Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Pheaturing Emeli Sandé

Good morning, kids, and welcome to the Phile on a Wednesday from Gainesville once again. I was here six months ago for tests at Shands hospital and I'm back for more tests so I thought it'll be fun to do the Phile from here again. Yesterday there were people holding sings right on University Blvd. saying "Honk for Peace." There were so many cars honking there was nothing peaceful about it at all. So, I was gonna get some Gatorade and then I realized I'm not a gym rat, don't have a hangover, and I'm definitely not a mathlete. Ha. I've been here many times to Gainesville over the years, I used to come a lot in the 90s. But one thing I've never seen are at the bat house. Every evening, those in the know gather at dusk to watch more than 100,000 bats pour out of this place in droves, taking off in every direction. There's two reasons I've never seen it... one... too many fucking bats and two... I don't have an umbrella. You know those fuckers are gonna shit everywhere. So, on the way into Gainesville yesterday I almost stopped in to Café Risqué. Hey, I heard the food was good. When I got into town I did stopped at a place that does have good food... Leonardo's. It's so bloody good. I might go there again today after my appointment. Alright, let's see what's going on in the news, shall we?
Man, I'm glad this story didn't happen here at UF. The Virginia Tech's women's lacrosse team is in hot water after a 13-second video shows some white team members singing the n-word. The video was initially shared on Snapchat by junior on the team, but was soon uploaded to Twitter and YouTube. The video shows what appears to be only white women on the team singing along to the comedian/rapper Lil Dicky's song, "Freaky Friday." "This is a teachable moment," head coach John Sung told the "Roanoke Times" on Monday. "It’s not something that we’re proud of. The team is very apologetic and sorry." People had mixed reactions over the controversial video. “There was no malice involved. They just thought that they were singing along to a song," Sung added. "They had just won. They’re singing songs. The first couple songs were Disney songs. They were celebrating and they were dancing and they were excited. They’re good kids that made a bad decision."
A Disney Channel star is joining the White House, because 2018. Star of NBC's "The Apprentice" Donald Trump is currently president of the United States, and he has filled his administration with people like Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner from "Gossip Girl" and other people he's seen on Fox News. It only makes sense that the White House would try to recruit from other television sources, and the latest hire comes from the Disney Channel. CNN is reporting that Caroline Sunshine, known for starring alongside Zendaya as a character named Tinka Hessenheffer in "Shake It Up," is joining the White House as a press assistant. Going from Mickey Mouse to Sarah Huckabee Sanders is quite the journey, but one White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says she's prepared for. "Caroline Sunshine was a White House intern. In college, she was involved with the American Enterprise Institute and an active member of her school's Model United Nations team. Prior to her internship at the White House, Caroline interned for the Office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the College Republican National Committee and the California Republican Party," Walters told CNN in a statement. Her name is just too easy to riff on. And it's all so very Trumpy. Sunshine has 500,000 Twitter and 235,000 followers on Instagram, and has made no mention of Trump on either site, perhaps because she knows Zendaya would be disappointed.
Imagine this: you are an adult man, elected to represent the 4th Congressional District of the state of Iowa in the United States House of Representatives. A group of children, having just survived a mass shooting at their high school, are vocal about instituting laws to prevent children getting murdered by military-grade weapons in their classrooms. Would you try to do everything possible to try and smear the kids? If you're Congressman Steve King you do. Rep. King (who also happens to be a full-blown white supremacist) has spent the days since the monumental March for Our Lives throwing insults at the children like, well, a child. On Sunday, he decided to attack Emma Gonzalez's Cuban heritage, mocking her for not speaking Spanish like he wouldn't call her a "fake American" if she did. "This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp after removing all weapons from its citizens, hence their right to self defense," he wrote. Never Again movement leader David Hogg defended Gonzalez, and called on his senator Marco Rubio to rebuke is colleague. It's also an extremely dumb take: you can be proud of your heritage and against dictatorship, much like how many Americans are happy to be American, yet hate Trump. Clearly learning a lot from the experience, King decided to double down on attacking the kids, asking, "If you are a teenager and believe you won’t be responsible enough to own a gun until 21, why should you vote before 21?" The Parkland teens could think of one particular reason why they'd like the right to vote. He got owned by his fellow adults as well. King's opponent in the congressional race, Democrat J.D. Scholten, is standing with the kids.
As you may recall from him literally bringing it up at a presidential debate (gotta love sophisticated political discourse), Donald Trump is very defensive about the size of his penis. The President of the United States insists that his penis is large, but that hasn't stopped evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari from naming a newly discovered centimeter-wide moth after His Majesty. Meet the Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, a moth with golden hair and genitalia that is “comparatively smaller” than the genitals of the Neopalpa neonata, its close cousin.

