Cultural Quilting on the Lower East Side

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Emily King

While singing in an R&B style similar to Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey, Emily King also takes rock influences from The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. hide caption

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Emily King blends the music of different eras, cultures and genres. Her first album is called East Side Story. The title is a shout-out to the Lower East Side, Manhattan neighborhood where she was raised.

At 21, Emily King still lives there, and her sound is very much an outgrowth of her neighborhood's cultural quilt. She grew up on reggae, salsa and the sounds of Eastern Europe wafting up from the street into her open bedroom window, as well as hip-hop on the radio. But it was her parents, jazz singers and composers Marion Cowings and Kim Kalesti, that left the biggest musical imprint.

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