Emma-Jean Thackray

The psychedelic future-jazz sound of now

Who they?

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer, bandleader and DJ, London-based Emma-Jean Thackray is currently exploding in the worlds of nu-jazz and club. Her genre-spanning sound is rooted in her desire to experiment without prejudice. She’s a Yorkshire lass, and as a teen played trumpet, cutting her teeth on a broad range of styles before going on to study jazz composition.

Why Emma-Jean Thackray?

There’s a singular purity to Thackray’s spiritually-charged compositions that lead to somewhere deep. But there’s also a celebratory, life-affirming vitality to what she does, which translates beautifully live – check her ‘Rain Dance / Wisdom’ video and witness a jaw-dropping showcase for her hugely impressive band. “We always bring lots of energy, brave moments of stillness and telepathic awareness from being such a strong unit,” she explains. And you really can feel that on swirling, modular synth-led tracks like ‘Rain Dance’. From her current EP, it evokes the soulful, exploratory psychedelia that frames Stevie Wonder’s ‘Innervisions’, but hangs it all beautifully around Thackray’s bravura trumpet. 

Tell us more…

She’s even running her own label now, called Movementt. It takes its name from her current single, which pulls together all those diverse influences. It also allows you to understand how she can be as comfortable at the helm of the London Symphony Orchestra as she can raising the roof at venues like Total Refreshment Centre. ‘Movementt’ draws much from Thackray’s floor-filling DJ sets, cleverly utilising dance music’s rising groove structures alongside deft instrumentation. “It’s the musical embodiment of what the label is about,” says Thackray. “The coming together of the visceral, the cerebral and the soul-nourishing.” Expect big things folks.

‘Rain Dance’ is out now on Movementt

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