The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi is just like its namesake from its head down to its genitals. One area where human Trump differs from is mothelgänger is his affinity for Mexico. According to NBC News, "the moth's habitat extends from Southern California in the U.S. through Baja California in Mexico." This scientist deserves a Nobel Prize for how he trolled Trump. Nazari told "Life Science" that he hopes that the donaldtrumpi could get Donald Trump's attention and perhaps encourage him not to destroy the environment. "I hope that the president will make conservation of such fragile ecosystems in the U.S. his top priority. These ecosystems still contain many undiscovered and undescribed species, and deserve to be protected for future generations." Unfortunately, it has yet to work.
Apparently some dogs have had it with this "human-only" bullshit rule for colleges. One dog in particular took it upon himself (or herself) to attend an 8 a.m. college class, where it promptly went viral when a student in the class tweeted about it. The dog, who did not seem to be carrying a laptop or any textbooks, was wearing a tag of some sort. The person who tweeted about the dog, Twitter user @spoooky_lex, wrote a few minutes later that she thought someone tried calling the number on the tag, or at least called campus police. Check it out...

And yes, the dog does already have his own Twitter account. Other people on Twitter went head over paws for the tweet. It's certainly not the first time a dog has been in a classroom. But usually those dogs are accompanied by their humans. So where did this dog come from? Someone else pointed out that there's really no such thing as a "random" dog. So could the dog really have been Air Bud? Maybe. But chances are, it was just a dog trying to get a degree and a better job to support its family. Poor dog is just trying to get a college education, why is everyone freaking out? This happened at Auburn, by the way.
So, I almost feel like a tourist here in Gainesville. But at least I'm not one of those tourists like this...

The great fall of China. Hahaha. If I had a TARDIS I'd go back to Gainesville in the 50s and see what it was like then...

Poor guy. Wonder what's he waiting for. If you don't know much about Florida here is a map to help you out...

Ha. And do you know what the state flower is? I'll show you...

Hahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

Hahaha. So, there's some good looking females around here but you have to be careful of some of them...

Some guys have a great idea though...

I wonder how they did. Do you believe aliens exist? I do... and I think they have come to this planet.

See what I mean? Hahaha. alright, I know a lot of you like Taco Bell like me... did you see their new food offerings?

Yum. Okay, so, I have been showing you some pics of people with signs from last Saturday's Match for Our Lives. Here's another one...

Hey, wanna see a pic of Stormy Daniels?

I am at a college after all.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Hahaha. Okay, so, a "friend" of the Phile wants to explain why Trump is being silent over this whole Stormy Daniels business. So, please welcome once again to the Phile...

Sarah: Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling, Clementine... hello, Jason.

Me: Hi, Sarah. Donald Trump has yet to directly tweet about Stormy Daniels. What is up with that?

Sarah: Jason, the White House Press Corps is ON IT.

Me: Are you sure? Because Trump is keen on attacking everyone on Twitter... from Little Rocket Man to Nordstrom... I'm curious why his itchy Twitter fingers have yet to attack the woman suing him. Is this suspicious silence is part of a new legal strategy?

