Instrument Talk Levelling up with Emma King - NZ Music Month Feature
Levelling up with Emma King - NZ Music Month Feature
New Zealand Music Month is an amazing annual event that celebrates local music and musicians. For KBB Music we see this as the perfect time to celebrate making music and encouraging Kiwis to take their music to the next level!
In the spirit of levelling up your music, through this month we are also profiling the amazing staff of KBB Music. These are the incredible helpers you will meet at our stores who also have vibrant musical backgrounds. Through the process of a quick-fire interview, we were interested in finding out how they levelled up their music journey and the instruments that they recommend to budding kiwi musicians.
Ever since childhood, Emma’s father saw that she had a keen interest in music. So, at age 9, he enrolled her in keyboard and piano lessons – and she hasn’t looked back!
Once Emma started high school, she knew that music was something she was deeply connected with. She started taking vocal classes at age 13 and working towards her dream of becoming a musician.
At age of 16, she started producing her own music and took up summer jobs to save for a computer and recording gear. Alongside this, she commenced studying at MAINZ.
By attending a school that channelled Emma’s creative energy and integrated her with more like-minded people, she was able to reaffirm the driving force behind her passion.
Since then she’s picked up drumming, the guitar and the ukulele! Emma had previously convinced herself that her hands were too delicate for the guitar, so when she finally stole her dad’s gat from his office and gave it a go and soon fell in love with it!
One of her proudest moments in Emma’s career yet has been the opportunity to collaborate with the iconic footwear brand, Converse. The brand continues to give her a platform to share her creative talents and connect with other brilliant artists.
These days you can catch Emma playing in shows, releasing and producing music alongside other upcoming artists. Emma knows she is still young with plenty more time for experiences, and looks forward to more exciting opportunities in the future. Watch this space!
Thinking back on your musical journey, what were the breakthrough moments that made you the musician you are today?
The pivotal moment for me was within the first few weeks at MAINZ.
At the time it felt like nothing was going right and MAINZ was that last chance. I can vividly remember when my first tutor, Phil Oxenham, made the class a ’puha and pork boil up’, and we squished 30 odd people into the small classroom. In this moment, for the first time I became self-aware of how lucky I was to be sitting there. The talented people I was surrounded with, the music painted on the walls, sharing a meal and enjoying the music together made me feel at home.
Now thinking about your gear: what is the one instrument that you will never part with?
Definitely my Mahalo ukulele! I have so many memories connected to it, many road trips, driving on the beach and sitting in the boot watching the sun go down over the horizon. It’s been there through the lows and the highs and I will never part with it.
What instrument would you recommend to other keen piano players?
Beginner – Kawai ES110 Digital Piano
For a beginner, I would recommend the Kawai ES110 digital piano. Its portability and the ability to take it off the stand may be beneficial for people who are wanting to busk or perform with it. It also has a wicked action and a great sound for what it’s worth, and with MIDI or USB outputs it can be used as a MIDI instrument for producers.
With a 5 year warranty, it’ll help set up the skills and foundational musical knowledge for long success!
Intermediate – Roland RD2000 Digital Piano
For an intermediate player, I would suggest a Roland RD2000 digital piano. It has a great amount of power with plenty of functions for any type of player, whether it be a bar performer or home recorder - anything is possible! I also love how the RD2000 has the ability to add filters, EQ and more to achieve the exact sound you want. I’d recommend pairing it with a KC600 amp for performing, or you can plug it straight into your computer. The functionality of this piano allows the player to make it how they see fit!
Professional - Roland LX708 Digital Piano
For a professional player who wants the convenience and flexibility of a digital piano, I’d recommend the Roland LX708 digital piano. It has a similar elegant look as an upright piano, and it’s 8 speakers pack the powerful punch of beautiful sound - designed to sound more realistic. With multiple functions and sounds and a responsive piano hammer action, there’s no wonder why it’s called a ‘luxury digital piano’.
Keen to chat further with Emma? You can find her at the Albany KBB Music store in Auckland where she will help you find the gear you need to level up your music!
Also, feel free to connect with her through Instagram and stay updated with her musical journey!