Emilia Smechowski was born in Poland and moved to Berlin in 1987. She began playing piano at the age of nine and soon after joined the girls' choir at St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Berlin. At the age of 16 she took up vocal training with Verena Rein and, after completing her A-levels in 2003, continued her studies with private vocal lessons. In addition to her musical training, she took acting and répétiteur classes at the Berlin Academy of Music Hanns Eisler.
In 2007, she decided to study Italian and French at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She successfully completed her studies in the summer of 2010 with a thesis on the rise of the Mafia in Germany and wrote for German papers tageszeitung (taz) and Berliner Tagesspiegel as a freelance journalist. In August 2010, she took up an editorial traineeship with taz nord in Hamburg.