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J Edna Mae Biography
Award-winning Welsh singer/songwriter, J Edna Mae is an ethereal acoustic artist who draws on her varied life experience to pull on the emotions and heart of every listener. A skilled pianist and singer who is widely travelled, she is currently promoting her second digital EP ‘White Noise’ - a beautiful collection of five piano-led songs with hints of world, folk, pop and classical. Imagine Kate Bush vocals meets Birdy piano with the emotional sensitivity of Enya, mixed into the unique formula of J Edna Mae’s own story.
After achieving her honours degree in music, winning the University Award for her symphonic movement and piano quartet, she returned to her first love as a singer songwriter. She was fortunate enough to appear on tv shows alongside the likes of David Gray, Bonnie Tyler and Mal Pope, and starred as Beth in 'War of the Worlds' in St. David's Centre Cardiff, narrated by The Right Hon. the Lord Neil Kinnock. But in her early 20’s, she felt that her inspiration had vanished.
‘I felt as if I had nothing else to write about. I had completed an album’s worth of songs over a couple of years, and I literally could not think of another melodic or lyrical idea.’
So she decided to go out into the world, travel, and live in different cultures and experience a broader spectrum of life. A qualified teacher, she lived in Asia for several years, where she taught in a variety of schools, and pushed herself out of her comfort zone, by learning to dive, trekking in the mountainous region of Thailand’s golden triangle and travelling to incredible historical sites such as China’s Great Wall and terracotta army, Cambodia’s Angkor temple complex.
‘In pushing myself out of my comfort zones, I have had the most special experiences, such as diving with sharks in Black Rock, Burma and with a shoal of barracuda in Sipadan, Southern Borneo. I nearly gave up after my initial dive course, it was so far out of my comfort zone, but I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m a huge believer in better to try and fail at something, than have regrets later.’
There is no doubt that travel has greatly influenced J Edna Mae's music, and can be heard in both the lyrics and the instrumentation choices of songs on her latest EP 'White Noise', with use of instruments such as the Thai Khim and Balinese Gamelan.
'I love combining the beautiful tones of the piano with more unusual instrumentation. I think it creates atmosphere and interest. And some of the amazing places I've visited have definitely sparked my imagination, such as the Egyptian pyramids.'
The single from EP2, 'A Thousand Suns' has been a lucky song for J Edna Mae, winning the 2017 Indie International Songwriting Contest and also it is currently nominated in the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, to be held in LA in November 2018.
In addition to her beautiful, emotional songs J Edna Mae writes inspirational children’s songs, meant to enhance their sense of self belief, well being and feelings of empowerment. She was delighted that the ‘Bounce!’ project, a collection of five songs for children, won a presitgious Silver Medal in the Global Music Awards in 2017.
J Edna Mae married her childhood sweetheart, and their two young sons were born in Thailand, where they ran free and wild on the beaches of southern Thailand in their formative years. Now based in a quaint welsh fishing village where she is living her dream to be close to the beach, with her fantastic husband, two beautiful boys, a cat and a dog, and a piano, she draws on her life experiences and the wonderful people and adventures she has had in her life journey so far in her writing.
Active since March 2016, J Edna Mae is already making her mark in the highly competitive music world, winning awards, gaining radio play, steadily building a portfolio of film, television and commercial syncs and securing a publishing deal for ‘Deal with the Devil’.