Sandé at the NRJ Music Awards, France, 2013
|Birth name||Adele Emily Sandé|
10 March 1987 |
Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England
|Origin||Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland|
|Labels||Virgin, EMI, Capitol|
|Associated acts||Naughty Boy, Labrinth, David Guetta, Professor Green, Wiley, Rudimental, Kendrick Lamar|
Adele Emily Gouraguine (née Sandé), born 10 March 1987, better known as Emeli Sandé (// SAN-day;), is an English born (of Zambian descent), Scottish recording artist and songwriter. She first became prominent after she featured on the track "Diamond Rings" by the rapper Chipmunk (2009). It was their first top 10 single on the UK Singles Chart. In 2010, she featured on "Never Be Your Woman" by the rapper Wiley, which became another top ten hit. In 2012 she received the Brit Awards Critics' Choice Award. She has written for a number of artists, including Alicia Keys, Cher Lloyd, Parade, Susan Boyle, Gabrielle, Preeya Kalidas, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, Amber Riley, Cheryl Cole, Tinie Tempah, Ella Henderson, Mutya Keisha Siobhan, and Fantasia Barrino.
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. Sandé has three number-one singles across the United Kingdom and Ireland with "Read All About It" with Professor Green, "Next to Me," and "Beneath Your Beautiful," a collaboration with Labrinth. Her album Our Version of Events spent 7 non-consecutive weeks at number 1 and became the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, with over 1 million sales. In 2012 she performed in both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the London Olympics.
Emeli Sandé was born Adele Emily Sandé in Sunderland, to a Zambian father, Joel Sandé, and English mother, Diane Sandé-Wood, on 10 March 1987. Her father moved from Zambia and met her mother while they were both at university in Sunderland. The family moved to Alford, Aberdeenshire when she was four.
Sandé studied medicine, in the five-year MBChB course, at the University of Glasgow, where she obtained a degree in neuroscience. She has stated that education was one of the most important things to her, because, if her music career failed, she would have something to fall back on. Further, Sandé said that her manager, Adrian Sykes, waited patiently from when 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.
Sandé wrote her first song at age 11, for her primary 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 she wrote was called "Tomorrow Starts Again" – the song had proper structure and even a middle eight.
Sandé attended school at Alford Academy in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 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. Emeli had become involved in the Urban Scot collective who helped and encouraged her career by promoting her in Scotland, and – according to Emeli Sandé: The Biography written by David Nolan in 2013 – also released an album of songs called Have You Heard? on Glasgow's Souljawn Records, which was sold at gigs. Several tracks were also made available to download. Her parents also sent BBC Radio 1Xtra a CD of her songs. Ras Kwame played her 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 had 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 decided against using the name Adele Sandé, due to Adele's growing success, so used her middle name instead. She revealed: "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."
2011–13: Our Version of Events and breakthrough
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. 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 It" 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. Her album Our Version of Events reached number one in the UK after its release in February 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." It was announced that she was up for another BRIT Award in 2012, for British Breakthrough Act.
Sandé went on to write material for the original line-up of Sugababes. On 24 January 2012, Sandé performed a one-off gig for Q Magazine 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 November. On 27 July 2012, Sandé sang "Abide with Me" at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and her song "Heaven" was used to accompany the section with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Both appear on the Isles of Wonder CD of the opening ceremony's music. NBC also used her song "Wonder" during the credits roll at the end of the tape-delayed ceremony broadcast in the United States. On 12 August 2012, Sandé sang "Read All About It (Part III)" at the closing ceremony, while a video montage of emotional scenes from the games was shown. She also covered a version of John Lennon's "Imagine" exclusively for the BBC, who used it for their end credits montage at the conclusion of their Olympics coverage. Sandé is a winner of the 2013 European Border Breakers Awards. The European Border Breakers Awards honour the best new music acts in Europe. The award ceremony takes place at the Eurosonic Noorderslag music festival in Groningen (NL). She won two BRIT 2013 awards for Best British female and Best British Album. In January 2013 it was revealed that Ella Henderson has anticipated work with Sandé on her debut album. The song "Next to Me" won two Ivor Novello Awards for "Best Song Musically and Lyrically" and "PRS for Music Most Performed Work" in 2013.
