When Emeli Sandé first appeared on the music radar, she brought a breath of fresh air.
The Scottish singer and songwriter was studying for a degree in Neuroscience at Glasgow University, when she decided to ditch medicine for music - a decision which has more than paid off.
Emeli, who shares her real name with Adele, but opted to use her middle name to avoid confusion, made her debut on a song she wrote specifically for rap artist, Chipmunk. Since then, she has worked with the likes of Professor Green, Leona Lewis and even Susan Boyle. Her first solo single, Heaven, was released in August last year.
She is winner of the 2012 BRITs Critics Choice award, and is also nominated for British Breakthrough Act, alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jessie J.
Tipped for the top, 2012 will be a busy year for this lady, but she still found time for a chat with FemaleFirst.
In December it was announced that you have won the BRITs Critic's Choice award, how did it feel to hear the news?
Amazing, I mean it's incredible that I have won a BRIT award. It's an amazing feeling.
Previous winners have included Jessie J and Ellie Goulding, who are now incredibly successful - that must make you excited about what's to come?
Yeah I'm excited, it's a really great club to be a part of, and I'm excited about releasing the album finally and seeing what happens.
You've also been nominated for British Breakthrough Act - did it come as a surprise?
I was very shocked, I think it's the first time that's happened so I really wasn't expected to be nominated for anything! So it's fantastic, I think there's stiff competition, but it's just great to be nominated.
Just launched the Priceless competition for a fan to perform a duet with you, are you looking forward to that?
I'm really excited. I think it's going to be so much fun singing with someone who is really inspired by your music, you know, giving something back to the fans, so I'm really looking forward to being involved.
Who would your priceless duet be with?
I think it would be with Stevie Wonder. I grew up listening to lots of music, so I think it would be amazing to meet him, and to perform with him would be incredible.
Have you planned your BRITs outfit/speech yet?
No I haven't actually, I think I should start planning it now. I have a feeling it's going to come up pretty quick, but we'll see what happens!
Your album is out in February, we've already heard a few tracks, what else can we expect?
I think people will be surprised to hear the more 'down' moments, the more intimate moments on the album. But they are all very honest songs and I think it will give people a bigger picture of who I am as an artist.
Following that is the sold out headline tour in April, are you looking forward to performing across the country?
Oh yeah, that's going to be fun. I had a lot of fun last year doing the tour, so I think it's going to be even better now when people will have heard the album and I will be singing songs that they actually know.
You've written for the likes of Tinie Tempah, Cheryl Cole, and even Susan Boyle. Now you have your own solo career will you carry on writing, or does it have to take a back seat?
It has had to take a little bit of a back seat because of time issues, but I'd love to continue because it's a big part of what I do, and I love writing for other people as well as myself. I don't know, hopefully I can find the time to get back into it.
You have done many collaborations, including 'Read All About It' with Professor Green which reached number one in the charts, is there anyone else you'd like to team up with?
There's lots of people, especially in the UK, it's such an exciting time now for music. I'd love to work with Ed Sheeran, and Tinie Tempah again. I'm currently working with Labrinth, who's also involved in the Priceless duets competition. There are so many others I'd love to work with.
It seems that female artists are taking over the music industry at the moment, has it been a long time coming?
I don't know, when I look back, I think there have always been so many 'power-women' in the industry. When I was growing up there was Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, and before that Aretha Franklin, and Annie Lennox. It doesn't feel that different for me, I think it's just coming back. People love a female voice, and hearing their songs.
You were on The Graham Norton show on Friday, what was it like performing in front of Madonna?
It was pretty nerve-wracking, but it was good, a good rush!
Coldplay took you on their European tour last year, what was it like to support such a huge band?
That was really fun actually, it was great performing to just completely different types of audiences, and introducing my music to Coldplay fans - and there are a lot of fans! The boys were really kind to us, and they made us feel really welcome. I learnt a lot from them on tour.
BRIT awards and number ones are a world away from Neuroscience - do you have any regrets about deferring your degree?
No I don't have any, I think I made the right decision!
You've got the BRIT, worked with so many incredible artists, and even have the support of Coldplay and Alicia Keys - how can you top that?
I don't know! Last year was such an incredible year. The main thing for me now in 2012 is releasing the album, which is something I have been waiting to do for years and years, so that's the big plan. And seeing how people react to the music.
Emeli's album, 'Our Version of Events', is released February 13. Tour dates can be found on her website at www.emelisande.com.
"Emeli is teaming up with Mastercard for their exclusive Priceless Duets competition, which supports its 14th year of partnership with The BRIT Awards.
Something for the Fans offers the unique chance for fans to win a Priceless Duet with one of music’s biggest names.
To be in with a chance of winning a ‘Priceless Duet’ with Emeli Sandé and other chart-topping music artists, visit www.somethingforthefans.co.uk"
tagged in Adele Alicia keys Annie Lennox Aretha Franklin Madonna Cheryl Cole Coldplay Graham Norton Whitney Houston Leona Lewis The Brit Awards Mariah Carey Stevie Wonder Susan Boyle Competition Professor Green Chipmunk Ellie Goulding Tinie Tempah JLS Jessie J Ed Sheeran Emeli Sande Labrinth