I’ve been following Emma-Lee’s career for a few years now, and while I’ve always known she has a wonderful voice, I was absolutely blown away by her version of this song. It’s never easy to cover a powerhouse vocalist like Houston, indeed, her inimitable voice makes her passing all the more tragic. But not only did Emma-Lee do very well by Whitney in this cover, but she showcases that her voice, while not the same as her idol’s, is strong, vibrant and unmistakable in its own way. And what’s more incredible is that Emma-Lee isn’t even a classically trained singer. In her words;
It’s been a while since I’ve heard a really great cover song, so that’s why it’s been a while since I’ve shared one with all of you. But that all changed once I heard Canadian singer-songwriter Emma-Lee’s stunning rendition of “How Will I Know”, the 1985 classic from the late Whitney Houston. Haunting, melodic and powerful in its simplicity, it’s a beautiful homage to one of Emma-Lee’s biggest musical inspirations. Take a listen below:
“I’m not a formally trained singer so I always joke that Whitney Houston taught me how to sing because really, it was artists like her that I would sing along to endlessly growing up. My parents had a copy of her debut on vinyl and “How Will I Know” was just one of those feel good songs that I’d dance around the house to. With this version I really wanted to showcase the perfection of the song’s lyric by slowing it down and stretching out the words on that first chorus. I want the listener to really be overtaken by the excruciating unknown – “if he loves me…if he loves me not.””
Growing up listening to those same Whitney Houston songs, and the other pop tracks that inspired Emma-Lee to become a singer, it’s no surprise that I’m so taken with this cover. I can’t wait to see what else this powerhouse singer will come up with.
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