Harmonizing Struggles: Emeli Sandé Reflects on Insecurities and Gender Challenges in the Music Industry

In 2012, Emeli Sandé graced the London Olympics closing ceremony, etching a vivid memory as she delivered her hit "Read All About It" with a blonde quiff and emerald dress. Recollecting that pivotal moment, now 36, Sandé reflects on the togetherness and collective hope that characterized the era, acknowledging the unforeseen changes and deeper divisions in the years that followed.

Our conversation unfolds in her Aberdeenshire home studio, a stone's throw from her childhood home. Despite the somber note about the shifting landscape, Sandé, immersed in good spirits, discusses her journey over the past decade. A fruitful period leading to her upcoming fifth album, "How Were We to Know," where she fearlessly explores love, a subject close to her heart. Sandé, a self-professed romantic, is currently immersed in the throes of love with her partner and now fiancée, classical pianist Yoana Karemova.

In a nonchalant revelation last March, Sandé publicly came out, sharing her love story without fanfare. Reflecting on this, she expresses, "I just want to express my love. I didn’t feel like doing the, ‘Hey everyone, I’m making a big announcement’ thing – and now I can just be myself." Her authenticity shines through as she emphasizes the importance of living her happiness and embracing her true self. While acknowledging the lack of control over others' reactions, she notes that the response has been overwhelmingly positive, underscoring a shift toward an era where such revelations are embraced without unnecessary scrutiny.

Emeli Sandé's journey, marked by musical milestones and personal revelations, paints a portrait of an artist unafraid to navigate the complexities of both her craft and identity, embodying a spirit of authenticity and resilience as she embarks on this new chapter of her life and career.

Emeli Sandé reflects on the significant changes that have unfolded since her early days in the music industry. The landscape has transformed, and she acknowledges that navigating the industry as a woman in the 2010s brought its share of challenges, with tabloids and trolls ready to exploit personal details. This scrutiny led to insecurities, questioning her appearance and whether she matched societal expectations for her position. However, she found solace by refocusing on her music, emphasizing the timeless question: Is the song good? Prioritizing musical excellence helped diminish insecurities about external factors beyond her control.

Sandé's journey through the music industry has been dynamic, from her omnipresence on music channels to winning accolades at the Brits in 2013. Her chart-topping debut album garnered widespread recognition, and her influence extended to co-writing hit singles for artists like Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Alicia Keys. Despite the acclaim, the intensity of that period took its toll, prompting Sandé to step back and reconnect with what she refers to as "real life."

"Real life" signifies a return to family and friends, a conscious effort to nurture relationships that were temporarily set aside during the whirlwind of her career. Sandé candidly shares her realization of the need to step back from the intense pace, reevaluate her priorities, and reconnect with the people who matter most.

Emeli Sandé's journey unveils not only the triumphs of her musical achievements but also the vulnerabilities and sacrifices that accompany fame. Her commitment to authenticity, both in her artistry and personal life, serves as a testament to her resilience and the ongoing evolution of her identity in the ever-shifting landscape of the music industry.

Emeli Sandé's journey is a testament to rediscovering the essence of oneself in the music industry's tumult. Pursuing dreams with stars in her eyes, the success of her first album brought surreal joy but also a realization of the industry's demands. Sandé reflects on this transformative journey, akin to a cycle: chasing initial aspirations, losing oneself amid the complexities, and eventually returning to the childhood confidence and passion that started it all.

Her latest album, "How Were We To Know," reflects a musician comfortable in her own skin, embracing her natural self on cultural and racial levels. Raised in rural Scotland with an English mother and Zambian father, Sandé acknowledges the initial perception of needing transformation, a departure from her true self. Now, she revels in the joyous anthemic ballad "True Colours," a clear testament to her authenticity and musical evolution.

Sandé draws parallels between her latest record and her debut smash hit, "Our Version of Events," highlighting a return to the unhurried pace of her musical origins. After four or five albums, she feels a musical renaissance, taking time to appreciate music anew, reconnecting with childhood songs, and spending more time at the piano.

Her outlook is sanguine, perhaps influenced by the Scottish countryside air or the presence of her fiancée in the other room. As she eloquently puts it, "I'm falling back in love with my passion." "How Were We To Know" is now out via Chrysalis Records, encapsulating Emeli Sandé's musical metamorphosis and her renewed connection with the heartfelt passion that fuels her artistry.

"Embracing my natural self on a cultural and racial level has been a journey I’ve been on from the very beginning." Emeli Sandé's profound self-reflection encapsulates her artistic evolution. As she prepares to release her fifth album, 'How Were We to Know,' in November, the artist's introspective journey unfolds. Emeli's commitment to authenticity and embracing her roots is a testament to her resilience and artistic growth. Stay tuned for the musical revelations as Sandé's narrative continues to resonate with depth and sincerity. Want to delve into more thought-provoking conversations? Join other Independent readers and share your perspectives. Start your Independent Premium subscription today to bookmark your favorite articles and stories for later reference, ensuring you don't miss a beat in Emeli Sandé's compelling journey.

In conclusion, Emeli Sandé's artistic journey unfolds as a testament to her resilience, introspection, and commitment to authenticity. As she anticipates the release of her fifth album, 'How Were We to Know,' in November, her reflections on embracing her natural self on cultural and racial levels resonate with depth and sincerity. The artist's evolution, marked by self-discovery and a return to her genuine roots, promises a compelling musical narrative. Engaging in thought-provoking conversations with Independent readers allows for a collective exploration of diverse perspectives. For those seeking a deeper connection with Emeli Sandé's transformative journey, starting an Independent Premium subscription ensures continued access to her evolving story and artistic revelations. Stay tuned for the forthcoming chapters of Emeli Sandé's musical odyssey.