumpet in this song. I have always been a huge fan of her work as a female artist, and the spaces and vulnerability she shows in her music. I was so excited to have her as a part of this project.

Darker Waters

This song is about allowing oneself to feel heavy feelings. It was written after the end of lockdown in a climate where everything felt so fragile. It’s about listening to yourself, and acknowledging the highs and lows. The name of the song sums it all up; ‘Darker Waters’ – feeling deep emotions, looking for comfort in turbulent times and ‘search[ing] for the light that grows in truth’. Musically I was very much inspired by local electronic/jazz project Big Yawn, who often put samples in the forefront of their music, create jungle breaks and utilise brassy string patches.

Brooklyn Loft 

‘Brooklyn Loft’ was the first song that was written for this 7-song project. It set up the trajectory for the sound of the LP. Brooklyn Loft is a song that grapples with the fear that comes when you surrender to loving someone. Love is both beautiful and ugly, and tender but cruel, and this track goes through the motions of all of that. I love the string sample in this track and the tension it evokes. I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, and drumming in rock bands. I think this song really leans into that energy.

Two Sides

‘Two Sides’ was the last song I wrote for this body of work. It poured out of me in a cathartic release one night. It was both painful and beautiful to create. It’s a track about the freedom you feel when you decide to be the most authentic version of yourself. It took me a really long time to allow myself to share my queerness and feel comfortable in it, and I think the instrumental and melody emulate that story. This song is a ballad to people who don’t fit into one gender, and a thank you letter to those who fought for queer rights – this fight is far from over.

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