Adele Emeli Sandé play /sæn'di?/ san-DEE, (born 10 March
1987) known by her stage name Emeli Sandé, is a Scottish soul
and R&B recording artist and songwriter. Sandé first became
known to the public eye after she featured on rapper Chipmunk's third
single, "Diamond Rings", which gained herself and Chipmunk
a first top 10 single on the UK Singles Chart. In 2010, she appeared
on Roll Deep star, Wiley's "Never Be Your Woman", which
became another top ten hit. Simon Cowell called her "his favourite
songwriter at the minute". She has written for a number of artists,
including Cher Lloyd, Parade, Susan Boyle, Preeya Kalidas, Leona Lewis,
Alesha Dixon, Cheryl Cole, and Tinie Tempah.
In 2010, she signed a publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing.
She later announced that Virgin Records had given her a record deal.
Sandé released her first solo single "Heaven" in
August 2011, which was an instant hit around the globe. Sandé
has two number-one singles across the United Kingdom and Ireland with
"Read All About It" with Professor Green and "Next
to Me". She released Our Version of Events, in February 2012,
upon the release the album peaked number one in the UK.
Emeli Sandé was born to a Zambian father and English mother.
She was raised in Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She studied
Medicine at the University of Glasgow, but stopped in her fourth year.
She said that education was one of the most important things to her,
stating that if her music career failed, she has education to fall
back on. Sandé said that her manager, Adrian Sykes, waited
patiently since she was 16, "Adrian really respects that I want
to get an education behind me. He also knows my parents are keen that
I finish university." Sandé has a tattoo of artist
Frida Kahlo. At the age of 11, when Sandé was still in primary
school, she wrote her first song for a school talent show. She
remembers "That was the first time I thought I might be a songwriter.
I always knew I wanted to be a musician and I knew I wanted to write
because the people I was listening to all wrote. I never thought it
was an option to sing anyone else's songs. The first song we wrote
was called "Tomorrow Starts Again" - the song had proper
structure and even a Middle eight. At the age of 15, Choice FM
invited her to London, United Kingdom to take part in a competition
they were holding, the "Rapology". Richard Blackwood also
had her down to MTV's Camden studios to sing gospel. Sandé
went to the same secondary school at which her father was a teacher.
She said "I hated to be ill and to miss a day because I was so
hungry to learn. I was very shy, nerdy and extremely well-behaved.
Inevitably, throughout secondary school, it was part and parcel of
my identity that I was Mr Sandé’s daughter. No way could
I muck about or get into trouble, because it would've got back to
him within minutes. And Dad was strict, let me tell you."
2008–10: Career beginnings
Sandé's sister made a video of her playing the piano and singing
to one of her favourite songs, "Nasty Little Lady". They
sent the clip to Trevor Nelson's BBC Urban music competition. Sandé
won the show and was offered a record deal, but the management that
she met via the competition decided against the deal. Her parents
sent 1Xtra a CD of her songs. Ras Kwame played on his "Homegrown
Sessions", and four artists that year were asked to do a show
in Soho. She met with Watford-born music producer/writer Shahid Khan
aka Naughty Boy, who has previously worked with Ms Dynamite and
Bashy, and they began writing tracks for artists such as Alesha
Dixon, Chipmunk, Professor Green, Devlin, Preeya Kalidas, Cheryl Cole,
and Tinie Tempah. Sandé soon signed a record deal with Virgin
Records and EMI Records. In an interview, she said "I was
doing a show in London for 1Xtra and I met this guy called Naughty
Boy. We got in the studio and we clicked work wise. We just started
writing, not necessarily for me, we just thought ‘let's write
a pop tune’ and experiment. And we wrote the Chipmunk track
and I thought nothing of it. Naughty Boy sent it off to Chipmunk who
really liked it and wrote his stuff around it." She signed
a record deal with Virgin Records in 2010. She later signed another
deal with EMI Records in early 2011. Sandé made her singing
career debut in 2009 after appearing on the track she wrote for Chipmunk's
first debut single, "Diamond Rings". The single charted
at No. 6 on the UK Singles Charts, making it Chipmunk and Sandé's
first ever Top 10 Hit. She later appeared on another single singing
guest vocals, after collaborating with Wiley on his comeback single
"Never Be Your Woman", the single charted at number-eight
on the UK Singles Charts becoming Sandé's second consecutive
Top 10 Single. Sandé announced she changed her name from
Adele Sandé to her middle name Emeli Sandé due to Adele's
growing success. She spoke; "I changed it as soon as Adele came
out. I just thought, 'You've kind of taken the [name] now', so I went
with my middle name. She was just getting bigger and bigger, so I
thought I just really need it."
