Jonathan Emile is a Jamaican-Canadian singer-songwriter, composer, and cancer survivor.
In 2011, he garnered attention with the release of his debut EP “The Lover/Fighter Document”, which was placed on the first ballot of the 2011 Grammy Nominations for “Rap Album of The Year”. Emile has been featured in major online publications such as Pitchfork, Hip Hop Dx, Billboard, Fader, and Complex. He has collaborated with international Hip-Hop artists Kendrick Lamar, Buckshot and Murs for his debut LP.
Additionally, he has shared the stage with rappers Coolio in San Francisco, Nelly in Las Vegas, and Naughty By Nature and Slick Rick in New York. He has also collaborated closely with world-renowned cellist Denis Brott, and shared venues with Oliver Jones and Miri Ben-Ari.
At the age of 18, Emile was diagnosed with cancer, and for the following two years he underwent intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments to fight the disease. During this period, he used music as his personal therapy as he fought the disease. Emile’s music is defined by truth as he shares his experiences of battling cancer, addresses current affairs and explores humanity. Through Reggae, Hip-Hop and R&B, Emile offers an honest and unique perspective of reality without sacrificing the contemporary sounds that younger listeners crave.
Emile trained at “The Black Theatre Workshop: Youth Initiative” in Montréal. During and after his treatments he independently developed his music knowledge including studio production, vocal performance, guitar and musical composition.
Since developing his craft, Emile delivered a critically acclaimed performance in a Broadway production of the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ in Montréal, he also secured small roles in Hollywood productions such as Dreamland (2020), On The Basis of Sex (2019) and Jack Ryan (2019). His experiences include touring the US, Canada, England, and Germany performing in front of over ten thousand students. The depth and relevance of his lyrics are only paralleled by his presence and understanding of today’s music trends.
His devotion to creativity spawns from his quest for knowledge. His main musical influences include Bob Marley, John Lennon, Nina Simone and Mos Def & Talib Kweli. He does not see himself as strictly a Reggae or Hip-Hop artist, but as a thinker with a knack for rhythm and rhyme. “My art, my life is not a lifestyle, it’s a philosophy that reflects truth and promotes humanism and social justice. Emile has recently finished recording two feature-length albums, which will be released in 2019.
He continues to produce R&B and Pop records for aspiring young artists through his independent label Mindpeacelove Records. “When I was going through cancer, I promised myself that if I made it - if I survived - I would use my newfound passion for music to communicate what I had learned to make a positive impact on the world... So here I am.” - JE