A renaissance of beautiful black art in the world
With over 21 million global streams, the first-generation Canadian has had a breakout year establishing his artistry through meaningful, expressive music in a time he describes as a “renaissance of beautiful black art in the world.” Since releasing his debut single ‘Need You’ one year ago, Emanuel has achieved international acclaim for his undeniable talent and introspective, emotionally charged music.
Released at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘Need You’ quickly became an early quarantine anthem as people from over 20 countries submitted personal videos and photos for the collaborative music video curated by Golden Globe-winning actor, musician, producer and Executive Producer of Emanuel’s debut album Idris Elba OBE. Before even releasing his debut EP Session 1: Disillusion (shared with the world on Juneteenth), Emanuel was named Apple Music’s New Artist of the Week, one of Amazon Music’s Artists to Watch, a Soundcloud Featured Artist, and a Spotify “On The Radar” Artist.
Following the release of the EP, Emanuel became the first ever artist to be chosen for Spotify’s On The Radar program in Canada and was also named the Beats Artist of the Week. In October of 2020, Emanuel released ‘Black Woman’, the first single from his sophomore EP, alongside a digital portrait series that honoured Black female leaders in the Toronto’s artistic and advocacy communities.
The portraits towered over Toronto’s Yonge & Dundas Square for the first week of release on a bespoke Spotify billboard, the first ever of its kind. Alongside the December release of his Session 2: Transformation EP, Emanuel announced that legendary Motown Records would be his U.S. label partner. After making several end of year lists (including EARMILK’s Best Songs of 2020, Complex’s 25 Canadian Artists to Watch Out For in 2021 and Rolling Stone India’s Top 100 Songs of 2020), Emanuel’s momentum has only continued into 2021. With the achievement of his first JUNO Award nomination for Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year and the upcoming release of his debut full length album ALT THERAPY, Emanuel is positioned to have another massive year of artistic growth and accomplishment.