Emeli Sande Talks Career Start: 'People Didn't Know What to Do With Me'
What makes Emeli Sandé -- born Adele Emeli Sandé -- so captivating is her passion. It resonates loudly through her vocal prowess, which pilots her debut album, "Our Version of Events," and acts as the anchor of the intimate stories the 25 yr. old tells in each one of her songs. That passion won over some of the music industry's most wanted at both of Sandé's intimate showcases at NYC venue The Box on Monday, February 27. If one was skeptical before walking in, they surely didn't leave that way.
The drive of the Zambian/Scottish singer/songwriter also fueled her transition from medicine to artistry. "It was when I saw how passionate people were about medicine. People would say, 'I dreamt about being a doctor since I was four. That made me think, 'I love medicine, this is very interesting, but what is the one thing I wanted to do since I was four? What's the one thing I can really put my heart into?'" Sande told The Juice. "And at that point, I was like, 'Well I think I should really pursue my real passion which is music.'"
While finishing her specialty in neuroscience at the University of Glasgow, Emeli delved into songwriting and singing. "When you're songwriting, you get to see everything from the background. You get to see pressures artists are under, what traps not to fall into, and how not to do it and how to do it," Sandé said.
Although faced with a few obstacles, Sande pushed through to realize her childhood dream. "It was a long kind of journey to get signed. As soon as you get reputation as a songwriter everyone sees you as that... You really have to believe in what you have to say and why you want to be an artist. People didn't know what to do with me. It was just me and the piano. It was very stripped. It was very different than everything that was out."
Sandé has since written for the likes of Tinie Tempah, Chipmunk and Leona Lewis and recently worked with Alicia Keys for her upcoming album and rising UK artist, Labrinth. Check out part one of our two part interview with Emeli Sandé in which she talks her career start, songwriting and why she chose to not go by Adele.