2013: Second studio album
In May 2013, she performed at the White House in Washington, D.C., as one of the featured artists at the award ceremony when President Obama presented Carole King with the Library of Congress Gershwin Medal. From June 2013, Sandé will be writing her second upcoming studio album, which is slated for release in summer 2014. She has already written several songs, which include "Pluto" with Naughty Boy, "Enough", "Call Me What You Like", "You and Me" and "This Much Is True" which was written for her husband, Adam. During U.S. Summer Tour in July 2013, Sandé performed "Free" from Rudimental's album Home, "Lifted" from Naughty Boy's album Hotel Cabana.
From the beginning of 2013, Sandé has been working on her second studio album, which is stated to be released in 2015.
Sandé possesses a soprano vocal range. Sandé said she wanted her music to be remembered as that of Nina Simone, one of her favourite artists. She went on to say, Nina Simone achieved this for herself and writing her own songs is the best way possible. She also said; "These days nothing lasts, music is like fast food, you're in then you're out. She said, as much as she would like, she would never play the piano as well as Simone, but she would give it her best shot. She loves the songs Simone produced, including "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" and Simone's version of "I Think It's Going to Rain Today". She said that Simone's original songs are very poetic and she said "So when I listen to commercial stuff at the moment, I’m just thinking ‘haven’t you heard Nina Simone, haven’t you heard how a song should be written?" She went onto say "We choose and consume, feast and forget, then rush on to the next hot thing. There's no point chasing that kind of success because it's so transient. Far better to follow (our) own paths and be true to (ourselves)."
Sandé began working in the studio with Naughty Boy in 2009, where the pair first worked together on Chipmunk's debut album, I Am Chipmunk. When Sandé was 16 years of age, her parents took her to Alicia Keys Songs in A Minor Tour and she said she always wanted Keys to hear her music. She spoke on why she likes Keys so much; "I’d read about her background and identified with her on so many levels. She was mixed race like me, a great student who’d been top of her class, who played piano and loved Nina Simone. And there she was in the pop charts, yet with songs that had a message. I saw 16,000 people hanging on her every word and thought, "I want this kind of attention. I want Alicia to know my music." The pair met when Sandé had just came back from New York and just began a second songwriting stint, but this time involved with Keys. The pair sat at a piano and played for hours trying to come up with a good track. She said that she wanted the songs on her debut album to be fresh and she wanted to try and take it back how she wrote songs at the beginning of her career. Sandé had classical music training as a songwriter in her teens and learnt to play the piano at an early age, and getting across that she played, made and wrote her own music was very important to her. She said on the album, she wanted people to see every side of her as an artist, so it was important to have songs there where there could be a real connection with the lyric, rather than there just be throwaway pop music. Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill were also major influences for the album.
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. 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." There have been rumours she is writing a song for Rihanna. 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 draws on influences for her music from Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse. 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, that the idea for the song would be almost instant.
In January 2012, Sandé confirmed that she was engaged to her then unidentified, long-term boyfriend of seven years. Her boyfriend had requested not to be identified and Sandé said that he is not in the music industry but is a scientist.
Sandé's fiancé was revealed as marine biologist Adam Gouraguine when the pair married in his home nation of Montenegro on 15 September 2012. Sandé has said she will take his name formally but still be known professionally as Emeli Sandé.
- Our Version of Events (2012)
- Our Version of Events Tour (2011–2013)
|"Never Be Your Woman"||2010||Wiley (featuring Emeli Sandé)||N/A||N/A|
|"Kill the Boy"||2011||Emeli Sandé||GUST|||
|"Read All About It"||Professor Green (featuring Emeli Sandé)||Henry Scholfield|||
|"Daddy"||Emeli Sandé||AG Rojas|||
|"Next To Me"||2012||Chris Mehling|||
|"My Kind of Love"||N/A|
|"Wonder"||Naughty Boy (featuring Emeli Sandé)||N/A|
|"Beneath Your Beautiful"||Labrinth (featuring Emeli Sandé)||TBA||N/A|
|"Clown"||Emeli Sandé||Chris Mehling||N/A|
Awards and nominations
- Emeli Sandé (2012). Singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé Interview (YouTube). Theoutnet. Event occurs at 0:05. Retrieved 1 February 2012. "Hi, I'm Emeli Sandé."
- "Emeli Sande wins Brits Critics Choice award". BBC. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Scots singer Emeli Sande wins critics' choice". BBC. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Olympic torch: Highland relay clashes with major events. BBC. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- "Our Version of Events Emeli Sandé | Format: Audio CD". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- "Sandé claims biggest selling UK album of 2012 so far". Digital Spy. 29 November 2012.
- Ian Garland (14 August 2012). "London 2012 Closing Ceremony: Eric Idle leads crowd in rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- "Brit Awards: Emeli Sande wins two awards". BBC. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013. "Sande was born in Sunderland [...]"
- Dingwall, John (16 February 2013). "Family of Emile Sande open up about their superstar daughter". Daily Record. Retrieved 28 April 2013. "Born in Sunderland to Diane and Zambian-born dad Joel, [...]"
- Martin, Gavin (10 February 2012). "Emeli Sande tells story blisher=Mirror". Retrieved 28 April 2013. "He's from Zambia and he and mum got together in the 80s in Sunderland where I was born."
- "Adele Sande". Innovation Music. Retrieved 28 April 2013. "Born in Sunderland, 20-year-old Adele [...]"
- Gannon, Louise (20 April 2013). "'I guess I never believed it could really happen to me': Why Emeli Sande ditched her medical studies to become a pop star". Daily Mail.
- Deadline News talks about Sandé's time at University. Deadlinenews.co.uk (28 August 2009). Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- Emeli Sande information, BRIT Awards 2012. Brit Awards. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- "Emeli Sandé: Meet music's new darling, who is living her 'dream come true'". Daily Mail. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
- Mulderrig, Amie (9 March 2010). "Watford music producer Shahid Khan has notched up another chart hit". The Watford Observer. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- R&B singer Emeli Sande signs new publishing deal. Deadline News (28 August 2009). Retrieved 2012-05-05.
- Emeli Sande signed a record deal with EMI records. MTV. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Chipmunk – Diamond Rings ft Emeli Sande. Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- "Emeli reveals why she changes name". Digital Spy. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- Emeli Sande's debut single set to be released in 2011[dead link]
- Emeli Sandé – Heaven. YouTube (9 June 2011). Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- New Pop on the Block. This Must Be Pop (18 June 2011). Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Emeli Sande's new single is reviewed This Must Be Pop
- Kate Goodacre (15 December 2011). "Emeli Sandé named Brit Awards Critics' Choice for 2012 – Music News". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Emeli Sande Wins The Brits Critics Choice Award | MTV UK". MTV. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
- "Musicfootnotes". Musicfootnotes. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- "Ed Sheeran leads Brit Award nominations". RTÉ News. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-12.
- Emeli Sande replaces Sia on Titanium at the NRJ Music Awards. Trashlounge.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- Emeli Sande records her version of Titanium and performs with David Guetta at France's version of the BRITS. Trashlounge.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- Gabrielle to feature on Naughty Boy song "Hollywood". Gabrielle.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
- "Ella Henderson writing with Adele songwriter for debut album", Digital Spy, 22 January 2013, retrieved 2 February 2013
- "The Ivor Novello Awards 2013: Winners in full". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- Mumbi Moody, Neseka (4 June 2012). "Review: Emeli Sande stuns with her debut". Yahoo AP. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Emeli reveals why she changes name". Daily Record. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- "Talks about what she wanted to achieve with Our Version of Events". Norwich Evening News. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- The Glasgow student who swapped medicine to write for Cheryl Cole – Herald Scotland | Arts & Ents | Music Features. Herald Scotland (8 November 2010). Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- Sande gives guest vocals and writes tracks for Cheryl Cole and Professor Green. The Herald (Glasgow).com (8 November 2010). Retrieved 2011-08-12.
- "Emeli features on Professor Green's upcoming single". The Music Fix. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
- "Emeli and Professor Green perform on The X Factor". SoulCounter. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- "Interview: Emeli Sande — The UK phenomenon taking the R&B world by storm.. – TheNext2Shine.com – New R&B Music Video, R&B Soul News Interview, Emerging Undiscovered Unsigned Talent". Blog.thenext2shine.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
- Alison Rennie (12 January 2012). "Emeli Sande reveals she's engaged". Evening Express (Scotland).
- "Emeli Sande Confirms Engagement!". punchbowlblog.com. 12 January 2012.
- Amelia Butterly (17 September 2012). "Emeli Sandé marries long term partner Adam Gouraguine". BBC Newsbeat.
- "Gust TV Episode 3".
- "Emeli Sandé teams up with award-winning director for 'Heaven'". Evening Express. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "Professor Green, Emeli Sandé & Henry Scholfield team-up for the 'Read All About It' music video". PromoNews. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "Emeli Sandé & Naughty Boy release 'Daddy' music video". Soul Culture. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "Emeli Sandé reveals 'Next to Me' video". iLuLu. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
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