Does it feel different to have a single out under your own name?
"Yeah, absolutely. There's nobody to share the pressure with, it's all on you. Also it's very exciting to have complete say over what's being said in the song - to have the whole song to express yourself."
How would you describe 'Heaven'?
"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."
Did you listen to a lot of trip-hop and '90s club music growing up?
"Not really, I got into it a lot more over the past three or four years, just exploring all of that. It was such an exciting time in British music, so I feel like I've caught up now. Brilliant songwriting and epic songs."
You've written songs for a lot of big artists; is it hard to decide which songs to keep and which to give away?
"Usually I just try to write my best material. When I was working in LA with a producer he said you should always give your best work away, because you should always be confident that you can recreate that thing - that you'll always be able to make something better. That's the ethos that I take on there. For my reputation as a writer I want to give my best things away and if I write a song that's definitely for me I usually know it instantly."
Do you see yourself more as a songwriter or a singer now?
"They're both just so different. I love writing, and I love writing for other people. This is like a whole new world for me - being an artist and fronting your own songs. I don't know - I'm equally both I think."
Were you worried about getting a reputation as a 'guest feature artist'?
"Yeah, I guess it was a worry but I always wanted to make sure that if I was featuring on songs it wasn't for the sake of featuring. I wanted to bring my own flavour and the way I write to what I was doing to really put a stamp on it. I'm quite confident that when I bring out my own stuff, people will have heard my style already and it won't be something completely removed from what I was doing with them anyway."
You've worked with Professor Green more than once - what's he like?
"He's just lovely, he's really supportive and he really puts music first. He supported me from way way way back when there was no buzz or anything, he just really loved the music. He always said that it was going to be successful. Having that real faith in music really attracted me to working with him. Also he's very honest in his music. He tells the truth and he tells you what his life was like, and I think that's why so many people connect with him."
You've been described as 'Simon Cowell's favourite songwriter'. Is that something you're proud of?
"Yeah, I think I'd be pretty proud of that. Simon has a really good ear for classic songs and he understands music very well. It was a pleasure writing for them, I really enjoyed it."
You called Susan Boyle a bit of a rockstar - what is it you like about her?
"She does what she wants. If she doesn't want to turn up to something she just doesn't. She's not doing what a lot of the industry is doing, where you tick all the boxes and it's all a bit of a gameplay. She's not really supposed to be famous by any of the rulebooks, but it's just that people of every different age have connected to her story and everybody has that type of dream. I think she's great."
You've also written a track called 'Lifetime' for Cher Lloyd - how would you describe it?
"As soon as we finished the song we did think of her. I hope it shows a side of her that people might not have seen yet. I just think she's a really old soul, and I like that about her. I'm sure she's experienced a lot and I felt like she was really giving the lyrics some honesty."
Does it sound anything like 'Swagger Jagger'
"No... it's very different."
Back to your own music, is 'Heaven' a representative track for your album?
"There's different styles musically, but 'Heaven' is a good representation lyrically of how I write. The whole album's going to be quite honest, and I really want to be accurate with my lyrics and hopefully write lyrics that everyone can relate to. Musically it's going to be very different. It's not all going to be that early '90s sound at all."
Are there other producers apart from Naughty Boy who have worked on the album?
"Yeah. Most of the album was done with Naughty Boy but we worked with Jim Abbiss who produced a few tracks on the album which was great. I've worked withAl Shux as well. There's been a few people I worked with but the main producer is Naughty Boy'."
Can you give us any hints about your next single in November?
"I think I'm allowed - it's called 'Daddy' - that's the song after this one."
That'll be out when X Factor acts seem to dominate the chart... does that annoy you?
"I don't know - I think a lot of people watch TV, a lot of people are buying that music. You can't schedule it around what they're doing because I want to make something that's going to last for a very long time. Maybe they do own the charts for two months or something, but it's a transient thing. I want to make something that's going to last and be classic."
With you Syco links are you eyeing up a performance slot on the show?
"I don't know, I haven't even thought about any of that. I'm not sure..."
Is there anyone out there that you'd still like to work with?
"Ed Sheeran would be cool, and Nicki Minaj would be amazing. If I could write something with her, that would be a dream."
What is it that you look for in a collaborator?
"Being a fan is a very big thing, but also that they as people are very honest and they do actually love music. That they'd be doing if they weren't being paid. It needs to be someone that has a love for music and wants to be honest and wants to put all their flaws out there. I think that's what I love about it."
How well would the track have to do for you to consider it commercially success?
"I don't know, it's just so hard to predict. We worked so hard on making the music that I don't want to undermine how much I love the song just because of where it charts. If it gets a top ten that would be amazing. If I could get a top ten by myself I would be very, very happy."
Emeli Sandé's debut single 'Heaven' is released on August 15 via Virgin Records
Watch the Emeli Sandé 'Heaven' music video below: