Emem Washington’s expressively creative nature was nurtured from a young age. She has written poems since she was 10, and as a young girl, she loved acting in school and church plays. Emem has always been drawn to music. As a nine year-old girl, Emem wanted to be able to sing so much that she made a special request that God would give her the ability to sing. Funny enough, she never sang publicly until her last few years in college when her youth group put on a Christmas program. That was the beginning.
Emem was born in Los Angeles to high-achieving Nigerian parents who stressed the importance of education and wanted her to be a doctor. She has a Bachelor’s in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, but later decided to go to law school instead. She obtained her JD (juris doctor) degree and also has an LL.M in Intellectual Property and Information Law. She has practiced law for several years and even served as an adjunct Professor at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. However, if you ask Emem which of her accomplishments means the most to her, you might be surprised by her answer – “I’ve worn so many hats in my life, but my favorite, by far, is “Mommy” to my two boys.”
Emem’s life is built around her love for God, family and music. “I love God because He has done so much for me, in spite of me. He is good all the time. There’s a verse in the bible that talks about how we love Him because He first loved us. I used to be puzzled by that verse, because I interpreted it to mean that this is the only reason we love Him. Recently though, I’ve begun to understand that, because God loved me first, He sent His Son to die for me, He wraps me in His arms, He constantly amazes me. Of course, I’ve got to love Him back! So yeah, I love Him because He first loved me.”
Emem is part of a large family and her extended family was – and still is – a huge part of her life. “If I can raise my kids in the way of the Lord, the way my parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts raised me and my siblings, I will have accomplished much. I just love my family.”
For Emem, music is more than just singing; it creates a path to something bigger, and more profound. “Good music, to me, is music that edifies. Great music is music that glorifies God. Music can take you into His presence, can lift your spirits, teach you something new, and take you back in time. My prayer is that God will use my music to encourage, to draw others to Him, and to bring glory to His name.”