Emeli Sande is already a star across the pond. Her debut album topped the charts in the UK this year. Her songwriting prowess has won wide acclaim and with her BRIT Critics' Choice Award, she joins the company of artists including Adele and Florence and the Machine.
Now it's time for another coming-out party of sorts. Sande is bringing her unique mix of pop ballads, soulful belting and dance arrangements to North America for a new tour. Her album, Our Version of Events, is out in the U.S. this week.
While Sande has become a performer in her own right, she came to that through writing songs for other people.
"I began writing when I was about 6 or 7. And even at that age, I just thought it was so incredible that you could create something from nothing, and it was all in your mind and imagination," she tells Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin. "The combination of poetry and music I just thought was incredible."
Her fallback plan should the music begins to fade? Neuroscience. She says she's always been fascinated by the brain, and Sande was even in medical school before switching to a career in music.
"I would love to go back and use the degree in some way," she says, "but within the music industry, you have a window, and you kind of have to seize the day when it comes."