Storming Amy Winehouse tribute for Tallaght stage
By Aideen O’Flaherty
SINGER Emma Wright has an incredibly diverse vocal ability, she won Stars in their Eyes as a Lady Gaga tribute act and more recently has taken up the reins performing as one of the world’s most celebrated singers – Amy Winehouse.
Prior to performing tribute songs, Emma also made it to the bootcamp stage of the X Factor and performed in numerous talent competitions.
Now the Englishwoman is preparing to bring her storming performance as part of the Amy Winehouse Experience band, Lioness, to the Tallaght stage.
Emma took some time out from her busy schedule to tell The Echo what it’s like to perform as one of the world’s most iconic singers, and what the Civic Theatre audience can expect from Lioness’ performance.
You’ve been singing from a young age, have you always been comfortable performing on stage or did it take you a while to build up your confidence?
I was always a confident kid so nothing really phased me at that age – I seem to feel the nerves more as I get older.
You made it to the bootcamp stage of the X Factor in 2011, what was that experience like?
I’m glad I did the X Factor, it was a great learning experience. It taught me that shows like that are simply TV shows, not real competitions. When I got through to Bootcamp I was sent home the next day, without auditioning again, due to the producers changing their minds on 35 of us. I was very hurt and it took me a while to bounce back from that. However, the exposure from my televised audition was great for my gigs, so it wasn’t all bad.
You’ve also performed as a Lady Gaga tribute act, how does that compare to performing as part of Lioness?
I love Gaga, as the show requires so much energy – I had backing dancers and lots of weird and wonderful outfits. Most of the ground work was learning routines, so it’s the complete opposite to what I’m doing with Lioness now. I think I prefer Amy in terms of catching my breath!
When did you realise you could sing like Amy Winehouse?
I used to sing ‘Valerie’ and ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’ when I performed as myself, and would have people come up to me and say that I have her ‘twang’ and tone. So after studying her a little, I realised it was a great character for me to do.
What’s been your best experience so far as part of Lioness?
Without a doubt, meeting Amy’s mum, Janis. Having seen us online, she arranged to meet with us in Amy’s favourite pub, The Dublin Castle. She was absolutely lovely and told me not to overthink it and to just go for it. It was so nice to have her blessing.
How long does it take you to get into character for the show, especially in relation to the tattoos and the hair?
It takes me a couple of hours, as even when the wig, tattoos and make-up is on, I have to watch YouTube videos of her to put me in ‘the zone’. I have to embody her on stage, otherwise I can’t move or act like she does.
What can the Civic Theatre audience expect from your performance?
Our act is very authentic – cue a little swearing and banter – but it’s a very upbeat set that aims to have you dancing and having the time of your life. We can’t wait!
Lioness play the Civic Theatre on Sunday May 21, tickets are €22 or €20 concession online at www.civictheatre.ie