Emm Gryner talking about her life in music, working with David Bowie, collaborating with astronaut Chris Hadfield on a cover version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" with David Bowie.
Gryner started her music career in Toronto, working office jobs during the day while honing her live show in small, local clubs by night. Gryner entered her original song "Wisdom Bus" in a nationwide songwriting contest sponsored by Standard Broadcasting, and won. With the money from this prize, she recorded an album called The Original Leap Year and released it on her own Dead Daisy Records. The album attracted the attention of Violent Femmes producer, Warren Bruleigh.
Bruleigh passed the album onto an exec at Mercury Records who signed Gryner. The result was Public, a Britpop-inspired album that yielded a hit in Canada called "Summerlong." Several tours followed, with Ron Sexsmith, Bernard Butler, Rufus Wainwright and others.
After Universal Music took over Mercury Records, Gryner was dropped from the label and returned to her own Dead Daisy Records. She released several albums, two of which went on to be nominated for Best Pop Album of the Year at the Juno Awards. During this time, Gryner moved to New Paltz, NY and Los Angeles to write and tour. She also took a job singing and playing keyboards in David Bowie’s band. The gig saw Gryner performing with Bowie at Glastonbury Festival, on Later with Jools Holland and other venues around America and Europe. She appears on Bowie at the Beeb, a live album.
After leaving Bowie’s band, Gryner moved to Montreal and released an album called Songs of Love and Death which was made up of cover versions of Irish songs by The Undertones, The Virgin Prunes, Horslips, Thin Lizzy, The Thrills and others. Recorded in a house she shared with Kate McGarrigle, the album attracted the attention of Irish media. Gryner found a champion in Pat Egan, a legendary promoter and manager based in Dublin, and he set up her first shows.
In 2005, Gryner signed Atlantic Canadian indie band In-Flight Safety. The band went on to receive national acclaim, capture several awards and receive a Juno nomination for Best Video of the Year in 2007. Gryner subsequently signed Toronto songwriter Royal Wood and released his album, A Good Enough Day through Dead Daisy.