A true trailblazer
Lizzie was born and brought up in West London in a mixed Irish/Nigerian household. Her parents were told she would never walk or talk, but she defied the odds.
Her family loved music, growing up she listened to a variety of different musical styles ranging from pop and classic soul to folk and afrobeat. The dub sounds and beats from the Notting Hill Carnival were also a big influence.
Lizzie Emeh performing her Loud & Proud album (2009)Heart n Soul
Lizzie’s musical career really started to develop when she joined the arts charity Heart n Soul. She was spotted singing on the open mic at their regular club night The Beautiful Octopus Club at the Albany arts venue in Deptford, London.
Large 2002 (2002)Heart n Soul
She started performing with the Heart n Soul Company in a number of musical-theatre shows across Europe, at Glastonbury festival and Heart n Soul Unplugged, in Asia. The experience allowed Lizzie to gain experience and to start thinking about creating her own music.
In 2007, she started working on her debut album, Loud and Proud. Lizzie couldn’t read or write, so she had a distinctive way of writing and producing her songs, working with Heart n Soul artists and musicians to bring her songs to life.
Lizzie Emeh Loud & Proud album cover (2009)Heart n Soul
The album came out in 2009 to much critical acclaim. It featured a range of musical sounds which Lizzie described as "Eclectic with lots of soul.”
Lizzie Emeh singing liveHeart n Soul
The album was also a rallying call for people with learning disabilities. She passionately believed that people with learning disabilities have a right to be seen and heard and wanted to show others what they can do. “I wanted to be celebratory about learning disability."
Throughout Lizzie’s career, Lizzie’s always wrote about her own life experiences and wanted to be as authentic as possible. Her songs explored a range of themes including love, relationships, family, disability and mental health.
Lizzie Emeh singing on stage in 2010 (2010)Heart n Soul
“I sing from the heart, I sing about true life, in every single track there is a story behind it and behind my life. I am opening up the doors of my life just for you to get me and find the spirit and motivation that anything is possible.”
Lizzie Emeh and Beverly Knight at the Paraolympics opening ceremony (2012)Heart n Soul
Paralympics opening ceremony
She loves being on stage performing. A key highlight was performing with Beverley Knight at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, live in front of 80,000 people and millions more at home.
Lizzie Emeh in the recording studio 2013 (2013)Heart n Soul
Lizzie was passionate about music and she always worked with a range of musicians to take her music in different directions including Mark Williams, Rikki Jodelko, Charles Stuart and Arthur Lea.
In 2015 she started work on the follow up to her debut album. Entitled See Me, the album was split into a 3-part EP trilogy - The Clan, My Baboo and Meds.
Lizzie Emeh recieving an award (2011)Heart n Soul
Lizzie was a huge role model within the learning disability community. She won two national awards for her contribution to music and wanted to share her story with as many people.
She also inspired a number of learning disabled and neurodiverse artists to develop careers within the music industry. Including artists such as Electric Fire, Dean Rodney Jr and Too Hot For Candy.
Lizzie Emeh Warriors artworkHeart n Soul
Lizzie passed away in November 2021, but has left an amazing legacy. Her final posthumous album release ‘Listen to Lizzie’ brings together brand-new music, music created during lockdown and some unreleased tracks, celebrating this final chapter of her musical legacy.
Lizzie Emeh in Notting Hill (2014)Heart n Soul
A true trailblazer who led the way for many to follow.
“I hope people read my story and realise that anything is possible if you really want it. I use my music to inspire and educate others. I hope my story helps people to do this and to be aware of the amazing things that people with learning disabilities are doing.” - Lizzie