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Emeli Sandé interview: 'I'm still weird around famous people – I froze when I met Jay Z'

Emeli Sandé 
Credit: Virgin

Emeli Sandé wanted to be a Spice Girl when she grew up. “They took over my childhood,” she laughs. “We had Spice Girl games in the playground. I was always Mel B, cos that was Scotland, I was the only black kid. I had leopard skin leggings ready to roll any time we were doing a talent show.”

It is, frankly, hard to imagine Sandé in tights singing “zigazig-a!” The singer, who applies powerhouse vocals to emotional songs that are a blend of gospel, hip hop and soul, cuts quite an imperious figure on stage, with her huge sculpted hairdo and flowing designer dresses.

In person, though, it’s a different story. She is smiley and soft spoken, dressed down in baggy grey sweats, her untended hair emerging in a tangle of unruly blonde curls barely constrained by a hairband. She is simultaneously reserved yet friendly, articulate without being effusive, keeping the mood light with a lot of laughter,...

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