Emin 'After the Thunder'
The new album OUT NOW
A consummate performer and entertainer with undoubted star quality, Emin Agalarov returns in May with his forthcoming second album 'After The Thunder'.
Emin's debut album 'Wonder' saw the singer's signature blend of adult pop with contemporary production received extremely well in the UK, with BBC Radio 2 naming it their Album of the Week and A-listing both singles, while Emin also became a favourite on daytime TV. The singer notes "in many respects we found our direction with Wonder and with the new album we have made major leaps in the sound." The support from radio, press and fans in the UK gave Emin the confidence to contribute a great deal in terms of the songwriting when it came to make the follow-up. For this new record, Emin has once again worked with producer Brian Rawling (James Morrison, Olly Murs, JLS, Enrique, Cher) - "Brian pushed me to try new things and has especially helped me to discover the true potential of my own voice" - while he's also reteamed with some of his co-writers on 'Wonder', including Patrick Mascall, Jamie Scott and Adam Phillips.
Opening track and first single 'Baby Get Higher' came fairly late in the recording process. Co-written by Mark Read (A1), Emin's upbeat, positive rendition made it an instant addition to the album and a clear choice of first single; the perfect reintroduction to the more self-assured, more expressive singer whose charm and personality informs every moment of this new record.
With Emin having a hand in more of the songwriting, the result is an album with a consistent lyrical and musical perspective. Writing on both piano and guitar, Emin finds the words and melody often come to him simultaneously; "I usually write both at the same time. That is the most immediate aspect of writing for me ... I like to write stories in my songs ... based on observations about life and relationships or a memory." So the album includes the likes of raw, piano-led ballad 'Dead Roses', which was written with Mascall and Read and is about the end of a relationship.
There are several moments on 'After The Thunder' when Emin reassesses how he approaches songwriting. 'Walk Through Walls' sees him collaborate with Tim Bran (Charlatans, The View) and Bnann (Infadels), and Emin states it was an inspiration to see them "look at my music from a new angle ... I love it!". There's also 'Heart Keeps Beating' which has unusually been recorded in both English and Russian, the first time Emin's been able to re-record one of his songs in both languages - "the translation between the two is usually incredibly different ... It means a lot to me to finally have a song out in Russian - some Russians must think I am a foreigner!"
Other highlights on the album hark back to some of Emin's musical touchstones, such as 'I'll Be There' which was written by Emin and Jamie Scott (Michael Kiwanuka, Enrique Iglesias, Marcus Collins) and was inspired by listening to one of his favourite artists Sade. 'After The Thunder', meanwhile, sees Emin channels his love of Bryan Ferry for a song about words said in the heat of the moment.
Emin is particularly looking forward to releasing his new music in the UK, commenting "Britain has been a huge influence on popular music and the amazing singers and bands that have come out of this country are simply too many to mention ... If you can make it in Britain then I think you can make it anywhere - it is music's Mount Everest!"
After the UK success of 'Wonder', Emin was able to secure a global record deal with EMI Germany, who will be fully supporting the release of 'After The Thunder' in what is set to be an astonishingly busy 2012 for the star from Azerbaijan. In addition to capitalising on his huge pre-existing fanbase on the continent, in May he's been invited to return to his home nation to take part in the country's first staging of the Eurovision Song Contest. "It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform both as an artist and an Azeri" - there are sure to be more developments shortly.
In the UK Emin is signed to Saffron Music, with A&R and Marketing being handled by Nick Phillips (ex Warner Music and Universal MCA Chairman) and Adam Hollywood (ex Warner Music General Manager), who have also been responsible for guiding the careers of the likes of Mariah Carey, Michael Buble and Josh Groban.
Having already had great success in Europe with several previous albums, where he regularly performs to arena audiences, 'After The Thunder' is the culmination of Emin's musical career to date; a mature, honest and confident pop record with highlights and surprises at any turn, and the result of a lifetime's passion.