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Emeli brings her musical honesty to festival stage

Emeli Sande plays tonights main stage at Lytham Festival.
Emeli Sande plays tonights main stage at Lytham Festival.

Although she already had two number one singles under her belt, Emeli Sande’s breakout moment was performing at the London Olympics’ opening and closing ceremonies - which made her a household name.

Earlier in 2012, she’d been named the Critics’ Choice artist at the Brit Awards, and had number ones with Read All About It with Professor Green and Beneath Your Beautiful with Labrinth.

Emeli Sande at the London Olympics

Emeli Sande at the London Olympics

“I didn’t realise what an impact it would have - it was really life changing,” she said.

“That’s the beauty of live performance, you get to be fully yourself. It’s the most honest interaction you can get with people.

“With so many people watching it on TV, it was amazing to be there saying ‘This is how I sing and perform’.

“In the moment, it was a very big deal just because of how many people were in the stadium, it was the biggest crowd I’d had at that time - never mind the TV audience.

“And to be part of something so important for the UK, working with Danny Boyle as well, seeing how everyone came together after rehearsing all those weeks and being part of a much bigger thing.”

A one-time aspiring doctor - Emeli turned down a record deal at 16 and went on to study medicine at the University Of Glasgow, but quitting to move to London to persue her music dreams after securing a degree in neuroscience - does she have any regrets?

“I do look back and think ‘What if?’,” she said. “It would have been a very different life, although I would still have the same passion for my work as I do now had I continued into medicine.
“I would like to maybe study something like music therapy or psychology in the future and bring the two together.”

Tonight, she plays Lytham Festival, alongside headliner George Ezra and local singer-songwriter Rae Morris, and opening act The Tailormade.

“Playing live, especially at festivals, I can be extra free and try things out as you introduce your music to people who might not have heard the album or single,” the Sunderland-born singer said.

“I’m definitely a fan of George’s music and need to listen to more of Rae’s work.

“Seeing people live is so different to hearing them on the radio and that’s a real excitement in getting to see a person’s energy.

“I’ve never been to Lytham, but a few friends have been to the festival and gave it great reviews - and it’s my last festival of the summer, so I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s great having nature as a backdrop, and I don’t think I’ve performed with the sea behind me before which will be cool.”

Lytham Festival continues until Sunday.