Emeli Sande has Zambian influences

Emeli Sande thanks her Zambian heritage, passed down from her father, for her musical talent

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Emeli Sande

Emeli Sande

Emeli Sande thanks her Zambian heritage for her musical talent.

The Scottish singer, who's father is Zambian and mother is English, may have grown up in the UK, but African culture is still a huge influence on her music style.

She said: "At home, Dad always spoke of a relative in Zambia, either his auntie or his grandmother, who used to go into these musical trances. She'd be busy cooking and then suddenly start singing.

He'd say I reminded him of her because I'd start singing and that would be it until the end of the night. So I feel that side of me comes from my Zambian ancestry."

The 'Next to Me' hitmaker - who had the honour of performing at the Olympic Games closing ceremony on Sunday (12.08.12) - also admitted music helped her find her identity as she struggled to fit in growing up as a child of a mixed-race couple in a predominantly white neighbourhood.

The 25-year-old singer added: "I was brought up in a village called Alford and apart from my sister; there was nobody else there who looked like me. We didn't experience racism or bullying, or anything like that, but I was aware of my difference and it took me a long time to work out where I fitted in. I think I found a lot of my identity in music.

"People knew you in the village, but any surrounding place you'd go to, you became a spectacle. People would stare and it felt like a big thing."

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