Global pandemic no barrier to young musician’s creative talent - Cranbrook School

Global pandemic no barrier to young musician’s creative talent

20 Jul 21 by Cranbrook Communications

With HSC trials looming and in the midst of another lockdown Year 12 student Emil Droga still found time to release a new EP Just Talkin’.

Emil’s second release features six tracks and follows Take a Breath which was released in 2019.

“I actually didn’t tell anybody when I released the first EP. This one feels good. I’m a little bit older and I appreciate my work a little bit more. Just Talkin’ was recorded last year so it has taken a while to get to this stage.

Emil cites Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and Ahmad Jamal as influences behind his latest work although he adds: “I probably have a lot of influences who I don’t consciously think of but those three definitely stand out.”

On his own musical tastes, Emil says he listens to a lot of different stuff. “I’ll have a bunch of different playlists on Spotify. A lot of folk music but then I also listen to pop music, a lot of jazz piano. I try to synthesise a lot of different styles into my own work.”

And while most of us have struggled with the enforced restrictions which have become part and parcel of everyday life both this year and last, lockdown has given Emil the chance to focus on his music.

“It’s certainly not been a bad thing to have time by myself to concentrate on my music. But in the last couple of months a lot of my focus has been on composing towards my Music 2 HSC course – so not a lot of songwriting. But having time by myself to write and think has been good, certainly.”

Emil is currently applying to colleges in the United States as well as colleges in Australia.

“If I did go to America, I would pretty much have a gap year because they start next November so hopefully that would be an opportunity to write and record with some people.”

“Wherever I end up, I hope to study a more liberal arts degree, which gives me the flexibility to experiment with lots of different things for the first two years. I would be able to study music but also some of my other interests like neuro science and English literature. The offerings they have are very appealing – not just being in one degree.”

Emil is thankful to the music staff at Cranbrook who he says have been very supportive of his songwriting since junior School, playing an essential part in developing his passion for music.

“My interest in composing music started when a homework project I did while in Junior School got taken up to the Senior School. That got produced for an orchestra and the choir and I’ve really been writing music ever since.”

Commenting on Emil’s EP achievement, Phil Beverley, Head of Music at the Senior School, said: “Over the years Emil has developed as both a performer and composer and we are very proud that we have been able to play a part in his music journey. Emil is a dedicated and talented musician and we look forward to hearing more great things from him in the future.”