Biography

“Exquisite” (Uncut Magazine)
“A class act” (The Mirror)
“Music for the soul” (Maverick Magazine)

With six albums and five books to her name, British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and poet Emily Maguire is truly “a talent to be reckoned with” (RnR Magazine, UK). With a remarkable, inspiring story to tell, she has been featured many times in interviews and playlists on BBC national radio, her thought-provoking lyrics, supremely expressive voice and spellbinding live performances winning her fans across the globe.

Originally from the UK, Emily came to Australia for a 3-week holiday in 2003 and spent the next 4 years living with bass player and record producer Christian Dunham in a shack made of recycled wood, tin and potato sacks on a goat farm in the Australian bush. They set up their own record label Shaktu Records, released Emily’s first two albums and started touring Australia and the UK.

Emily did numerous interviews and sessions on ABC local radio stations during that time. In 2004 her debut album ‘Stranger Place’ was ‘Album of The Week’ on ABC Mid North Coast, ABC Radio Midwest & Wheatbelt and ABC Radio Newcastle. After her live performance on ABC Radio Newcastle, the presenter announced on air it was “the best live band session I’ve heard on ABC Radio… ever”.

   

In 2007 the title track of Emily’s second album ‘Keep Walking’ was playlisted on national ABC Radio, covering 60 stations across Australia. That same year a chance play on BBC Radio 2 at the end of a UK tour won Emily a tour with American legend Don McLean that changed her life.

From playing to 50 people in a church hall she now found herself on stage at the biggest concert halls in the UK including the Royal Albert Hall in London. Having been played across Australia on ABC Radio, ‘Keep Walking’ was now playlisted on BBC Radio 2, the biggest radio station in the UK, no mean feat for an independent artist.

   

Over the next 12 years Emily had 2 more singles playlisted on Radio 2, released 3 more albums, published 3 books, toured with major acts including Eric Bibb and Dr Hook, played the acoustic stage at Glastonbury and did countless radio interviews and sessions, including BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Midweek and flagship arts programme ‘Front Row’.

Open about her own struggles with bipolar disorder since the publication of her first book ‘Start Over Again’, Emily became a patron of the charity Restore and performed her songs for mental health hospitals and groups across the UK, work which earned her an international award for public service and advocacy.

      

In the autumn of 2018, Emily published her third book ‘Meditation Mind’, a book of poetry inspired by her Buddhist practice.  She toured bookshops and Buddhist centres across the UK, reading poems and singing songs on acoustic guitar with Christian on double bass.  In January 2019, after 12 years away, Emily and Christian returned to the farm in the Australian bush to start work on her next studio album.

   

In 2020, Emily and Christian released ‘Live at Eudlo Hall’, a film and live album recorded in front of a Covid-restricted audience at Eudlo Hall in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.  The gig featured sisters Sarah and Louise King playing Emily’s string arrangements on violin and cello.  Emily gave the album to her fans as a Christmas present.

   

In 2021, Emily published her first songbook for guitar and released a double-album called ‘The Collection’, a selection of songs from her first five albums.  She also published her fourth book, a collection of stream-of-consciousness poems called ‘Words With Wings’ which she recorded and set to her own original piano music.

In 2022, following a sell-out tour of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Emily and Christian toured community halls in southern Queensland.  Emily’s long-awaited sixth album of songs ‘A Light To Follow’ was released in February 2023.

Emily is now based back in the UK recovering from a year-long severe bipolar episode.  When she fully recovers her mental health in 2024, she plans to do intimate house concerts and gigs for mental health/community organisations in the UK instead of touring as before.  Her albums and books are no longer available to order online through her website.  Her six albums including ‘A Light To Follow’, released just before her return to the UK, are available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and other digital music platforms. All the lyrics can be found on her website.

Read her latest blog here.

Buddhism, breakdowns and a shack in the Australian bush… read Emily’s full story.
Find out more about Emily’s award-winning work promoting music for mental health.