Emeli Sande hopes the BBC music show will give people a break from ‘frantic chaos’

Emeli Sande has shared how classical composers like Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky inspired her to “push popular music further”.

The 35-year-old Scottish singer is hosting Composed With Emeli Sande, a new weekly music show on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds, in which she explores music that brings “strength and inspiration”.

Throughout the 12-week series, each episode focuses on a different theme with themes ranging from a spring awakening to fragile days and sun salutations.

She told the PA news agency that she listened to classical music while she was studying and explained: “When songs have words in them, your brain gets a little distracted.

“I found that classical music just put me in such a calm, meditative state of mind.

“And I’ve always admired composers – Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart – I love melody when I’m creating.

“So just hearing hours of brilliant melody and harmonies blows my mind, and what they do within a bar or two is so complex and intelligent that it inspires me to keep doing pop music.”

Emeli Sande with her MBE medal after an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

(PA Archive)

She released solo singles Heaven and Read All About It in 2011, for which she received her first number one, and was named a 2012 Brit Awards Critics’ Choice winner, an award renamed the Rising Star Award.

She had great success with her debut album Our Version Of Events in 2012, which spent 10 non-consecutive weeks at number one and was the best-selling album of 2012, and she went on to perform at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in to perform in London.

Her song Next To Me won two Ivor Novello Awards and in 2017 she was inducted into the Queen’s Birthday Honors List for services to music and awarded an MBE.

Sande said lockdown has given her more time to study classical music.

She said: “I played the clarinet at school, it was my first exposure to classical music through the clarinet. But I’ve always longed to learn more on the piano. The last few years have definitely given me time to look into this and I’m really enjoying it.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever do it publicly or for people, but just for my own pleasure I find it so therapeutic and easy to be able to play these great works, just so exciting.”

Emeli Sande performs during the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics (Owen Humphreys/PA)

(PA Archive)

The singer said she hopes the new weekly music show, which kicked off April 9, and the songs will be a “beautiful kind of moment to unplug from the world that we all need every now and then.”

She added: “Trying to improve or help people’s mental health is so important to me and sometimes it can be so simple just to take some time to breathe.

“And I hope this hour will allow people to just step out of the hectic chaos and spend some time watching the clouds drift by in some way.”

Composed With Emeli Sande is available on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds.

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