Boheme was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and attempted to sign a record deal at age 15 which did not pan out. In 2004 she contacted Grammy award nominee Mike Melvoin, who asked her to begin working on his own records.Soon after she signed to Concord Jazz, and released her debut album, What Love Is, in 2006. The album hit #17 on the U.S. Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart.
Boheme is more than simply a brilliant, musically-wise, beyond-her-years interpreter with a deep understanding of jazz and traditional pop vocal traditions, however. Having written her first song at age 15, the passionate and optimistic “Anything” (caressed on the album by lush orchestration), she’s also quickly developed into a remarkably insightful, heartfelt, and witty tunesmith of unlimited potential, a talent embraced by Concord. For What Love Is?a CD full of songs that explore and express the complex nature of love and human relationships?she gracefully balances such Boheme-penned tunes as the title track, a yearning “Someone To Love” (written with composer / producer Mark Portmann), and “Make You Happy” (co-written with Rob Chiarelli), with stirring new arrangements of classics like “Let’s Do It” and “Teach Me Tonight.” There are also fresh twists on modern pop hits like Eric Clapton’s “Change The World” and Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.”
“The tune ‘Someone to Love’ was actually the first song I wrote when I moved to Los Angeles,” Boheme explains. “I wrote the chorus and had it in my head for a while, until my former manager hooked me up with Mark Portmann. He sat down, and I sang it to him. All these new ideas poured out and the whole tune was written in half an hour.” She continues, “In the case of ‘Make You Happy,’ Rob [Chiarelli] gave me the basic track and just said, ‘See what you can come up with.’ I toyed with it for a week, singing words along with it before actually writing down the lyrics, then gradually coming up with a melody line. Working with so many great writers has naturally pushed me to become a better songwriter myself.”
In early 2004, the singer was reading her local newspaper for a class assignment when she saw the headline, “Oshkosh Man Nominated For Grammy.” Boheme emailed congratulations to Los Angeles-based veteran pianist Mike Melvoin, who was up for Best Piano Solo for “All Or Nothing At All.” Melvoin—who was Peggy Lee’s musical director for many years—would eventually become a mentor to Boheme. He would critique her songs honestly and invite her to work with him on new material, which one day found its way to the Concord Music Group.
An hour into the label’s meeting with Boheme, the executives around the table told the young singer, just 18-years old at the time, that if she wanted to become part of the family, they were interested. GRAMMY® Award-winning producer and Executive Vice President of A&R John Burk explains, “Erin is one of those rare finds, a brilliant interpreter of song who truly conveys the emotion behind every song she sings. I was struck by the depth and maturity of Erin’s songwriting. From the first time I heard her, I knew she was an incredibly gifted artist.” Burk would go on to produce many of the songs on What Love Is, along with Gregg Field, Brian Bromberg, Mark Portman and Melvoin.