2011–present: Our Version of Events, international success and
"I have just finished a song with Cher Lloyd, called Lifetime,
for her new album. I have another on Leona Lewis’s next album
and one that has been recorded by Susan Boyle. That’s probably
my proudest moment. Susan recorded my song, called This Will Be The
Year, last week, for her next album. There is another called River,
which I am hoping she’s going to record."
While making her debut album, Sandé began to work with Tinie
Tempah. She co-wrote "Let Go", on which she provided guest
vocals. She also started working with Devlin after recording a song
titled "Dreamer". Sandé later revealed she would
be working on Alesha Dixon's upcoming album, The Entertainer. She
co-wrote the hit single "Radio" along with Shahid Khan.
and co-wrote tracks on Cheryl Cole's albums as well as Professor Green's
album, which Sandé gave guest vocals on. Sandé revealed
her first solo single would be released in early 2011. There was
some speculation surrounding what track she would release, after many
newspapers stated that it would be "Daddy". The first official
single from her upcoming debut album was "Heaven" and was
released on 14 August 2011. The song has received positive reviews
from blogs such as This Must Be Pop and Robot Pigeon.
Sandé at XOYO
She revealed that she is Simon Cowell's favourite song-writer at
the moment; due to her writing songs for Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle.
Sandé stated in an interview; she said that she would love
to meet Boyle after writing songs for her saying, "I haven’t
met her yet. I just sent her the song. I’d love to meet her
because I think she is a bit of a rock star." One song that Sandé
had cowritten for Boyle will appear on her new album, titled "This
Will Be The Year". Leona had heard a couple of songs so we had
a week in the studio with her. Leona and I got along really well.
Then we had another week together. It was very natural. She recorded
a song called Trouble and another called Mountains, so I look forward
to hearing them on her album." It was revealed after Professor
Green announced his album tracking list for his album, At Your Inconvenience,
that Sandé would feature on the first single from the album,
"Read All About It". The single was released in October
2011 before the album was released. The pair also performed the
song live on The X Factor results show. She confirmed that "Daddy"
would be the second official single released from Our Version of Events.
Sandé achieved her first number-one single on the UK Singles
Chart after "Read All About" entered at number-one. On 26
November, Sandé performed at the LG ARENA in Birmingham for
BRMB 2011. On 15 December 2011, she was named as the Brit Awards Critics'
Choice for 2012. Sandé`s debut album includes songs
written by her and has been reviewed as having "richly melodic,
classically powerful, retro-futurist soul-pop songs." 
She draws on influences for her music from Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell
and Lauryn Hill. Sandé said that all her songs were about
World peace and political issues. Sandé said that the key
to a good song when songwriting is using "honesty" and "raw
emotion" as the best way to write. She said that if she attempts
to write something which is "too smart" the creative process
will not work for her. "Kill the Boy" was one of the first
ideas that came to Sandé's head. She said if she has to work
on a song longer than a day, she will not go back to it, as she said
it won't work. She went onto say if it was to work, it the idea for
the song would be almost instant. It was announced that she was
up for another BRIT Award in 2012, for British Breakthrough Act.
Sandé is currently writing material for the original lineup
of Sugababes. On 24 January 2012, Sandé performed a one off
gig for Q Magzine at XOYO, London. She was supported by British soul
singer Michael Kiwanuka. She recorded a version of David Guetta's
"Titanium" and the pair performed the song at NRJ Music
Awards in France. Sandé has penned a track for Naughty
Boy's upcoming LP entitled "Hollywood" which features soul
singer Gabrielle. It is about fame coming and going and will be released
In January 2012, Sandé confirmed that she is engaged to
her unidentified, long-term boyfriend. Her boyfriend has requested
not to be identified and Sandé has said he is not in the music
industry but that he is a scientist.
Main article: Emeli Sandé discography
Our Version of Events (2012)
Our Version of Events Tour (2011-2012)
Mylo Xyloto Tour (2011-2012)
Awards and nominations
Year Award Nomination Work Result
2011 MOBO Awards Best Newcomer Herself Nominated
2011 Virgin Media Music Awards Best Newcomer Herself Nominated
2011 Virgin Media Music Awards Best Collaboration "Read All About
(with Professor Green) Nominated
2012 Brit Awards Critic's Choice Herself Won
2012 Brit Awards British Breakthrough Act Herself Nominated
2012 O2 Silver Clef Awards American Express Innovation Award Herself
2012 BET Awards Best International Act UK Herself Nominated