Emmanuel Kelly is taking over the music scene with the support of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
Speaking with ET Canada, the 26-year-old Australian singer, who was born under war-torn circumstances in Iraq and had to overcome major physical obstacles with multiple surgeries over the years, discusses making his dreams of becoming the “first differently-abled pop star” into a reality.
Opening up about his personal struggles with breaking through in music after appearing on Australia’s “The X-Factor” in 2011, Kelly recalls, “I’m depressed. I’m on a couch. I’m struggling. I got more rejections than you could possibly imagine and so many people experience that.”
Revealing that on his 22nd birthday he came up with a wishlist of prominent artists he aspired to work with — which included Chris Martin — Kelly explains that he eventually received a call from Dr. Habib Sadeghi of the non-profit organization Love Button Global Movement, a friend of the “Yellow” singer, and connected him with the star.
In 2016, Kelly found himself performing on-stage alongside Coldplay in Melbourne. Recalling the moment, he says, “It was though I was looking at my big brother. It was as though I was looking at someone that not just ended up being my mentor, but, in that moment, it felt like I was singing with my big bro.”
Flash-forward five years and the Coldplay singer is acting as an executive producer on Kelly’s forthcoming album Your Story.
Speaking about the debut of his new single “Red Love” off of the album, Kelly explains that the song was originally written about learning to love himself.
He says, “It was about me having two faces at that time where I had this darkness inside of me, staring at the night sky, missing what I used to have: money, fame, fast life. But, really, I just missed my life. And then we just changed some of the lyrics, so that it would allow people to relate to it even more.”
Listen to “Red Love” here.