Biography

Singer-songwriter, Emmanuela, is a professional live music performer. She facilitates singing workshops in community settings, and is available as a guest speaker around the personal experiences of immigrant asylum seekers and refugees on diverse topics. She also offers individual and collective professional development advice to artist musicians from all ethnic backgrounds doing non-mainstream music as well as she interprets French, Swahili, and Lingala.

Untitled-1

 

Emmanuela has been performing live since the age of six. She developed her passion for music from her home environment in Upper Zaire and Kivu in the Eastern DR Congo.  In these regions she was influenced by the traditional acoustic music of the local pygmy and Shi tribes as well as by the musical genres of neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi.  From early morning to late at night, the young Emmanuela was surrounded by the songs and folkloric music of the street, on the radio or in the local nganda pubs.  Singing and music was part of daily life in the DR Congo – from her mum singing whilst performing her household chores, to the sea and land shanties of the local fishermen and farmers, kids and adults would gather at family celebrations or funerals, to sing and play folklore, rumba, sebene and soukous.  She also listened to well-known African musicians, such as Papa Wemba, Lokua Kanza, Rebecca Malope and Kadja Nin.

When she came to the UK in 2003, Emmanuela developed all these musical experiences in her work, using music and performance to tackle disadvantage in the community, for education, as a therapy, and as a tool for peace and reconciliation.