Tom Petty Comments on Emma-Lee’s ‘What Would Tom Petty Do?’ in Rolling Stone

emma lee rolling stone

Emma-Lee set for Aug. residency at Toronto’s Cameron House
‘What Would Tom Petty Do?’ on iTunes

It may be premature to say “mission accomplished,” but Emma-Lee has at least achieved her primary goal having her new single, “What Would Tom Petty Do?” reach the ears of the man himself.

In the current issue of Rolling Stone, Petty comments on the song during his Q&A with David Fricke. When asked about his influence on the current generation of singer-songwriters, Petty specifically mentions Emma-Lee’s single, adding, “I don’t know what Tom Petty would do. But thanks for asking.”

More About ‘What Would Tom Petty Do?’:

The catalyst for this project occurred in 2012 during a group writing session in Los Angeles. As Emma-Lee and her collaborators Karen Kosowski and Justin Gray searched for a spark to get their creative juices flowing, somebody asked “what would Tom Petty do,” and the song came together almost immediately as a charming and clever tribute to the man and his music.

After raising money in large part though a Kapipal crowd-funding campaign, Emma-Lee recorded the track in Toronto with renowned producer Gavin Brown (Metric, Billy Talent). She then returned to L.A. to shoot a video, which puts her own twist on some of the well-loved clips TP made in the 1990s. Together, she says, the single and video are her best shot at attaining her ultimate goal of writing a song with the artist who has inspired her most.

“When it comes to my musical heroes it’s hard to choose just one who kinda sums it all up for me,” Emma-Lee says. “Some musicians I like for their voice, some for the way they play guitar, or the way they make me feel when I go to a concert. But when I think of songwriters, there is one person in particular who tops the list. That person is Tom Petty.”

Born and raised in Toronto, Emma-Lee splashed onto the Canadian music scene in 2008 with her debut album, ‘Never Just A Dream.’ As a completely independent release, the record earned glowing reviews in the Toronto Star and the Globe & Mail, while iTunes Canada listed her as one of their top songwriters. This attention led to national television appearances, multiple TV and film song placements, and showcases at prestigious events such as South By Southwest.

In 2012, Emma-Lee released ‘Backseat Heroine, which found several critics comparing her to a young Bonnie Raitt with the album’s mix of pop, rock, country and soul. British magazine Maverick called it “compelling and awe-inspiring,” while Montreal’s Sors-Tu described the album as “a poignant disc of great finesse, the second proposal of an artist with a very promising future.”

‘Backseat Heroine”s first single, ‘Not Coming By,’ was played frequently on CBC Radio 2, with the video picked up by CMT. The video for the second single, ‘Figure It Out,’ was added into heavy rotation on MuchMoreMusic. Backseat Heroine also was named Best Adult Contemporary Album at the 12th annual Independent Music Awards.

Of recent note Emma-Lee was voted Best Female Vocalist in NOW Magazine’s 2013 reader’s poll, proving that after a nearly decade long career, she simply won’t back down.

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