By Cara Sulieman
Emeli Sande – who has just started her fourth year studying medicine at Glasgow University – will take to the stage in Glasgow on Wednesday after being nominated for her part in his hit record Diamond Rings.
She composed the platinum-selling tune – up for Best Song at the Mobo awards – while vacuuming in her bedroom.
But now she is frantically juggling her time between rehearsals in London for the performance and her demanding university schedule.
She flew down to London on Monday to meet with Chipmunk and Flawless for their practice sessions on Monday, having to be back in class at 8.30am the following morning.
She said: “Going to Mobo rehearsals with Chipmunk and Flawless involved a plane for an hour then taxi for 70 miles.
“Then I got the overnight train at 12am to be in university at 8.30am. Exhausting”
The 22-year-old has been working away at her music career since she was schoolkid and celebrated a whirlwind year – signing a publishing deal with music giants EMI and recording her own songs.
She said: “I have been working to this since I was 11. Eleven years later here I am – let the writing commence.”
As well as Chipmunk, X-Factor judge and Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole has recorded another of Emeli’s songs – ‘Boys’ – for her upcoming solo project.
But writing was something the Aberdeen-born artist never though she would do seriously – only coming about through a chance meeting.
Emeli said: “I was doing a show in London for 1Xtra and I met this guy called Naughty Boy.
“He has been trying to build up his name as a producer and asked if I wanted to work with him on a few things.
“We got in the studio and we clicked work wise. I just really enjoyed listening to what he was doing – it was so different from other people’s stuff.
“We just started writing, not necessarily for me, we just thought ‘lets write a pop tune’ and experiment.
“And we wrote the Chipmunk track and I thought nothing of it. Naughty Boy sent it off to Chipmunk who really liked it and wrote his stuff around it.
“It’s just strange that some little song that I wrote in my bedroom has had so much success and airplay. It’s crazy.”
Finishing her education is one of the most important things to Emeli, whose manager, Adrian Sykes, has been waiting patiently since she was 16.
“See how it goes”
She said: “Adrian really respects that I want to get an education behind me. He also knows my parents are keen that I finish university.
“It’s really good having people behind you who aren’t rushing you to do something or don’t respect what you’re trying to achieve.
“I’ve managed to pass my exams in medicine and make things happen in music so the plan is to continue to try and balance it for the next two years and I’ll see how that goes.”