By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Taking a break from an Advanced Band Camp rehearsal, 14-year-old Sandy Beach resident Emma Barrick sits down to talk about her love of music. Clearly more comfortable with a guitar and a microphone than a newspaper reporter’s questions, Barrick said she has been singing since she was five, but only picked up the guitar three years ago.
“My brother played guitar and he just wanted me to sing for him. So I did,” Barrick recalls. “He told me I was really good and they started putting me in concerts.”
Nine years later and Barrick is still doing concerts. Whether at a local coffee shop, trade show, Farmers’ Market or music school concert, Barrick’s voice and guitar playing are becoming regular sounds in Morinville.
Barrick’s music genre of choice is country, a style she believes fits with what makes her tick. “I’ve always wanted to be a country girl,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to have a farm and stuff. I was on the computer and my brother gave me a country artist. I really just liked it.”
But beyond playing covers of top country artists, Barrick has recently begun penning her own songs. She has written three songs over the past year. “Me and my grandparents were talking about how if I wanted to I could become a big star, and that it would be really awesome if I wrote a few songs,” she said. “When I had some times I just jotted a few words down and put the music to it.”
Whether performing her own song or a cover, Barrick says she feels comfortable on stage performing. “I just want people to hear me,” she said.
The young singer / songwriter said she used to practice her music every day. Schoolwork and job work cut into that some, but still practices frequently in and out of her lessons in Morinville.
Smith Music owner Paul Smith said Barrick works at her musical craft. “Emma is forever at work in the community playing coffee shops and events to build a following and hone her stage presence,” Smith said. “She learns many songs to be able to play full shows, which is unique for people that are just getting up and going.”
Barrick will be one of the featured performers on the open stages during Octobers Harvest Food and Jam Festival.