Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé

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About Emeli Sandé

Emeli Sandé is no stranger to crowds—she performed to roughly a billion people at the London 2012 Olympics—but she knows that music’s deepest meaning is often experienced alone. “To be able to have that privacy with someone is something I don’t take for granted,” she tells Apple Music. That duality resonates in the Scottish singer/songwriter’s unique brand of adult-contemporary soul music, which focuses her powerhouse voice on more intimate questions of honesty and self-knowledge. Born Adele Emily Sandé in Sunderland in 1987, she took early inspiration from her Zambian choirmaster father, then got her start featuring on singles by Tinie Tempah and Wiley. On her debut album, 2012’s Our Version of Events, she blended R&B and pop with orchestral strings and rhythms descended from decades of club music—a bold, buoyant sound, swollen with feeling and the perfect match for her unstoppably expressive voice. After a four-year stretch in which she struggled through depression and divorce, she returned with 2016’s triumphant, electronically tinged Long Live the Angels. Then, in 2019, she brought a fresh perspective to self-empowerment with REAL LIFE, pairing her messages of uplift with the most rousing and original songwriting of her career, incorporating gospel choruses, country soul and flickering disco funk. “I want people to know they’re not alone,” she tells Apple Music of the album’s messages. “‘Extraordinary Being’—it’s like, you’re amazing! You’re not alone! I’m here to help.” Ultimately, she says, the question that motivates her is, “How can I truly connect? The realer I can be, the realer the connection can be.”

Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England
10 March 1987

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