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Kia Ora. Talofa :)

Some more info about Ema I'u, aka Ema Barton


Ema I'u Patricia Barton is a musician, actor and creative (of Samoan/ Pākehā heritage) who has been dabbling in the arts for over 20 years now. She was born and raised around Tāmaki Makaurau with regular trips to Samoa. Ema enjoyed her early years with plenty of aiga in Kelston, West Auckland and then her pre-teen and high-school years out South on her Grandparent's farm in Glenbrook, Waiuku; attending Pukekohe High-School. Ema developed a passion for art, theatre and music, forming bands and excelling in drama class with dreams of becoming an actress and singer. 


Ema did a 'gap year' at Auckland Uni studying Philosophy and Media Studies, then moved into the city to complete a Bachelors of Performing and Screen Arts, majoring in Acting for Screen and Theatre at Unitec. (She figured the music would come naturally.)

Her 'textured' class had a hunger to create work and after graduating, came a decade of ensemble theatre making as a Producer, Actor and core member of The Outfit Theatre Company  (churning out over 20 shows). Some highlights include The K Rd Show, Surburban Murder, Little White Men, Office Xmas Party, The Sex Show, A Boy's Life and family favourites Treasure Island, King Arthur, Alice and Robin Hood.

Ema also formed a Commedia Del’ Arte troupe Slapstix that ran workshops and performed for High-Schools. (A traditional Italian style of improvised, acrobatic, masked theatre.)

Whilst Ema had been teaching guitar part time and writing songs here and there, it was time to focus more on music and she completed a Diploma in Contemporary Music Performance at Mainz.

For the last 8 years Ema has been a full-time Musician. She performs solo and with her

cover bands Lucky May and Coco-Rocky regularly at bars, functions, festivals and on


Ema is known as ‘The Queen of Open Mic’ having run multiple Open Mics over the last 8

years (and as a sound tech) at Empire Tavern (CBD), Zoo Eatery (Henderson), Win-Win Bar (Ponsonby) and The Portland Public House (Kingsland).

Ema has also hosted Tiger Songwriter Night at The Empire and Songwriter Club at Win-Win.

She has a passion for serving her community by creating opportunities for people to share their art/music and to 'Hold Space' for worthy causes and has formed Holding Space Aotearoa Charitable Trust for this purpose. Current projects include Songwriters4ClimateAction, Young Blood Open Mics and helping local legend Graham McGregor make his album.

2022/2023 are the years Ema is focusing on releasing her original music as Ema I'u. She is working on multiple tracks with Producer Nathan Judd (Producer of the Year, Pacific Music Awards 2021) with a NZ on Air New Music Development Grant and a New Music Pasifika Grant for an upcoming single Flower Of Life. Midnight Mistress is the first single from this collaboration, with an album in the pipeline for release later this year.  Barton also ran a successful Campaign to help make the music video and content exploring the theme of her song Midnight Mistress.

You'll also catch Ema on several TV Commercials and acting gigs. She is represented by Collaborate Management






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