Emily was raised in a small town about 50 miles south of Chicago. She was very involved in music in school, and took piano lessons and oboe lessons throughout her childhood. Emily was always a singer and started writing music at 16, with the coaxing of her older sister after her first heart-break. She didn’t write another song until she heard a piece written by her high-school friend, igniting the flame of competition. After that, she would continue to write songs, using it as a release from the teenage stresses and social awkwardness that would often permeate her relationships.
She grew up in a nondenominational church parsonage in a religious household. Her dad was a preacher and it was a large part of her identity growing up. She often dives into her childhood upbringing as inspiration for her music, though she has experienced some separation from family members for differences in belief that eventually developed. Emily studied oboe performance in college and received a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She now plays oboe mostly just when it belongs in her songs.