Sarah: Tweets aren't the exclusive voice of the president. He gives us messages to deliver on his behalf on a regular basis, but he has also put out a number of tweets over the last week.

Me: Why did the president's lawyer paid her $130,000 a month before the election?

Sarah: Dunno.

Me: What about the remark by former president Jimmy Carter, who questioned Trump's personal sense of morality? "Most people want to see a president with basic moral boundaries." Carter said.

Sarah: Likely while building a house with Habitat for Humanity. Jason, you're at a college now and
remember... Trump won the electoral college.

Me: It's University of Florida... not College of Florida, Sarah.

Sarah: Well, I will say this about the president... Duh, how can anyone have any moral qualms when he won an election a year and a half ago despite getting 3 million fewer votes and talking about grabbing women by the pussy?

Me: Huh? Not even the White House can claim that Trump has moral values... only that he won votes.

Sarah: So, I guess we can all agree on something!

Me: Seriously though, why hasn't Trump tweeted about this? According to Stormy's lawyer, it's because he can't cry "fake news." "You know why he won’t tweet about it? Because it’s true," he said.

Sarah: Can I go now? I want to go to get Chinese at the Yummy Place.

Me: Sure. Good luck finding a place to park. Sarah Huckleberry Hound, everyone. Stay tuned.

Spread the word, everyone. I want to get Shania on the Phile. Hey, college kids, you think you're smart? Here's a new pheature called...

My father is a chemist. My mother is a mathematician. They call me iron59. What is my real name?

The 78th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Robert will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. Okay, so, last time I was here in Gainesville I introduced you to a Gainesville legend. Well, I thought it'll be cool to have him back. So, once again, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hey, Squirrel, welcome back to the Phile. How are you?

Squirrel: Yes haw! Go Gators! I'm good, Jason. I'm as happy as I would if I was having sex doggie style. I like doggie style, that way they can both watch wrestling.

Me: Okay, so, last time you were here you had some jokes for us... do you have any this time?

Squirrel: Of course. What's the difference between a University of Alabama sorority sister and a scarecrow?

Me: I don't know. What?

Squirrel: One lives in a field and is stuffed with hay. The other frightens birds and small animals.

Me: Ha.

Squirrel: Whats the difference between Alabama and cheerios?

Me: I'm not sure. What?

Squirrel: One belongs in a bowl. The other doesn't!

Me: Haha. Do you have any jokes about FSU?

Squirrel: What's the difference between a FSU fan and a carp?

Me: I don't know. What?

Squirrel: One is a bottom-feeding, scum sucker, and the other is a fish.

Me: Haha. Thanks, Squirrel, I'll have you back on the Phile tomorrow, okay?

Squirrel: Sure thing, ding-a-ling. I have to go and fix my dishwasher.

Me: Really? How are you gonna do that?

Squirrel: Slap her on the ass and tell her to get back to work. Yes haw!

Me: Squirrel, the Red Neck Gator Fan, kids.

Two women are walking home from the bar, they both have to piss so they slip into a nearby cemetery. One uses her panties to wipe herself, and the other uses a reef off a head stone. Next night the husbands met at the bar, one looks at the other and says, "I'm gonna have to watch my wife, she came home with no panties last night." The other one says, "Oh well, mine came home with a card wedged in her ass saying 'You were loved and will be missed by the whole entire fire department.'"

Alright, today's guest is s a British singer and songwriter. Her latest EP "Kingdom Coming" is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile...  Emeli Sandé.

Me: Hello, Emeli, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Emeli: Thank you. I feel wicked.

Me: With your name for some reason I was expecting you to be French, but you're not. Where are you from?

Emeli: I was born in Sunderland, but my family moved to Scotland when I was four and I grew up in the small town of Alford just outside Aberdeen.

Me: Cool. So, I have to ask you about your new hit single is "Starlight." How did that song get to be?

