Watch an exclusive interview and intimate live performances
There's no such thing as a sure bet in popular music, but it's safe to say Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé brings career bona fides that invite favorable odds. Winner of the BRIT Awards Critics Choice trophy, the 24-year-old artist arrives in the U.S. with a debut album, "Our Version of Events," that benefits from three years of visibility via single collaborations as well as songwriting credits for Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and other British artists.
That patient march to celebrity reflects a thoughtful artist who began writing songs as a teenager yet paced career dreams to complete secondary school and enter the University of Glasgow. She was in her fourth year of medical studies when she wrote the hook for a song called "Diamond Rings," giving it to British rapper Chipmunk. The song, featuring Sandé as guest vocalist, landed in the Top 10 and clinched a music publishing deal with EMI Music. Her subsequent solo work has underscored a personal style steeped in soul and pop influences that has already invited double-edged comparisons to Adele (a link that is probably inescapable, since Sandé's birth name is actually Adele Emeli Sandé).
Already a chart-topping artist in the U.K., Sandé has also raised her profile as an opening act on legs of Coldplay's current international Mylo Xyloto tour. As Emeli Sandé's debut full-length was being released in the U.K., James Hurley, editor for MSN Music in the U.K. (http://music.uk.msn.com/), captured the video interview featured here. Better yet, she performed intimate live versions of three tracks from the new album, including "Clown," "River" and "Mountains."