"With simple production and silky vocals, Emili brings listeners a laid back track about pressing pause. Blending a more indie sound with a commercial pop chorus, Emili has something special and sweet about her vocals." - Unheard Gems

"Emili’s voice along with her simple, guitar arrangement is hypnotically ethereal; allowing the listeners to breath in her verses like oxygen because, frankly, our hearts need fresh air. I wish there were more songwriters or people capturing, as beautifully, the fear and hard path to hopefulness this world has sparked in within people, especially during this pandemic, but, at least, EMILI has gotten the ball rolling." - Diandra Reviews

"Emili’s voice is soft and comforting, while also holding power and emotion that is not always easy to convey. When it comes to music, sometimes simple is best and this song is a perfect example of that. A simple, beautiful melody laid over backing guitar is all Emili needed to create an amazing piece of music, which is a true showcase of talent. 

“When” is a song that you would want to listen to in your bedroom at night with your eyes closed. It is a song to be felt along with being heard. The lyrics hold a deeper meaning than the surface shows. The chorus holds the obvious questions we all ask ourselves during times of trouble. It feels like talking to a friend, which is exactly what we all need right now. I highly recommend the song." - Eastern Echo

"If you’re looking for an engaging acoustic singer-songwriter, Emili has a lot of ability for that style. The acoustic guitar provides a nice basis for Emili’s quality vocal. The ruminations in the lyrics are about a day that might come when life is restored to normal. We’re not featuring much music specifically about the quarantine, but this one had a delightful sweetness and optimism to it. Give it a spin." - Ear to the Ground

"Emili has a strong yet soft voice that carries beautifully through “When.” The vocals are supported by just an acoustic guitar. Even though there are only vocals and an acoustic guitar the song completely fills the room. The lyrics in “When” take us on a journey. They start off with detailing the loneliness of this isolation then go one to assure us that after this ends we won’t be alone. Overall the lyrics are meaningful and thought-provoking, reminding us that this is only temporary." - Rock the Pigeon


Emili is a pop singer-songwriter who is currently a junior at Yale University. Born and raised in New Jersey, Emili started singing and performing when she was 9. After getting third place in Chinese Idol in 2015, Emili started pursuing music seriously in China and America. She started writing her own music when she was 16 after attending Berklee's summer songwriting workshop. Her major influences are Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Lianne La Havas, and Regina Spektor. She released two singles on Net Ease Music (the leading music streaming service in China), now the two songs have over 100,000 streams. While at school studying cognitive science, Emilii also posts on Youtube once a week with covers and original music.

Emili’s next single, “On and On”, is set to release on July 17th. 

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Emily Li, better known as Emili, is an up and coming 20-year-old singer-songwriter whose clean and fresh sound will be sure to leave you wanting more. Her soulful voice is perfect for curling up in bed on a rainy day. 


After she won Third Place on Chinese Idol, the Chinese version of American Idol at 15, Emili has grown both vocally and artistically into an artist to watch. 


Emili grew up in a small town in New Jersey, listening to Regina Spektor, Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, Amy Winehouse and Adele. She is the perfect mix of the smoothness of Norah Jones’ voice and the power in Adele’s. Her voice is truly one of a kind and brings the listener so much warmth. She started singing when she was 9-years-old, belting out musical theater ballads and Beatles’ classics. At a young age, she brought people to tears with her rendition of Ave Maria. She is classically trained in vocal performance and competed in vocal competitions starting at a young age. Emili has performed in a variety of performance spaces, classical halls such as Carnegie Hall, intimate spaces such as Joe’s Pub and Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar, and even sold-out sports arenas in Shanghai. 


During her gap year, she garnered millions of views on Chinese platforms. All the shows she booked were featured on primetime television on the biggest stations on Sunday nights. After winning third place on Chinese Idol, she performed on Dancing with the Stars of China as a star. She ended her gap year by traveling to 12 different countries as a co-star on Exploration of the World, the Chinese version of Amazing Race. When she returned to the US to finish high school, Emili found a new sense of purpose to start writing her own music. She signed with a streaming platform in China, NetEase Music, and released 2 singles with them, receiving over 100,000 streams on each song. 


She also attended Youngarts NYC as a winner in Pop Vocals in 2018, learning from the greats and further deepening her passion for the arts. The National Youngarts Foundation is the reason Emili received the courage necessary to switch into the American Music Industry. “As a first generation Chinese-American, I grew up without a music role model who looked like me. Even up to the end of highschool, I never considered an entertainment career in America because I never thought I looked the part.”  But, after encouragement from Sofar Sounds and Youngarts, she started pursuing the American Industry in College. 


Now, a junior at Yale University, Emili spends all her time writing more music, performing in on-campus bands, singing at live shows, and producing music.