Emeli: "Starlight" is a song I wrote in L.A. and I was out there just by myself and I went there for about two months I think. I was working with a producer called Illangelo, who is brilliant, but we've never worked together before. I was a big fan of his work from the early the Weeknd mix-tape "House of Balloons." So, I went there and he lived in Laurel Canyon and everybody told me the history of this place about all the rockers, and Joni Mitchell has been up there, so I said I have to get an Airbnb up there. I lived there for awhile as I really wanted to take in the energy and the nostalgia of it. I could really feel it. He lived on this cool part of the area and he converted the garage into the studio. The studio had this amazing soft carpet and it was so cool. He had a deck, and the vibe was really inspiring as soon as I stepped in. We really connected as people and he just started playing the beat to it just immediately without anything on it was a dance record, making me feel good and uplifted. Really it was dancing around, enjoying the carpet experience and enjoying being in Laurel Canyon. He had a mic set up in the room and I asked him if I could put something down. Being able to capture initial thoughts I think is the best way to get the best melodies, just capturing the true inspiration of the song. He made it what I heard in my voice was so pristine, it sounded like a record already. I love it when people pay attention to sound. The sound the singers hearing back is really enriches the performance and he asked me if I wanted to put the idea down. All these different ideas keep coming and then we kinda pasted the best melodies together, it was just strong every part just felt like a really strong melody. From there I just tried to get into the concept of it. How this melody made me feel and keep it simple but tell story.

Me: It's a very uplifting song, Emeli. Is it easier to write an uptempo uplifting song more than a ballad?

Emeli: It's definitely a challenge for me but I try to reflect what's going on in my life and how I'm feeling. Sometimes it could be easy to go to the same chords on the piano and really dig deep emotionally when it's minor or when it's a bit emotive melodically, but it's a big lesson for me going on tour and asking fans or just speaking to fans and hearing what the songs meant to them. Some songs I might be that's a bit too happy or it didn't speak to somebody as much that's a bit deeper. When someone tells me "Next to Me" meant this to me, it was such a difficult time in my life but hearing this music was so uplifting kinda put me on this mission to really make music that puts confidence in people. Everything that's going on could really get people down and really seriously traumatize people. Maybe we shouldn't be able to see all the horrific events, all the time, everyday. The psychological effect of that could be quite eerie. I don't want to get so so serious about it but I feel like it's a hard time now to stay happy, to feel good, to feel positive. Also feel confident that you can make a change when you see so much disaster it can be quite disheartening. I really wanted to be on a mission to counteract that and bring with full force love and confidence no matter what I look like, no matter how many likes I get, it's just about I'm human and I deserve to feel good and I feel better when I feel good and feel happy. Even though I did find it challenging before I really enjoyed seeing people's reaction to more positive sounded songs.

Me: I love the acoustic version of "Starlight" better. How did that version come about? 

Emeli: I think I could still touch somebody with a song, or the song still stands strong without all the instrumentation as fun as that is. I think I have something that will live longer than fashions, sound and production. It's very important to me that I can sing something and it resonates with people in any form.

Me: When you do write do you write on a piano?

Emeli: Yeah, usually, to be honest it's usually when I hear instrumentals cause they really set a mood and tells story before I begin the top line so it kinda begins to to pull me into a world where I just feel my imagination goes so much and I see different scenarios or people or different emotions from my past may come up. That's interesting, but there's a lot more pure sometimes when I'm on the piano, it's fully my expression. I don't play the piano the same way as my favorite pianist so even though they can play a thousand times better than me it's not their identity and how it's being played. Sometimes I enjoy being able to have being in control of the harmonies, words AND the top line. It could be fully seen how it all is over linking.

Me: Okay. I listened to some of your songs of your back catalogue as I wasn't aware of you at all, and I love the song "Clown," which is just you and the piano. How did you write that song, Emeli? 

