Life is finally a happy song for Emily Seal.
The St. Albert-born country singer is getting set to celebrate the release of her latest EP, If You Keep This Up, in her hometown on Saturday at LB’s Pub (23 Akins Dr.).
The title of the EP comes from one of the five songs on it, and what Seal said was the first “happy song” she has ever been able to write.
“Writing is a way of venting for me,” she said. “When I’m going through an experience that maybe isn’t so great, I like to write, because it’s kind of a relief from it. And, I don’t know, I feel so cheesy when I’m writing happy songs.
“But I was so lucky to co-write ‘If You Keep This Up’ with Aaron Goodvin, and it just came together so great.”
Seal, 19, graduated from Bellerose Composite High School in 2011, and is thrilled to be back in her hometown to show off her work.
“It’s so exciting. I’m really happy I got to so this event where I’m from,” she said, adding that she is expecting lots of family and friends to come out and help her celebrate.
Seal has travelled to Nashville four times over the last four months to work on her EP with producer Eddie Gore at Insomnia Studios.
“It was so amazing. Everyone there is just so talented and so welcoming. They really appreciate new talent coming in,” said Seal, who had a hand in writing four of the five songs on the disc.
Even though she fits most comfortably into the country mould, Seal draws on blues and pop influences in her music, something she said has come naturally to her ever since she was young.
“I decided that I like other types of music too, so I started taking influences from other genres and kind of incorporating those into my songwriting now and a lot of the songs I do sing now,” she said. “Rather than it just being country, I like to classify my music as alternative country, because a lot of my influences are from indie music, actually.”
The first single from the EP, “Crash and Crumble,” was released to radio stations in September, and has been gaining airplay across Canada ever since.
“I’ve gotten a lot of good responses from it,” Seal said. “I’m really happy with everything that’s happened so far with that single, and hopefully everything goes really well with this CD.”
The title track from the EP will be released to radio at the end of January.
Seal started singing when she was eight years old, first dabbling in musical theatre.
“Soon enough, I realized that I really wanted to sing country music,” she said.
That turned out to be a good decision, as she won the junior singing competition at the Dauphin Country Fest in Dauphin, Man., in 2004, and was the grand winning act in the junior division at the Northlands Park Country Vocal Spotlight in 2005. From there, she competed at a North American Country Music Associations International competition in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., where she was named International Vocalist of the Year and International Entertainer of the Year for her age group.
In August 2012, Seal was among the top 30 singers from across Canada to be featured on the CMT series Big In A Small Town, where her original acoustic version of “Crash and Crumble” earned praise from the show’s judges.
Through all her success so far, though, Seal has kept her feet on the ground and continues to give back by supporting several charities and events in the Edmonton area, like the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Easter Seals, the Bell Walk for Kids and Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS).
“I feel like there needs to be more done for [charities], and I feel selfish if I’m not doing something like that,” she said.
Emily Seal’s release party for If You Keep This Up will take place on Saturday, Jan. 19, at LB’s Pub, starting at 8:30 p.m. Special guests include Joanne Janzen, Asin Chin and Sean Sonego. Tickets are $20 each and are available at LB’s or through yeglive.ca.
“Crash and Crumble” is currently available for purchase on iTunes.
— GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader