Culture, Lifestyle, Ludotheque, Music

Emeli Sandé, a new soul for British Soul

Born to an English mother and Zambian father, she is already considered by critics to be revelation of 2012, the soul of a generation.


Maylín Vidal


First was the late Amy Winehouse, followed by Adele and now Emeli Sandé, a young 24 year old Scottish woman, who is emerging as the new queen of British soul.

A pianist from a young age, Sandé drew attention to herself with a song known worldwide, Heaven, the first track on her debut album Our Version of Events, which will be released on February 13th. The song earned her the Critics’ Choice at the Brit Awards at the end of December, awarded by the British Phonographic Industry.

In the opinion of writer Jorge Báez, of www.composta.net, the song entered the charts with so strongly for one key reason: Sandé, he said, achieved “a sophisticated rhythm, closer to dubstep than a predictable house sound”.

Compared with artists such as Nina Simone and Massive Attack, her powerful voice and the way she merges soul and R&B with retro futuristic arrangements have been the key to her success, experts say.

“Intelligent, lucid, talented, ambitious, luminously attractive, striking on stage and with unforgettable songs, an example of a brilliant modern artist”, as defined by the music label EMI Music in her Spanish version.

Since she was 10 years old, Sandé has dreamed of being a singer, though fate first took her towards a career in Medecine, after graduating

from the University of Glasgow specialising in clinical neuroscience.

She has a tattoo on her upper left arm of the face of one of the artists she most admires, the late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, as a sign of her admiration for Latin-American culture.

Although luck seems to come knocking at her door the artist – whose real name is Adele Emeli Sandé – has progressed little by little. First she composed for artists such as Tinie Tempah, Cheryl Cole, Cher Lloyd and The Saturdays.

For several weeks she has been basking in the glory of her success and has taken advantage of being on a roll.

The number of songs to be included on the long-waited album is still unknown, but she wanted to be known for more than Heaven and

released another two songs a few days ago, “Daddy” and “Next to Me”.

According to an article published by www.jenesaipop.com, the album will feature a lot of piano, strings and acoustic guitar, especially in songs such as Mountains, Hope, River and Suitcase, in which soul will at times give way to country and gospel.

In the opinion of expert Iván Mato, from the blog Radar: from Maton, from London, Our “Version of events” is the result of an incredible album of dark and tense Rhythm and Blues concerning domestic violence, eternity, and separation.

Beyond the quality of her recording project and charisma, he adds that the singer earns much applause onstage, where she shows great professionalism and talent.

For Sandé the most important and reassuring thing is tobe able to offer music to the world, even though it fits in no category. Being honest, she admitted in a recent interview, is the only way to make songs that transcend.

“There are so many options for the direction you should go in and you hear so many horror stories about people who write almost 400 songs and their albums end up gathering dust on the shelves. You have to know what you want to do. And I know it”, she said.

An admirer of her peer, the late Amy Winehouse as well as the American Mary J. Blige, Usher and Macy Gray, she works as hard as she can to give her career a definitive boost.

While awaiting the release of “Our Version of Events”, she is touring Europe accompanying one of the UK’s most popular bands, Coldplay,

whose members, fascinated by her talent, invited her to join them on the Mylo Xyloto tour.

She also uses every spare moment to compose for other artists as she has always done, when they ask her. A few days ago she finished the lyrics for “Love Like This” for the phonogram with which the group Sugababes hopes to make a return.

Sandé has earned the respect of many colleagues for her compositions and arrangements. For Simon Cowell, “she is the best composer of the moment”.

Alienated from the stereotypical advert required by the industry, with praise from critics in her favour and a potent voice and charisma, the girl who dreamt of becoming a singer hopes that fortune will continue to smile on her in a year’s time which, according to music writers will be the definitive year of her career. PL.

(Translated by Mark Stokes – Email: mark_y_stokes@hotmail.co.uk)

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