Singer Emeli’s fond re­turn to old school

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - NEWS - By Ruth War­ran­der

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

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