Last year viewers of The Voice (still on the Nine Network at that time) would have seen a young artist by the name of Emmagen Rain. Her blind audition was assured and entertaining, and it was clear as she progressed through that Rain was a great new talent. Since then Rain has released the singles ‘City Lights Call’ – which reached #1 on Triple J’s Unearthed chart, holding the top spot for 2 weeks and now has more than 200 000 streams – and ‘Karaoke Song’, which is at 250,000 streams.
Rain’s new song is ‘For You’, a strong, memorable country pop song that allows Rain to display her vocal prowess. It is, says Rain, a song about meeting the right person at the wrong time. It was co-written with Erin McKellar and Bread + Butter. ‘I love co-writing,’ says Rain, ‘it’s probably my favourite thing to do. I love how a piece of art is created out of nothing even if we were complete strangers beforehand.’
Rain started writing songs at the age of nine. She was, she says, ‘always obsessed with music. My first song was inspired by The Cranberries song “Zombie”. It was about ending violence I remember a couple of lyrics, “bombs dropping child snatching”.’
Rain also started singing – and recording – at a young age, and no doubt that has helped her develop her own musical identity. ‘I’ve kind of grown up doing music and been really blessed with talented mentors. I guess this has allowed me to develop a level of artistry,’ she says. That artistry has also been forged in the fire of a lot of competitions, starting with busking at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
‘Busking is fun at the TCMF,’ says Rain, ‘yet I mainly see it as a way to gain experience performing in front of people, making industry connections and making friends. It can be competitive, I have won a few busking competitions and some great prizes like a family pass to the Gympie Muster.’
And there were other competitive experiences which helped prepare her for even bigger challenges.
‘I’ve been in a few high-pressure competitions including the Junior World Karaoke Title [which Rain won in 2019],’ says Rain, ‘and these experiences definitely helped me handle The Voice, which is possibly the biggest singing comp of them all! The blind audition was the most intense for me. Looking back I am pretty impressed that 12-year-old me had the courage to take on adults and such a big stage.’
Given Rain’s innate musicality it seems completely reasonable that she was able to tackle that blind audition and impress the judges and audiences. Her work ethic no doubt also has something to do with it. At an age when most people would want to hang out and have fun, she seems dedicated to her art – although she does seem to have found a good balance.
‘I’m homeschooled so we fit a lot of musical content into my homeschool curriculum,’ Rain explains. ‘When Covid lockdown isn’t a thing I spend heaps of time with my friends having fun. I also get to go to a lot of festivals and travel to different places in Australia and overseas which is heaps of fun and very social. I get to meet a lot of people I wouldn’t get to meet if I didn’t do music.’
And, of course, audiences have had the chance to meet her, first through The Voice and now through her songs. It is those songs, and the way she performs them, that will keep audiences coming back – not least because she has a knack for producing ear worms, as ‘For You’ certainly is!
‘For You’ is available now through ABC Music.