By Olwethu Boso
Upon first listen to Emeli Sandé’s album Our Version of Events, there has to be a song that will make you say “that’s how I feel too” or “that happened to me” ?? and that’s what makes this album relatable and worth your money.
Born Adele Emeli Sandé, this Zambian-English newcomer has broken serious boundaries in the Soul and R&B genres.
When recently interviewed Sandé delved into why she changed her name from Adele Sandé to her middle name Emeli Sandé, and it’s all due to Adele’s growing success. “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.”
The Scottish bred singer’s voice range is impressive and she controls it with a meticulous accuracy. Different points of softness and loudness in her strong voice can catch a listener’s ear simply because of its truth and pureness as she uses her natural voice without it being computerised like many an artist of today.
The distinct difference between Sandé and other artists is her use of instruments. Instead of the normal auto-tune beat coming in at every chorus, Sandé has an orchestra-like backing that mirrors a live performance. Songs like “Next to Me” and “My Kind of Love” have a heightened piano and choir feel that is unconventional and refreshing.
Her smoothness and sense of truth in her singing comes through in “Mountains”, a love song filled with interesting rifts and a subtle violin backing. Soft ballads such as “Breaking the Law” and “River” offer a quiet yet strong character to the album and also offer it a powerful foundation as such songs test Sandé’s vocal range.
This R&B-soul album, which features production by the likes of Naughty Boy and even Alicia Keys, seems to have an on-going theme of love, those being “Maybe” and “Suitcase”; however, there are songs that deal with issues of self-worth and awareness such as “Clown” and social consciousness issues which are highlighted in “Read All About It”.
Emeli Sandé is definitely no newcomer to the music industry as she has featured in musicians such as Professor Green and Wiley’s songs, as well as written songs for artists such as Cheryl Cole, Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle. However, this singer who once studied Medicine at the University of Glasgow made her arrival within the industry announced with her hit single “Heaven” in August 2011.
She has already won awards such as the European Border Breakers Awards, which honour the best new music acts in Europe. Alongside such praise and honour she has also been nominated for others such as the British Breakthrough Act for the BRIT Awards.