Emeli Sande Says ‘Music is Like Fast Food,’ Talks X Factor

Breakthrough UK R&B singer Emeli Sande gladly avoided auditioning for reality singing competitions like The X Factor. According to Sande, who counts Nina Simone as an inspiration, that type of show, despite the exposure it might have provided, does not allow for true artistry.

“For me to feel empowered by music, it has to be my own. The message that the lyric carries is as important to me as singing in tune. Not everyone’s a writer or wants to be, so shows like that can be a great way of getting exposure — and as we’re all aware, this is a tough industry to break into,” the “Next To Me” singer said recently. “I just know I’d have found it very difficult to go out and sing other people’s songs week after week, though. It simply wouldn’t have felt truthful.”

While her reasons for staying away from X Factor might be admirable, Sande’s take on music right now and comparisons to Alicia Keys is much more admirable. In the latest issue of YOU, Sande references the legendary Nina Simone, when she says “music is like fast food”.

“While it’s very nice to be noticed, I’m not seduced by fame. What I want is for my music to be remembered. That’s what one of my heroines, Nina Simone, achieved for herself and no way could you call her an artist who was always on the airwaves. These days nothing lasts. Music is like fast food — you’re in, then out. We choose and consume, feast and forget, then rush on to the next hot thing. There’s no point chasing that kind of success because it’s so transient. Far better to follow your own path and be true to yourself.”

Fresh off the breakthrough single “Next To Me,” Sande is due to release her debut “Our Version of Events” this February. She is also up for a Breakthrough Artist honor at the BRIT Awards.