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'Here's to your brave soul': Utah singer helps write, record song dedicated to her brother lost to overdose

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 00:07:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A local singer and songwriter is using her voice to share a powerful message about drug addiction and the devastating impacts it can have.

Emma Grace worked with well-known electronic dance music (EDM) artist Illenium on the song “Brave Soul,” dedicated to her brother Braden who died almost three years ago from a drug overdose. He was 32.

“Too young, and an insanely talented musician,” Emma said of Braden.

Music was their thing.

“When my brother passed away, I actually completely cut music out of my life,” she said.

But eventually, she decided it was time to bring music back into her life.

“I see little signs here and there and I’m just like, ‘Hell yeah dude, we are doing this. It is still me and you, even though you’re not here. It’s still us,’” Emma said.

The first time Emma heard the song performed live, in a performance by Illenium, the powerful moment was caught on camera.

“I wrote this song with Emma,” Illenium said from the stage. “She’s singing, and she has the most beautiful voice of all time. This is called ‘Brave Soul.’”

Emma was moved to tears when she heard the song. She and her other brother embraced each other as the crowd raised their hands in the air.

“This has just always been our dream, and it would be amazing if he was here to share that,” Emma said Sunday in an interview with FOX 13.

The song has a deep, personal meaning to the pair of musicians.

“Watching someone that you love so much struggle with the disease of addiction is heartbreaking,” Emma said. “That’s why we called the song ‘Brave Soul,’ because we truly believe, me and Illenium, that these are people who are so brave and that spend their life fighting and fighting.”

The song reminds her of the one she’s lost — each lyric healing in the way music is meant to do.

“I feel him all the time… Everything that I do now in my music is for him,” she said.

Emma also hopes her message can help others who are going through a similar situation.

“I just hope that people are able to become more vulnerable with each other, are able to connect more, and are able to open the discussion of addiction more. So many people struggle with it,” she said.

Click here for ways you can spot an overdose and even save that person's life.