Believe it or not, for me it’s been a slow burn becoming a fan of Emeli Sandé. Even with those powerhouse vocals and the certified R&B smash “Next To Me” that nobody could avoid this year, it still took her featured vocals on Naughty Boy’s track “Wonder” to really sell her artistry to me. Definitely glad it happened because she is a true talent, bringing a heap of positivity to the darkest of worlds.
Emeli’s soaring vocals erupted throughout “Heaven” and sent immediate chills down my sweaty spine (brought on by high temperatures and MISERABLE East Coast humidity. Did I mention it was hot yet?). Backed by two amazing back up vocalists along with a three piece band, Emeli’s robust vocals stopped a lot of passersby in their tracks and planted them mid step. They were that good.
She dedicated the fight for love track “Breaking the Law” to her sister before tearing that vibrato a new one on the chorus. A true storyteller, Sandé quickly spouted “this song is about the kind of love that sticks around when everything else is gone and vanished, the kind of love I appreciate” before going into her second US single appropriately titled ballad “My Kind of Love”. Crowd interaction? Check. Sparkling personality? Check mate.
Sandé cakewalked through the piano duet “Beneath Your Beautiful” with her backup vocalist, Aaron, and kept the tempo low for “Read All About It.” Emeli picked up the pace with “Lifted” before heading into my fave of the night, “Wonder.” This truly ignited the flame for her to bring down the house with crowd favorite and biggest hit to date, “Next to Me.”
Emeli sang her heart out for the whole set of very technically difficult songs to sing. As I briefly mentioned before, her spirit and songs give a beaming positivity to music and provide an uplifting message without being extra cheesy or contrived. Her band and back up vocalists were fantastic and ready to prove to America what millions of fans in the UK already know. The talent that is: Emeli Sandé. Pick up Our Version of Events out now on EMI.
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design