EMay – the moniker for multi-disciplinary artist Erika May – is a songwriter, beekeeper, snake-charmer and fire-dancer who has jumped out of airplanes and skiied triple-black pistes, she regularly performs in front of thousands of people. In addition…
EMay is a performing and recording artist who writes and collaborates and covers the greats. Her latest release, Let Out Your Ghosts, was released in 2019. This record was recorded live at Henson studios in LA and features Marc Ford (Black Crowes, Magpie Salute), Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Black Crowes), Michael Jerome (Better than Ezra, Lizz Wright) and Taras Prodaniuk (Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams), with much support from producer Jimmy Hoyson. EMay’s teachers include Alanis Morisette, Jorma Kaukonen, David Wolff and Tom Feldman. She has opened for 10,000 Maniacs, Toubabe Krewe, Rusted Root, Dar Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Marcia Ball, The Black Lilies and Cabinet. She currently fronts the rock band EMay & The Soundmen, and has recorded and performed with the Black Yo)))ga Meditation Ensemble (doom), Kirik Hava (turkish folk), Between Liberties (folk rock). She has performed internationally and in her own back yard. (emay’s current musical endeavors can be found at emaymusic.com)
EMay is co-founder and managing director for Steel Town Fire and was pivotal in launching Pyrotopia Fire Arts Festival and the Pittsburgh Fire Arts community. (more on fire). Steel Town Fire manages fire-based multimedia stage shows around the region, most notably the Fire & Ice Stage at First Night, Pittsburgh (2009-present).
EMay lives close to nature in a strawbale home in rural West Virginia. A beekeeper and homestead farmer, she and her partner Ben operate Healthberry Farm and Honey River Meadery. They also grow most of their own food and care for a cat, a few dozen chickens, three awesome dogs a couple equally-fabulous donkeys. They run an artist retreat studio and airbnb cabin on site, and offer tours of the mead-making and honey operations by appointment (more on healthberry farm)
EMAY IS AN UNORIGINAL HACK
…but so is Steven Spielberg, so she is in good company. On her blog, she shares stories from the road, poems for the earth, and insights into her creative life. She commiserates with you about what it takes to be a whole being in a fractured world, and trails breadcrumbs so you can find her favorite artists, musicians, places and things.
EMAY LOVES THE ARTS
When she is not herself being creative, she is often supporting the arts in some way. She has worked behind-the-scenes in just about every aspect of the performing and visual artis — as a sound engineer, event producer, live radio program manager, booking agent, talent buyer, teacher, graphic designer, website builder, creative consultant and stage manager. She loves talking with aspiring artists and entrepreneurs about balancing creativity and business management, money and art, passion and persistence.
EMAY IS A HUMAN BEING
She went to art school in Pittsburgh and made weird installations across the city. She adores Pittsburgh and Boston, the places she spent a large part of her life. She bases her home at the extremes — in rural West Virginia and Los Angeles. She often does things backwards while swimming upstream. She is passionate about many things, most especially the environment, education, the arts, mental health, and meditation. She loves to dance, adventure outdoors, garden, juice apples and ride horses. She is an avid reader and listener of books. She loves traveling, meeting people, and engaging in interesting conversations. She has been sober since 2011 and thinks she’ll stay that way. She has a great community, an awesome family, and the absolute best friends in the world.
EMAY LOVES YOU
You see, although she sometimes talks about herself in third-person on the internet, EMay always adores connecting with real people in the flesh or at least in first-person emails or phone calls. Please connect to her over social media and, if you have a burning desire, do not hesitate to contact her. She tries to read all her emails, loves you dearly and wishes you the abundant fruit of the beautiful seeds you plant in this dear little world.