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Emily King Writes an Original Song Inspired by Seattle

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Been There, Made That

Emily King

Grammy-Nominated Singer/Songwriter

Seattle is full of inspiration. We invited artists from across the country to visit the city and create something new based off their experiences.

Emily King is a Grammy-nominated musician, living in New York City where she was born and raised. She writes and sings songs, and she plays the guitar. She's been making music her whole life, and she's constantly on the prowl for new musical ideas. In the midst of tour rehearsals and the hustle of day-to-day life, she came back to Seattle, which she’d been to before on tour, to recharge her battery and explore. "The idea of Seattle just struck up a happy feeling right away," she says.

She immersed herself in the city and collected sounds, sights, and experiences. "It's wonderful to be able to travel and be in a new place, and to try to log every taste and smell and sound into that one piece of art," King says. Here's what she found in Seattle.

The Journey

The Inspiration

A Sound Garden

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The inspiration for the name of a certain Seattle-based band, sculptor Douglas Hollis’s “A Sound Garden” (1983) sits alongside Lake Washington, in northeastern Seattle. Its 12 steel towers contain organ pipes, which play low tones when the lake breezes pass through. It’s mesmerizing.

“The sound here is incredible, almost orchestral,” King says. “You hear electronic sounds out in nature, which is cool because there’s nothing electric. It’s just all from the wind.”

Emerald Street Guitars

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“My friend Allen Stone says the artistic community here is small enough that you can really connect with other people and get to know them,” King says. One place that happens is at Emerald Street Guitars, the vintage guitar shop near Pioneer Square.”

Stone showed up while King was poking around. “I probably touched too many things there,” she says. “But then we were just jamming and catching up. He loves this city, says it’s just the right amount of smalltown feel and big city.”

Golden Gardens Park

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“We walked up the shore, and there were these fire pits on the beach. My brother got up on one and started tapdancing,” King says.

Water churning from the ferry

"This guy came by who said he worked for the public parks, and we thought we were in trouble. If you do that in New York, you get in trouble. But he was coming over just to offer to open the fire pit for us,” she says. The beach is part of Golden Gardens Park, on the shore of Puget Sound.

Process

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Heading back to New York City, Emily says she can see the similarities between Seattle and New York. "What makes it such a creative place is it feels like there is a longing here," she says. "It’s a beautiful city, but there are depths to it. There’s emotion and you need to see all sides of life to create good art. You can’t just be happy, you have to have some depth. I think that’s what people really appreciate about Seattle and I think that’s why the music that comes from Seattle is so popular because it really touches people’s emotions deeply."

"Now, after visiting Seattle and really seeing it, hearing it — all I have to do is connect the emotion and melody and do it from a genuine place."

The Song

Hear Emily's Song
Emily's guitar

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