Emeli Sandé says the music industry gave her a 'feeling' she shouldn't come out

The 'There Isn't Much' singer was speaking to Attitude's Cliff Joannou at National Student Pride on Saturday 9 April.


Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki

Emeli Sandé has said there was a "feeling" from the music industry that she shouldn't come out.

Speaking to Attitude's Cliff Joannou at National Student Pride in London on Saturday 9 April, the 'Next To Me' singer, who came out last week, said no one had said anything directly to her about it.

The 35-year-old told The Metro that her new female partner is "the one for life" and that she isn't sure how she identifies other than being in love.

"Nobody ever said directly to me 'don't do it it'"

During her headline interview at National Student Pride Emeli said there had "in a way" been some pressure from record labels and her previous management not to come out adding, "it was never said directly to me but it was definitely something that I felt people didn't... they wanted to avoid coming out.

"Maybe they were afraid of how it would affect things, I'm not sure. But nobody ever said directly to me 'don't do it it', but it was a.... feeling, yeah. For sure," she continued. 

Emeli added: "So, now I'm just like, cool, whatever comes if people choose not to listen to my music; hopefully, they won't. But I have to be true. That's number one."

On what her current management, who she's been with for 18 months, said in response to Emeli wanting to be open about her identity she told the audience: "they were really supportive". 

"They were like you can't live a lie, just be yourself. We love you, everyone's that supposed to go on this journey with you will come with you. They made me feel really relaxed about it. A lot more liberated, for sure."

Elsewhere the British singer said there had been elements of shame around her identity while recognising she didn't properly understand things herself admitting "it was all a bit confusing for me". 

Touching on intersectionality as a black queer woman, Emeli said when she initially moved to London her first issue was finding her community as a Black woman. 

"Maybe that's another reason why I felt like this other side of me which is just as much a part of me I had to kind of put to the side for now because I was longing to feel included in the community but now here I am. I can be a bit of everything. 

Emeli also shared how it had been difficult performing at attending Pride celebrations previously but not feeling like she could be open herself. But she went on to say she had always felt "inspired by the Pride". 

Attitude's new-look March/April issue is out now.