Artists You Should Know: Emeli Sandé

By DENNY DIRECTO

February 13, 2013

British recording artist and songwriter Emeli Sandé is already making waves in the UK and hopes to become the latest in a growing list of British musicians that have taken over the world in recent times. Her debut album Our Version of Events is the UK's biggest selling album of 2012 and with her lyrically rich songs powered by an incredible voice, I have no doubt she is the next Global superstar. I recently chatted with Emeli before her gig at the ChapStick Sessions Concert in partnership with MySpace. Check out our full interview below and be sure to watch the concert footage above for a special performance of her latest single, Next To Me.

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ETonline: You are one of music's rising stars, have a number one album (UK) for Our Version of Events, sang at the open and closing of the Olympics, and a new hit single Next To Me, how has the ride to fame been for you?
Emeli: It definitely feels surreal. It's been an incredible year and so much has happened that I didn't expect to happen so quickly. It's definitely been the type of year that you dream about as a kid so I'm very happy.

How much would you say your life has changed?
Dramatically it's definitely changed a lot. But I try to keep grounded by just focusing on the music so that part hasn't changed. But day to day it's so busy and you have less and less time to have alone and to write but it's all good that's why you do it in the first place.

A lot of wonderful talent has emerged from the UK in recent years so I've got to ask you, what's in the water over there??
(Laughs) Yeah I'm not sure! It feels like a really good time and I'm really proud to be part of this kind of new generation of musicians that are doing something quite creative. I think we all feel kind of free to experiment with different genres and it's such a small place so we all know each other and can learn from one another.

Tell me about your writing process. Are certain types of songs more easily driven by a lyric or music?
Sometimes when I play something on piano, the tone of it can inspire a feeling. But usually it's a concept that will pop in to my mind or a phrase or if I'm reading something it will spark something or a different way of thinking about the same subject. Usually it's the words but sometimes when I sit at the piano it all falls into place.

What would you say is your favorite lyric you've ever written?
I really like "when the floor is more familiar than the ceiling," just because whenever I sing that lyric I imagine somebody stuck to the floor, someone stuck to the ceiling. I've always been inspired by people that can make you see things so clearly with few words. And that's what I try to channel when I'm writing.

Is there any artist you're hoping to collaborate with in the future? Who are you currently listening to?
I think Drake is amazing lyrically; he's really doing something different I think. I love Frank Ocean as well. There's a lot of new people too, Ed Sheeran ... there's a lot of people I think are great. I love Rihanna, everyone does, and I think what she's doing is very honest and I really respect that.

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