As much as I like music that was probably made to burst eardrums, sometimes it is nice to listen to something/someone who is beyond precious.
My love for Sade started at a very young age. A lot of people seem to regard Kate Bush as the ultimate UK female musician. As much as I like Kate Bush, she will never mean as much to me as Sade does. Sure both are similar- rarely release records, tour or do interviews. Both make very different types of music. Kate Bush can hit the notes; but I don’t really go for that. I want to hear someone with a smooth voice that eases the soul. Sade is that singer, for me. I cannot remember the first time I heard Sade, but I know I was very very young. It was No Ordinary Love that started my love for Sade. So far I had a healthy diet of music in my life by this point that consisted of Bob Dylan, Morrissey, Nick Cave and Muddy Waters. My mum and my uncle made it easy for me to be obsessed with music; it was treated as a normal thing. I’ve felt abnormal about most things in my life, but my love for music has always been the one thing I have constantly felt utterly secure with. When I heard Sade’s voice I remember this relaxed feeling taking over. It became something that I craved in other singers and bands. There aren’t really many I felt this way about. A few years later (1995 to be exact) I felt exactly when the same when I heard Aaliyah, to this day I still regard Aaliyah as my favourite singer of all time. I think the closest we can get to a modern-day Sade is probably Jessie Ware.
For me, Sade exposed the emotion of love in a pure way. When I was listening to her before I was aware of human emotion, I was just purely in awe of her voice. I wanted to be a singer who sounded just like her. I wanted the voice of Sade and the looks/style of Aaliyah. Truth be told, I probably still do. As I got older and developed a love for words, I studied Sade’s lyrics more and felt a deeper love towards her music. At times we may think love can be cruel and unkind. But for the most part, it is a vital thing to feel. And without it, there’s no point. I don’t just mean love in a romantic way. Love is vital. Regardless of its context.
Sade’s quiet nature has always been projected into her music. She posses such a delicate voice that instantly soothes your mind, body and soul. Her words go straight to your heart. She’s proof that sometimes; it’s not what you say, but how you say it that proves to have the most importance. Her angelic tones are perfect for the times where you want to shut the world off and be alone; and they also work when you need a feeling summing up. The way she portrays the innocence in most feelings is truly gorgeous.
What I love about Sade is the way she appeals to everybody. She is respected amongst most genres; especially Hip Hop. She’s an artist that is frequently sampled in Hip Hop, and when done right it is nothing short of brilliant. Her music is easy to fall in love with her. It doesn’t matter if you’re obsessed with lyrics or focus on the vocal range; Sade is on a different level. Always has been, always will be.
Her Jazz like atmosphere that is found in her music coupled with her divine voice is something that will always be influential. It doesn’t matter what style of music it is, you can always pick up a Sade influence in there.
About 10 years ago or so, I went to what can only be described as a junkyard, and amongst the crates of vinyl was a copy of her debut record, Diamond Life for £1. It was in perfect condition, fortunately I could afford it. It’s to this day still one of my most valued records I own. Hearing songs such as Your Love Is King (one of the best love songs ever) and When Am I Going To Make A Living on vinyl sounds so pure with the crackling background underneath. Perfection in what others would regard as an imperfection.
Although many have been (and still are) influenced by Sade, I’m not entirely sure a UK singer will ever be as vital as her again. But, that’s just my view and for the most part I’m told I’m wrong. Her voice brings a sense of comfort and ease; her music is the definition of love. In short, she makes you feel safe. I challenge anyone to listen to By Your Side and not have some kind of emotional breakdown. Again, it is another perfect love song by Sade. If you’re one of those people who bang on about never knowing what true love is, then go outside- by a copy of any Sade record and listen. Close your eyes and just listen. She sets the heart free and a wave of emotion just pours out.
The heart will want what the heart will want. To ever be swayed by something or someone is never really pleasing. To be comforted by words and a voice that unleashes vulnerability and security is always welcomed. As I listen to Sade now, I still feel 6 years old again; as if it is the first time listening to her. She is graceful and timeless. She’s a portrait of beauty in every single way. I still wish that when I sung I sounded like her; instead I sound like someone who has no regard for themselves and has poorly auditioned for one of them painful “reality” shows.
The way Sade carries herself is something not many have seemed to master, and because she is so rare; that’s why she will always be treasured. It doesn’t matter (okay maybe it does….) if she never releases another record, because what we have is enough to get by. Everything about her is just iconic. Her soulful music is the very core of feelings we wish another would place upon us. There’s always music. Always. But there will never ever be another Sade.