“I need to finish these tours and really sit down and dedicate some proper time to writing,” says the singer-songwriter.
Last year was good one at home for British singer Emeli Sande, with a five-times platinum debut album, “Our Version of Events,” a pair of No. 2 singles (“Heaven, “Next To Me”) and the BRIT Awards for Critic’s Choice. And 2013 dawned with four more BRIT nominations.
It was “more than I ever really expected,” Sande tells Billboard. And now she hopes to build some momentum across the pond.
“I think my biggest challenge for this year is bringing the music over here and to the rest of Europe,” says Sande, who’s on tour in North America through Feb. 8 and kicks off a European mainland run in early March, with U.K. dates later that month. “The way I’m approaching it is the same way we did in the U.K. It’s so important to build a fan base from the grass roots up and start with very small shows and a real emphasis on live music. That’s what I’m doing here (in North America), just doing small shows and building naturally. You can’t really force it, so I’m just trying to introduce the music slow and steady.”
Emeli Sande, Mumford & Sons Lead BRIT Award Nominations
Sande, who opened for Coldplay in 2012, says she knows it requires repeat visits to crack the American market and promises that “I’ll be back later. I’m just learning the culture and the people I’m singing to now.” But she’s also starting to look towards her second album, which means “closing up” the “Our Version of Events” cycle this spring (her last announced show is April 10 in London) so that she can start the project in earnest.
“I haven’t really had time to kind of stop and think about what I want to do yet,” she says. “I’m trying to write on the road, but I think I need to finish these tours and really sit down and dedicate some proper time to writing.” Sande says that “there are a lot of producers that I’ve worked with, either writing for other people or trying ideas for myself,” including Emile Haynie (Eminem, fun., Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Lana Del Rey). She’s also thinking about relocating for a time to the U.S. for some of the process.
“Being able to do this tour now gives me a chance to scope out each city along the way,” Sande says. “I really liked Atlanta. I really like New York. I’m sure I’ll work in England some more, too. I’m just so happy the people in the U.K. could really connect to the music, and I’m not abandoning them or anything like that.”