Emeli: When I wrote "Clown" I worked with a great musician named Grant Mitchell and we were upstairs and I heard the basic chords he was playing and it was so great to have someone to balance ideas off of and I think that's when something becomes quite solid because I had a buffer sometimes I guess. I can take somethings of a tangent too much and someone doesn't relate when I say that. Having someone on the other side of the room doing something else, and having someone to bounce ideas of and getting another perspective I think really rounds songs together. We wrote it so long ago. He had such a music maturity and knowledge that I learnt so much from with him.

Me: How do you keep ideas you come up with, Emeli?

Emeli: I'm a very disorganised voice memo person. Every time I lose a phone I get a new one and say this time I'm gonna name everything and date it, which producer I was working with blah, blah, blah. There's like thousands of voice memos and one day I hope I can just sit in a room for a week and go through everything. Voice memos all the time really, if I can catch a vibe on piano I never know when it's gonna happen so the voice memo on the phone is very helpful.

Me: I have to ask you about the title track for the new EP, "Kingdom Coming." What is that song about and how did it come about? That's a crazy chorus, Emeli.

Emeli: I'm a big fan of hip hop and rap and I love how immediate the lyric is, how nothing can be wasted, they're using every bar to say something, I mean the great lyricist that I look up too. I feel that I'm definitely influenced by that over the past few years pretty heavily. So I feel like absorbing that but matching with melody is what probably inspired the style of "Kingdom Coming." I guess it was just capturing emption and certain things I feel I can't be polite about. I really wanted to speak for my parents and my family, or people that are just up against it. I don't usually swear in day to day life and I don't know if my mum is gonna really like this song. Hahaha. I tried other words like "f that, daddy" or different things but it didn't have the weight or didn't say what I meant. When I do swear people know I really mean it, I'm really pissed off if I'm swearing. Sometimes you have to learn to express different emotion in melody, they can't always be you're in love or you're sad, because you're not in love. There's so many things going on in your life, learning how to put that into music because I feel that's the biggest challenge for me. I don't know if this was anger but it's definitely defiance. Defiance of real true love like "fuck that, daddy." If I said that to my dad he'll be shocked, but the only way I could justify is I don't like how he's been treated by this situation and I want to feel better for him as he always wanted better for me. Now it's my turn to be responsible and try and fight for him. It's a fighting song and I really hope it speaks to people for all walks of life.

Me: There's a few collaborations on the EP... does that change how you work and write?

Emeli: Yeah, kind of. Definitely being around different type of artists, lyricists and rappers it does encourage me to be brave and say what I really mean and show myself as I am. With rap you can't really hide behind anything, you have to put to down raw. It's like speaking to somebody. If you're having a conversation you don't want to be holding back or hiding. Definitely Dave Wast and Giggs are lyricists I rate so highly I think they really take care of words and there's a precision to what they're saying. I really respect that. Definitely they encouraged me to come as strong as I could lyrically and just by watching what they're doing and their careers inspired me to be as bold as I can be.

Me: I love the organ on "Deep," that is so cool. Did you come up with that, and write the song on an organ?

Emeli: That was a collaboration with one of the coolest producers in the U.K. He's called Shakaveli and I met him through Naughty Boy. He's got this really cool quirky but hip style... he's just super cool and his music taste is always on point and he played me that beat and it immediately as so different with the bass and organ. He put old school with new school which just made it a little bit hmmmm... the thing he does. I love "Deep" and I love how it came out. I'm glad you enjoyed that one.

Me: You've mentioned Naughty Boy so I have to ask you about him. Is he the main person you connected with as songwriter? I don't know too much about him.

Emeli: Yeah. I've learnt so much from him and I've gained so much confidence by being his friend for one. Being around him and seeing his process and that balance of being the kind person that he is but also being business savvy and not being taken for a ride. I feel I've learnt a lot from his character. we get along so well, like when you can fight with someone and then like be friends a couple of weeks later that's the type of person I want to write a song with really. I go to a very deep place in my music and I trust him like I would a family member and I want to really open up and try different things and make something that sounds really shit one day, know he has faith in what I'm gonna do the next day. Shas always has true faith in me that I felt from the beginning. He always stood up for me and he was the first person that really said I didn't need to be in a room with writers, that I should be doing this myself. So, I just think he's a really great guy and knows talent and knows how to nurture it.

