Singer Emeli’s fond return to old school
SONGBIRD Emeli Sande jetted into the North-east as her bid for pop stardom took her on a trip down memory lane.
The 24-year-old sat at a piano in Alford Academy to perform to hundreds of pupils, on the same day global chart-toppers Coldplay hailed her talents.
Pupils lined up at her former school’s entrance to welcome the singer-songwriter back to the place where her burgeoning music career began.
After being treated to a performance by the school’s choir – of which Emeli had once been a member – she made her way to the hall and performed a stripped-down version of Heaven and – to everyone’s delight – a second song, Clown.
Emeli said: “It was really surreal coming back – everything seemed so familiar – the way everything looked and even the smell – nothing has changed.”
And returning to where she first realised her talent brought back fond memories.
She said: “I remember sitting at a piano every day and learning new songs.
“I used to nag my music teacher to let me sing something at the summer and winter concerts.”
Emeli, who has written songs for artists including Pixie Lott, Cheryl Cole, The Saturdays, Alesha Dixon, Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle, said the support from the school had been incredible.
She told the pupils: “For me, coming back reminds me that you should work hard for what you want, no matter how many knock-backs – even if you think you have no chance because you live in a tiny village in Scotland.”
And Emeli’s hard work seemed to be paying off as chart-topping band Coldplay tweeted support to Emeli yesterday.
They re-tweeted a video of her covering their most recent single, Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall.
She said: “The fact that Cold- play would be willing to endorse it is just amazing. I’m a huge fan. It would be a dream to write with Chris Martin.”
Emeli wrote Heaven, which is currently sitting at number two on the UK charts, in a studio in Ealing, Greater London, with producer Naughty Boy.
She said: “As soon as it came together, we knew it was going to be special. I think it sums up my lyrical skills and style.”
After being mobbed by pupils, Emeli was escorted through her old school halls to meet her former teachers, Eilidh Moore, who taught her music, and English teacher Morag Edwards.
She said: “I felt really emotional seeing them and to hear what they remembered about me. They were a massive inspiration.
“Ms Moore loved what I did and encouraged