I was introduced to the fabulous Emily Mercer by Youth Anthem’s biggest supporter and general owner of the finger on the pulse of interesting music in Leeds – Nicky Bray!  Emily plays awesome piano led songs that range from jazz to pop and indie with a nod to folk as well – really interesting, captivating stuff and I’m mega happy she’s opening our fifth birthday gig.

Emily very kindly answered some questions so delve in!

Hello, what’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Emily Mercer and I’m originally from Suffolk, but I’ve just moved from Leeds to Manchester.

You don’t see too many musicians who are just piano and vocals, why do you think that is?

Pianos are heavy! Even my portable one weighs a ton, I think guitarists have the right idea. I love my piano but it’s so inconvenient!

Have you always played solo or have you tried being in a band?

I played in a few bands in my School/Uni days, which I loved, and would love to do again. I’ve only been playing solo for about 2 years.

What’s the best and worst thing about being a solo musician?

The best thing is being able to just go and do my thing without having to rely on anything or anyone else. The worst thing is imagining epic bass lines and string parts that no one else can hear!

Top three puddings?

1. My home made amaretto tiramisu. Not to blow my own trumpet but it’s amazing

2. Salted chocolate anything

3. The good old classic chocolate brownie (no ice cream though, I don’t like it – sorry)

How come you moved away from Leeds?!

I think I was ready to try a new city, but I love Leeds – I went to Uni there and will be returning for various gigs and to record my first EP!

What advice would you offer to any young person wanting to get into playing music?

Don’t wait until you’re perfect to get out and perform – just doing it is the best way to improve, and people are generally pretty supportive!