Me: So, how do you and Naughty Boy work together? Do you just together and come up with ideas? 

Emeli: That's the thing I love about him, everything is so spontaneous. I never know what the next session is gonna be like but usually I put my piano in his studio and sometimes I sit down and play some chords and he's like "yeah!" That's the great thing about him, something's I'd forget and think it's nothing and he'd be like "come on, let's record it" and give me that push I need. Sometimes he'll be like "I made this sick beat last night" and he'll tell me the whole story of the track, and be like "I was up all last night and you'll never guess who came through" and then like something supernatural would happen in the studio. It's like stepping into a magical world and because I've got a big imagination we could be big kids together all the time. So we our imagination into songs which makes it such a pleasure to work with hm. It's always exciting.

Me: So, how did you first meet Naughty Boy, Emeli?

Emeli: I was studying up in Glasgow when I first met Shas,,, Naughty Boy, and I was coming back and forth from London to Glasgow. I was hoovering up, trying to clean my room and I put on some of the beats he sent me and that's when I wrote "Diamond Rings."

Me: You played on a few other people's tracks as well, right? Do you get told what to do when you do that kinda collaboration or do you take part with that songwriting?

Emeli: Ummm... I think sometimes yeah, if I like a beat I'll try to add to it and again try to interpret the mood and melody.

Me: So, recently I had Alicia Keys on the Phile which was a huge deal... you worked with her on her album and yours. How did that work as you are both great singers and play piano? Do you end up in the day putting each other in a headlock?

Emeli: No, but she's definitely a lot stronger. Haha. I'm best to just chill out on that one. I went there as a writer as I've written before being signed as an artist. Sometimes I could dip in and out and when I'm a writer I'm just there purely to serve what they want for their album, because it's their vision essentially. So I really went there 1) as a fan of here since I was 13, and as a writer I really enjoy working with women because I just like helping someone being able to express what they're feeling and to find the right words to nail what they're going through. It's always a great privilege working with women because they speak in a very emotional level and she's so intelligent and such a beautiful player and really knew what she was looking for. We would have conversations and I'll say, "Hey, I got these chords" and she'll say, "Hey, I've got this idea." There was really no ego in the room and I think that's what made it a really free flowing experience. There's one song we did called "101," that's my favourite song that we did. It was really late at night and I was in the room doing a little chord changes, and we just got talking about this whole concept. It was awesome.

Me: You both had similar careers and stories, I think. Did she give you advice or help you?

Emeli: Yeah, she was so generous with her advice for me. It's just lovely to see an intelligent woman that hasn't sold out on anything, that has so much dignity and respect and a real devotion to music. It was a dream for me to go there, and it was a perfect thing for me in the beginning of my career to just stay grounded and hopefully as humble.

Me: "Next to Me" I think os your biggest hit, or one of them, Emelie. Did that song come to you pretty quick or did it take time to write?

Emeli: I think the writing of "Next to Me" came quite quick. At least the chorus and I think the "ooh ooh" part got added a but later. I don't remember the writing of that one taking long. Once something's been decided its gonna be a single, the process of it getting it polished and ready and all the technical parts make it take so long. The pressure is there to get it perfect because I knew people were going to hear this one.

Me: Is it hard to know if a song is a gonna be a good one to a hit?

Emeli: Not to me, because I love making music. It's like they're my children almost, I just love them all. With "Next to Me" I was like that's cool, it was a great session. It was my A&R aT Virgin who wanted to know what the song I just did, and he's not always excited. I'll put it that way. It takes a lot to get him excited about and idea or music but when he knows the right thing I'll see him come to life. Definitely "Next to Me" that was there and that's why he's so good at his job.

