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Meet Emma Cole in Los Feliz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Cole.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I discovered my singing voice when I was about 11. I fell in love with the movie The Craft and I recorded myself singing the Garbage Song ‘Stupid Girl’ on a Fisher Price tape recorder, played it back and realized I didn’t sound too far off from the recording. The next summer my parents divorced and I started to take on more responsibility than I was ready for. My parents worked very hard and gave us everything they possibly could but I always had a hunger to do better, to be better. I also had a fierce rebel without a cause attitude.

Teenage me was…stubborn. I had an “I do what I want and no one can tell me different.” attitude. I lacked the ability to see how my own actions were hurting me. My first boyfriend was from the other side of town, my high school’s rival. The beginning of our relationship was exciting. I lied to my parents about where I was often. We took trips to the shore and pool hopped in the neighborhood. I soon found out that he was dealing drugs. This was exciting and somewhat normal for where I grew up, just 33 miles west of Philadelphia. Perhaps I should have seen it coming…but I didn’t.

Along with this drug dealing lifestyle comes many things. Not good things. I’ve sold drugs, trafficked drugs, fought for my safety and to keep my man. Our lifestyle became wicked. Lies, turmoil and cheating, all before the rise of the internet. Try keeping tabs on your man when you don’t have a cell phone or long distance calling. Our relationship became toxic, my man, abusive and I, pregnant. Pregnant at 17 years old, a junior in high school.

I was a teenager. This thing I was in was not love, it was delusion. I truly believed that having this child would repair my relationship and everything would work out. We can be a family. I’m ready to be a mother, I’ve been playing a sub-parent roll for 3 boys for the last 5years. “I’m ready.” I thought. I was far from ready. The story continues. My boyfriend went from drug dealer to drug addict while I was pregnant with his baby. He left me for another woman when I was 6 months pregnant. I was failing school, my life was swallowing me whole but onward I charged. The night before a big doctor’s appointment (this appointment was to see if I was dilating and starting the beginning stages of my labor) I had a dream. The dream was blurred vision and a man’s voice that said “There’s no heartbeat.” My dream became a reality at the Dr’s office that Tuesday afternoon. They couldn’t find a heartbeat. I lost my child at 37 weeks pregnant. They induced my labor and I birthed my lost child.

I tell this story through a collection of songs that is my debut EP titled ‘IF YOU DON’T HOLLER, NO ONE WILL HEAR,’ available on all streaming networks including, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Amazon and more. It took me 10 years to find to courage to face the horror and fear of my past. Through the writing of this album I have found the strength needed to be an inspiring story instead of a statistic. I truly believe that our identity does not lie in the bad things that have happened to us. How could it when we possess the power to change our story. I could have wallowed in this saga for the rest of my life, I chose not to wallow but to RISE. I believe, the power of choice gives you the ability to convert negative energy into positivity which you can use to catapult you forward. I’m here to remind you that you hold the power.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After high school, I went to Beauty School and started to pursue a “realistic” career. Okay I’m lying. I don’t think I’ve truly ever had my eyes on practicality. I’m a believer in the magic that this world holds. Since I was a child, I’d idolized NYC and my goal was to do makeup in the fashion industry. So, I did. I lived and worked in NYC for 4 years before I had my profound realization that music is my mission. I was introduced to an agent in NYC who signed me as a Junior Artist when I was just 21 years old. I traveled the world doing hair and makeup for international Ad campaigns, I worked the e-commerce market in NYC with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein etc. I found success very early. I lived all over NYC until I landed my high rise, door man, elevator building and I realized, that I was living someone else’s life. I am a singer. The voice within got louder and wouldn’t shut up so, I followed that voice. I packed my luxurious lifestyle in a bag and set out for Los Angeles, California knowing that I had to move across the country to fully start anew.

Although my time in NYC rang success, these were some of the loneliest days of my life. The death of my daughter was always lingering in my memories. I was drowning them in early 20’s binge drinking, drugging and clubbing. During these years, my best friend, Nichole Sylvester was going through a personal tragedy. The father of her only child murdered a woman in her home in Las Vegas shortly after she escaped her abusive relationship and drug dealing lifestyle. You can read her whole story in her recently released, Amazon Best Selling Memoir, “Oh Shift! A Journey from Chaos to Consciousness.”* Nichole and I lived and bonded inside of a constant state of trying to forget. Needless to say, it has definitely not been a smooth road but every struggle was a wakeup call and inched me closer to healing.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Emma Cole – what should we know?
Since moving to Los Angeles 6 years ago I have shifted my focus to pursuing music. It’s taken me quite some time to find my sound and my people. This EP is my first release in this time period. I think what sets me apart is that I aim to be completely honest and transparent about my music and my background. I feel that youth across the globe could only benefit from having more public, honest, authentic role models. I aspire to reach, connect with and inspire troubled youth, as well as others who have suffered from loss, through the power of my story.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
1) HUSTLING. GRINDING. NEVER GIVING UP. I am relentless. I refuse to stop. I don’t let anyone else’s opinion of me, get me down. I have acquired an “I don’t give a f*!k attitude” from my past. Nothing and no one will stop me from believing in myself.

2) OPENNESS. OPEN EYES. OPEN MIND. OPEN HEART. I am constantly inspired by the people around me and I am open to my continual evolution as an artist through coexistence with my likeminded community. I let things come to me. Ideas, lyrics as well as people.

3) SUPPORT. The amount of support that oozes through the music scene that I am apart of is truly unique and we keep it going, together. We show up for each other. We support each other, we collaborate.

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Image Credit:
Photos by Gigi Lyn, Lisa Lee, Tess O’Connor, Derrick Lee, Fiona Cansino and Matt Doheny

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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