Sacramento singer/songwriter Emily Kollars has had a passion to sing since she was a young girl. That passion, along with her love for classical piano and jazz, took her to Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she studied all three. But about six years ago Kollars developed chronic tendonitis in her elbow, which forced her to focus on singing and collaborating with other musicians.
“I can’t play without being in pain,” explained Kollars over the phone. “I was pretty devastated for the first few years.”
She says it was her friends, driving her to doctor’s appointments and encouraging her to form a band, who pulled her out of that dark place.
Before tendonitis, Kollars played mostly solo piano gigs. She points to the silver lining that followed her painful experience.
“I don’t know how long it would have taken me to collaborate with other people if I hadn’t gone through that,” she says. “Since singing is my true love it’s not the absolute end of the earth.”
Kollars’ EP is called Past 10 because all the songs were written in the past ten years. While she has written dozens of songs over her lifetime, this is her first album. And she got some help deciding what to include on it. First she went into the studio and recorded eleven of her favorite songs. Then she created 30-second previews of each and posted them on her website. She asked fans to vote on which songs should be included in the EP. Kollars says the five songs her fans chose were the ones she would’ve chosen too.
Emily Kollars, "Honey"
The songs range from a soulful rhythm and blues tune called “Honey,” to a moody rock piece called “War God,” featuring a jazzy beat and a poppy chorus.
“I’m hoping that once I release this it will be a true release - I feel like it’s been a long time and I hope to make room for new creations with this release,” explains Kollars, who is already thinking ahead to her next project.
“Musically I want to start focusing a little more. These songs are a wide array of styles. I want to write stuff that’s more R&B because that’s the direction my voice is doing the best in.”
And following her voice has proven to be a good move so far for this up-and-coming songstress.
Emily Kollars will officially release these songs on Sept. 2nd when she performs with her band at Harlow’s Night Club in Sacramento.