UK Singer Emeli Sande Thanks Her Zambian Roots:
EMELI Sande has thanked her Zambian roots for influencing her musical talents. The Heaven singer, whose mother is English and whose father is Zambian, grew up in the UK, but African culture largely influenced her during her childhood. She revealed: “At home, Dad always spoke of a relative in Zambia, either his auntie or his grandmother, who used to go into these musical trances. She’d be busy cooking and then suddenly starts singing.
“He’d say I reminded him of her because I’d start singing and that would be it until the end of the night. So I feel that side of me comes from my Zambian ancestry.”
Emeli also admitted that growing up as a mixed race child in a white neighbourhood made her struggle to fit in and cites music as helping her to find her identity.
Here is a write-up from her official website:
You are a 23-year-old from rural northern Scotland. Piano has been your instrument, your songwriting tool, since you were ten; your voice has been remarkable for even longer. A tattoo of artist Frida Kahlo – a typically single-minded, forthright heroine runs the length of your right forearm. Some of the greatest names in modern pop have sung your thrustingly exciting compositions: Tinie Tempah (Let Go), Professor Green (Kids That Love To Dance), Tinchy Stryder (Let It Rain), Chipmunk (Diamond Rings), Wiley (Never Be Your Woman). You’ve also written for divas big (Susan Boyle), small (Cheryl Cole) and medium-sized (The Saturdays). Your dad (from Zambia) and your mum (from Cumbria), who schooled you in music and encouraged your ambitions, are already proud.
Then there are the richly melodic, classically powerful, retro-futurist soul-pop songs you’ve written for your own debut album. Your love for – and understanding of – Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill are obvious, loud and proud. Then there’s the stuff you did in your ‘spare time’: three-quarters of a six-year degree in medicine at Glasgow University. You specialised in Clinical Neuro-Science, “cause I really like all the brain stuff.” You are Emeli Sande, and you also really like all the soul stuff, all the heart stuff, and all the emotional stuff. Not many people knew it, but you were behind some of the key pop tracks of recent years. Now you’re about to be the voice in front of the freshest debut of 2012.”
Since its release in February, ‘Our Version of Events’ has gone on to become UK’s biggest selling debut album of 2012 so far, winning Emeli this year’s coveted BRITs Critics’ Choice Award, securing her a slot on Coldplay’s US tour and at Coca-Cola’s Olympic Torch Relay City Celebrations.