Rap-Up TV: Emeli Sandé Talks U.S. Invasion, Writing for Rihanna, & Second Album

Emeli Sandé has been winning over fans and critics alike with her acclaimed debut Our Version of Events. During her U.S. tour, Rap-Up TV caught up with the breakout British sensation at her MySpace ChapStick Sessions concert at the Key Club in L.A. The 25-year-old, who is nominated four times at the BRIT Awards, spoke about the transition from the U.K. to the U.S. and writing for superstars like Rihanna and Alicia Keys.

Emeli penned “Half of Me,” which appears on the deluxe edition of Rihanna’s album Unapologetic. “When I heard it, you can really feel that she has connected to the track. I love how she’s interpreted it and made it completely her own,” said Emeli, who met the pop star during a visit to L.A. “She was really sweet, really cool.”

She also ended up writing with Alicia Keys after opening for her at Royal Albert Hall in London. “She’s such a big inspiration,” said Emeli, who co-penned “Brand New Me” and “Not Even the King.” “That was a dream come true. We really connected as people as well as musicians, so it just worked and it doesn’t always work like that.”

The U.K. darling is already plotting her sophomore album and plans to hit the studio after touring in May. “I think about the next record every day. Can’t wait to get back and write again.”

She also shared her love for American rappers including Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Drake. “His lyrics are mind blowing. I really love how he words everything,” she said of the Young Money MC.

Right now, Emeli is basking in her four BRIT nominations. “The hard work this year has paid off and to have that acknowledgement feels wonderful.”