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My Story

Hi. I'm Cairo, Emma Cairo.

I grew up in Odense, Denmark, living with my tremendously loving and supportive single mom, Ellen. She worked as a family therapist and has always been a wonderful mom to me. She is originally from Norway.

I also had a father, Erland. He was a fantastic jazz musician and a good father to me; full of dad jokes and we shared many wonderful times together, talking music & life over a cold Odense Pilsner. I love him & miss him dearly. He passed away in 2017 after struggling with leukemia for many years. He left behind me, all my sisters & all the wonderful jazz memories so many have of him.

I chose my name when I was ten years old after watching the Danish movie ”The Shadow of Emma”. My mom thought it was fine and my sister thought it was a great idea. Name changing wasn't a big deal to my mom's side of the family. She wrote a note for me to bring and give to the teachers. Within a month or two everyone knew me as Emma.

I always listened to music, sang along & danced around at home. My mom & sister played piano and often sang. At home we listened to a variety of music; jazz, rock, world, folk & opera. I recall my mom often played Sebastian, Savage Rose, Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohen, Rolling Stones & Cornelis Vreeswijk. My father played a lot of traditional jazz so when I was at his house I heard all the best of New Orleans & dixieland as well as hearing my father practice or I'd come with him on his gigs. I still listen to these artists as well as a lot of other artists I've discovered along the way. My biggest musical influence is no doubt Sebastian, - who I had the honor of meeting last year and share my music with!

Other major influences are Bjørk, Majbritte Ulrikkeholm, Eivør, Sofia Jannok from my Nordic heritage, - and my major American influences are Aerosmith, Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Haley Reinhart, Jewel & Michael Jackson. At 13 years old I decided I wanted a career in music. I started writing songs and I took singing lessons. I also got a job as a church singer at Gråbrødre Klosterkirke. It paid okay for a teenager and it kept my chops up. I sang there for 8 years.

After graduating Danish ”high school”, I moved to the capitol, Copenhagen (København), and got a job as a singing waitress in a theatre restaurant: Teaterkælderen. I ended up becoming a manager and loved working there as I got to perform every night and work with other super talented and fun artists. I made great friendships there, plus I had the best boss in the whole world, - while living in the most exiting and alternative area of Copenhagen; Refshaleøen, - close to hippie haven Christiania; with a view of the canals and Copenhagen on one side, and with lots of fresh air and the ocean on the other side. 

After five years working in the restaurant, I decided it was now or never, I had to move on and follow my dreams. I'd always had a longing for sunshine, palm trees and entertainment, so I travelled to L.A. and I fell in love with the city and it's people.

Years later I'm still here, I love L.A. I've been away on jobs, singing with bands for months and months in Asia, Egypt and Las Vegas, but I always come back to L.A. This is where my home is now.

In 2014 I released the EP "Southern Songs from the North", and in March 2017 I released my debut album "In East & West" produced by my longtime friend & band member Jimmy Heberling at Hemmens Bros Studios. 

In Denmark we have a saying ”I øst og vest”; ”In East & West”, meaning if something is in east and west, it's all over the place-- or put in a more positive way; it's versatile, so this album is a collection of the best songs I have written over the years, and they have pretty different themes. Some songs are classic love songs of being confused: "Does he like me or not?" Some songs are of a more spiritual nature; I believe in a purpose in life and in following my path, trusting in a higher power, - and some songs were inspired by my surroundings, living in a new city in a new country, and Hollywood effecting my mind, both in positive and negative ways.
The song ”L.A.” is an ode to Los Angeles. It is an anthem. The song came to me in a dream after I had been away from the city for a few days... I got up and starting singing: "I'M IN L.A. - IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY! (……..)" Why do I love L.A? Because it's a wonderful melting pot of different cultures and a fabulous mix of an urban atmosphere and lots of magnificent nature! There are many quirks about L.A. that you won't know until you visit, and I just love exploring the city! You can explore every day of your life without ever seeing everything or getting bored.

The thread that glues the album together is my voice and the organic instrumentation. Real instruments and seriously talented musicians. What you hear on the album is what you'll hear live so come and see us live!