Me: How old were you when you started to songwriter? You were young, right?

Emeli: Yeah. When I was 7 or 8 I'd often write ideas in my book because I've been introduced to a lot of female writers by my dad like Nina Simone, Mariah who I knew was always writing, Joni Mitchell... It was not really an option not to write because I like to sing but how powering to write. It was like this new magic thing I had. When I was a kid I just loved it and it was really exciting for me to write a song.

Me: When did you start to play piano?

Emeli: I started piano around 12. If I saw a piano I would always go and try to play it but we didn't have one til I was that age, so I could really spend so much time over obsessing it really.

Me: Do you play any other instruments?

Emeli: I stated playing clarinet when I was 11, and I didn't get very good with it.

Me: Your dad is from Zambia, did you ever go there? I have no idea where that is.

Emeli: Yeah, and it really changed my life going to my dad's home country. I went once as a baby but second time I was an adult and all my dad's family are over there. So, just really connecting and meeting my grandmother for the first time, my aunties, and my cousins. We were all communicating through song. It really brought me to tears hearing the harmonies they have, and some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. Having my family sitting around a fire at night, it was very cleansing and just made a lot of sense where my love for music had come from.

Me: When you were in Laurel Canyon did you get to meet any of your songwriting heroes?

Emeli: Not on this trip, but I once performed at a Clive Davis Grammy show the night before the Grammys and Joni Mitchell was in the audience when I was performing and I got to meet her and say hello. That was really amazing. I look back at that moment and think wow. Quincy Jones was there and I met him. Nights like that I think wow, I cannot believe I sang in front of her. It was an acoustic performance and I was so happy the lyrics could shine through as well. She was so amazing and just seemed so wise. She has a great aura.

Me: Cool. Do you write just for the hell of it or only when you are working on a project?

Emeli: I guess when we're in-between projects, 'cause just now we have just the EP so there's a little to write now before we start thinking about the album. I do get carried away with writing so I try to rein it in a bit and try to have a bit of discipline. Its hard because I never know when the greatest song I've ever written might pop in my head, so I always have to be wiring really but I justly to finish what I'm doing as much as possible and keep moving on to new ideas.

Me: You had songs recorded by Katy Perry, Rhianna, and even Susan Boyle. What the fuck? Haha. Is it hard to write a song for someone else?

Emeli: I love it. It's always a great challenge and writing a song alone at a piano or something and hearing their interpretation and they heard a part of it and it meant this to them in their life. It's humbling because the music is so much bigger than me or I have to sing it. Once something is important I hear to perform it but some songs they could fit anybody. Not anybody, but they could speak for certain people. Yeah, I do love doing that, and it's something I could a lot more in the future because it allows me to learn so much.

Me: Do you have an artist in mind when you write or do you just write a song that could end up as your own song?

Emeli: I find I have more success when its just songs I've kinda written. I think sometimes I try to over think things, second guess someone. Once I have the time to sit with them and understand they story and what they want, and who they're as a person, I think I have to spend so much time with someone to really understand their energy like that. So, usually it's songs that I've written by myself but I try to write to a speck, but I usually find it turns out that you can tell. It gets a little bit robotic if I'm trying to guess what I think they want to sing without meeting them.

Me: I love your voice, Emeli. When you write do you think about that at all, how you are gonna sing the song?

Emeli: Sometimes. I love big power ballads, where singers can just go for it and I don't think we have any of that left anymore. I just love the big divas. When I listen to Whitney I think wow, that was just an experience listening to the purity of her voice and the power of it. So sometimes I will take it up a key so I can belt it out, but to be honest, not so much. Usually it's naturally what comes and what feels like an honest tone to sing it in.

Me: Emelie, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun. Please come back on the Phile soon.

Emeli: Maybe after my arena tour. Thank you.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Emeli for a great interview. The Phile will be back again from Gainesville tomorrow with one of my favorite comedians... Bill Hader. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye,

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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