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The County Chronicle

Emma Rowley returns to LCHS to perform in the Concert on the Lawn

You’ve probably heard her songs without even realizing it. Her music has been used in a number of advertisements, including MTV and Discovery+. Her voice has also been used for SOLARIA, an English AI singer. 

Born and raised in Loudoun County, daughter of counselor Kathie Rowley, Emma Rowley has never given up on her journey of being a singer-songwriter. Her spark started at a young age, and now her dream of being a pop-singer has become a reality. Emma knew from the moment she started talking that she was destined to perform in front of thousands of people. 

“From a very early age Emma was singing, dancing, and performing for family and sometimes she would even charge them so that she could sing for them. She’d charge them like 50 cents. She had always loved it. When she was in first grade she’d perform in talent shows in school,  and that’s when we knew she was comfortable on stage and loved an audience,” Mrs. Rowley said.

Emma Rowley performs at the Concert on the Lawn, which was moved indoors due to high winds and low temperatures. As a singer, Rowley usually performs for full crowds in Nashville, but she volunteered to come back to her old high school to perform for the community free of charge. (Photo by Valerie Egger)

Through her dedication and hard work, she has lengthened her skills, working day and night to commit to her craft. Emma’s journey is a true example of hard work pays off, inspiring others to follow their dreams. – 

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“It’s been a rollercoaster ride full of highs and lows, but every knock-down has thickened my skin,” Emma said. “I’ve found that if you aren’t challenging yourself then you aren’t growing. And if you really want something badly enough, there is nothing in this world that could stop you from getting it.”

Emma has been deeply involved in performing arts, from community plays, to singing with the LCHS jazz band, and taking guitar, her biggest achievement being performing in Broadway. 

“Performing feels like my superpower and I’ve always felt at home singing in front of an audience,” Emma said. “It’s a very powerful thing to be able to take people on an emotional journey through the course of a performance. I was totally hooked long before I ever set foot on a proper stage because of how hearing music affected me. I wanted to do the same. When watching others, I’d always be thinking to myself, ‘Someday, that’s going to be me.’”

From age 12, Emma and her family would travel back and forth from Virginia to New York, they’d get multiple calls from plays and musicals to go perform and practice in New York, she has performed in “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Gypsy” and sang solo twice in Carnegie Hall. 

“I am so fortunate to have gotten to meet and work with so many iconic people during my time in New York,” Rowley said. “I learned an incredible amount from simply observing the talent around me each day. I carry a lot of those experiences with me in my career today. They taught me how to conduct myself professionally on and off stage, how to push myself, believe in myself, and so much more.”

Besides traveling the East Coast, Emma has started traveling the internet, or at least her voice has, SOLARIA is an English AI singer, it is used for voice databases. Voice databases are used for computers to learn and talk as humans, for example it can help AI’s like Siri or Alexa to detect when we speak and what we say, so they know what to say back and say it naturally. When people use SOLARIA and they put their lyrics into it, Emma’s voice sings it. 

Emma currently resides in Nashville; the heart of country music, where she attended Belmont University, and where she also works as an IT specialist and member of the folk band Every Echo.  

In June 2023, Emma released her debut album titled “Orange” which is a mix of indie rock and ballads. During the concert, Emma performed a sneak preview of her song “Reunion,” which would be released the following month. 

In Emma’s words, the song “Reunion” paints a vivid picture of growing up and growing apart, and Emma empowers listeners to raise their voices with her mantra, “Some people never change. Closure is a losing game. Some bridges are best left in the ash of the past.” Through “Reunion”, bullies and heartbreak’s of years past have officially been cast out.

Reflecting on the meaning behind “Reunion,” Emma said she reflected on her upcoming ten-year high school reunion. “I found myself swapping stories with friends and family. I realized how similar our stories were and it inspired me to start writing. ‘Reunion’ quickly came pouring out. It was a very healing and empowering process.”

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