Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé’s unique mixture of soul and pop sound beds make her uniquely poised to be music’s next big thing. Born to a Zambian father and Cumbrian mother, Emeli grew up in rural northern Scotland, using piano as a tool to hone her skills. Prior to launching her musical career, Emeli was just shy of completing a six-year degree in medicine at Glasgow University. She explains on her website that she specialized in clinical neuroscience “cause I really like all the brain stuff.” Then in 2009, Sandé burst onto the scene with appearances on singles like Chipmunk’s “Diamond Rings,” and Wiley’s “Never Be Your Woman.”
At just 26-years-old, Emeli received the Brit Awards Critics’ Choice Award in 2012, performed at both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, toured with Coldplay, and wrote for Alicia Keys, Tinie Tempah, and countless others. Additionally, she released her debut album, Our Version of Events in February 2012 to critical and commercial acclaim (it was the United Kingdom’s biggest selling debut of 2012), and followed up with her first live album, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, in February 2013.
Chances are, those unfamiliar with Emeli have heard her without realizing. Over the past several months, the singer’s hit single “Next to Me” charted in the United States, landing at No. 25 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The track is an upbeat testimony, with Emeli extolling the virtues of a mysterious “him”: “You won’t find him trying to chase the devil / For money, fame, for power, out of greed / You won’t ever find him where the rest go / You will find him, you’ll find him next to me.” Gospel at its core with a catchy, modern sensibility, the track has made waves in Australia, Europe, North America, Asia, and South America.
Emeli’s “My Kind of Love” shows another side of the singer, with somber, heartfelt vocals. “I know sometimes I get angry / And I say what I don’t mean / I know I keep my heart protected / Far away from my sleeve / But don’t ever question if my heart beats only for you, it beats only for you,” she sings on the emotionally-charged track. The song is open to interpretation, applying as well to a significant other as it does to an ill friend, as the song’s powerful music video illustrates. Last week, Sande released a remix of the single featuring Los Angeles rapper, Ab Soul.
After recently presenting at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards and performing “My Kind of Love” on ABC’s Good Morning America, Emeli is poised to establish herself as a household name worldwide. Listen to Sande’s ‘My Kind Of Love” remix ft. Ab Soul above and pick up a copy of her debut album Our Version of Events on iTunes.