Heaven

Album: Our Version of Events (2011)
Charted: 2

Songfacts®:

  • Adele Sandé is a Scottish R&B and soul singer-songwriter who records under the stage name of Emeli Sandé. Before pursuing music, Sandé studied medicine at University of Glasgow. The Scot first entered the public eye in 2009 when she featured on rapper Chipmunk's debut single, "Diamond Rings," which gave her and Chipmunk a first top 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart. In 2010, Sandé appeared again on Wiley's "Never Be Your Woman," which became another top ten hit, and on "Let Go," which was the closing track of Tinie Tempah's debut album. Sandé also co-penned Alesha Dixon's single "Radio." The same year she signed her first major record deal with Virgin Records before signing another deal with EMI in 2011.
  • This euphoric Trip-Pop tune about clubbing is Emeli Sandé's debut solo single. She wrote the song with Naughty Boy, who is a British grime producer who previously collaborated with her on "Diamond Rings" and "Never Be Your Woman." It was released on August 14, 2011.
  • Sandé told Digital Spy how the song came about: "A lot of people when they first hear it immediately think early '90s, that kind of era, strings with the 'Funky Drummer' underneath them, quite epic sounding I guess. The song was written after a very long conversation I had with [producer] Naughty Boy. We got into a very deep conversation about religion and how to be good - what we all try to do in this day and age and how difficult it is. He said, 'I guess you just have to keep your heart clean' and that sparked the whole song. It was done really quickly and we knew it was a special one as soon as it was done."
  • Sandé told CMU about her songwriting process: "I need to be around people I trust and that trust me creatively. The minute I start second guessing myself the song dies (usually a slow and painful death). One of my favourite quotes is from the poet Olivia Tames; 'You must surround yourself by magicians to even dream of making magic.'

    Usually ideas are inspired when I'm relaxed and being honest to myself. I record every little idea down on a dictaphone and will listen to them over and over on train rides. I'll then either play it and finish it on piano or wait until I hear an amazing track from a producer. Sometimes though, on rare special occasions the song appears from nowhere within 20 minutes. I surround myself and fill my world with writers I consider 100 times better than myself as I believe that's the only way to improve and to beat complacency. So reading is essential and listening to all the greats is part of my daily routine."
  • The song's music video was directed by Jake Nava, who has previously worked with Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. It was shot in Bethnal Green, in East London where Sandé lives. "We wanted to capture a real British vibe and keep it really simple to emphasize the lyrics," the singer told Spinner.

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