20 YEARS

My career has consisted of highs and lows.  I don’t think I’m the only one who’s had an entrepreneurial experience with ups and downs.  I think it’s relatively common. Also, I’m a LOT of years in at this point. I started regularly gigging 20 years ago this past summer.  That’s right! 20 YEARS!!! (I started young.) 😉

 

Life, in general, often has a mix of highs and lows, so why would our careers be any different?  We appreciate more of the great stuff when there are some less great moments thrown in the mix (most of 2007, if you’re me. Hahaha…).

 

This year has managed to be an exceptional one for my business.  Getting some of my personal life more organized and creating some real career goals has put me further ahead than I’ve ever been in my business.  This month I’ve enjoyed two weeks in a row in the #1 position on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Canada AND Ontario Album Charts. I’ve maintained a top ten on the charts since late May.  Five albums in and my most recent release ‘In Between’ is the first I’ve EVER released properly to the radio. That’s right. In 20 years. The reality is, when you’re so focused on paying the hydro bill each month and keeping a roof over your head and food in your kid’s belly, you don’t have the time or resources to reinvest back into your business.  (I recognize this is how many people in our country and around the world live!). It takes money to make money. It’s not a secret in business, and I’m finally in a position where I can reinvest in my business. Turns out – this extra commitment, both time and finances are paying off. Combined with excellent management, publicity, merchandise, and radio tracking team, I feel unstoppable these days.

 

It’s hard to see where you are and not look back at where you started.  I have an incredible family, a long-running supportive fan base, venue owners and other folks who’ve helped me get to where I am.  They forever become a part of where my career is headed. They are all a piece of that and, I hope, share in the milestones of my journey.

 

This segues well into one of the coolest shows I’ve played to date that happened earlier this month.  When Mark Rashotte opened The Empire Theatre 15 years ago, he really “shared the love” with his friends and colleagues he’d known for years.  I went to school with Mark’s daughters. He knew I was forging a career in music and some of the earliest years of my career, he gave me the greatest of opportunities.  I loved my frequent bar work and background music gigs (I loved pretty much all of my gigs), but to get to step on a stage in front of 700 or so eager concertgoers listening to your every note, was magical for me.  When Mark brought in some of the greatest names in music, I sometimes got to share the bill. I opened for Buffy Ste-Marie, Jake Clemons (who I’ve been fortunate enough to do some touring with since as a fellow Light Of Day artist), Sass Jordan and Pat Benatar.  I even opened for my friends The Wilkinsons two weeks before giving birth to my daughter Piper. Having a dressing room and quiet listening audience helped me learn what I wanted from my career, and I’ve been fortunate enough to know now what it’s like to perform to sold-out concert halls, headlining my shows.  Mark’s opportunities and encouragement were a big part of that.

 

Skip to August this year when I get yet another awesome email from Mark Rashotte asking if I’ll perform as part of the theatre’s 15th Anniversary.  The line-up is top secret and includes Tom Cochrane, Randy Bachman, Jake Clemons, Gowan, All You Need Is Love, Greg Keelor and… me. Hahahaha… (please tell me you’re laughing too).  Mark outdoes himself once again and includes me in a magical night that will go down in the history books as one of my coolest to date. He’s hosted a few of those for me at this point.  (Thanks, Mark!). To top it off, Ron James is the one name released ahead of time. He is hilarious both on and off stage; you’ll be happy to know. He is also kind and complimentary. He truly is a Canadian gem.

 

I listened to stories that Randy told my bandmates, and I backstage chatted with Gowan, caught up with Jake and had one of the loveliest moments with Tom Cochrane (the 10-year-old me AND the 37-year-old me were both freaking out inside).  I sang back-ups for Takin’ Care Of Business that Randy lead at the end of the night and then my husband drove me back to the Kingston General Hospital where they had given me a pass for a few hours to play the show. (I had some health scares that week that put me in the hospital for a few days, but I’m ok!).  To say the least, it was an insanely awesome night and given a better bill of health, and I would have stayed out much later and enjoyed the company of everyone even more.

 

I don’t anticipate a night quite like it in the near future. However, I’ve learned to appreciate EVERY moment that comes along.  I never know what the future holds and each day, week, month and year seem to have surprises (both the good and the challenging).  I welcome them all. This journey is truly awesome, and the MVP of 2018 so far is September!

 

~ Emily

 

MANAGER – Gord Hunter – management@themissemily.com

PUBLICIST – Eric Alper – eric@thatericalper.com

MERCHANDISE – Jude Murano – missemilymerch@gmail.com

SOCIAL MEDIA – Amanda Relyea-Voss – amanda@remixsm.com 

ARTIST – Miss Emily: emily@emilyfennell.com 

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