“Try and take some time out. I think sometimes when we’re working so much and we’re so focused on something, and putting so much energy into it, we can sometimes lose perspective and burn our brains out.”

That is the message multi-platinum singer and Chancellor of the University of Sunderland Emeli Sandé has for students who might be struggling during the latest coronavirus lockdown.

The songwriter took part in a virtual question and answer session with the University’s Performing Arts students earlier this week, where she encouraged anyone going through moments of self-doubt to take a break.

“We have to remember that making music or anything creative is such a high intensity mind process,” she said.

“Put it aside for a second, it’s not going to go anywhere, and do something else that can stimulate another part of your mind. Play the piano but just for the enjoyment of playing and not thinking about a career. Try turning off the internet for a minute.

“It’s just re-grounding and resting your mind and when you come back to what you were doing, you’ll find a renewed excitement and energy. We need energy for everything especially for something as demanding as music or creation. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Final year Performing Arts student Angel Freer is recovering from Covid-19 and struggles with her breathing.

The 22-year-old jumped at the chance to ask Emeli for tips on how she can look after her singing voice.

She said: “I found Emeli’s advice about singing and breathing very helpful as I understand how to push my breathing by doing exercises like running and walking, so that my body becomes more comfortable with the pressure when singing.

“She also mentioned looking back at artists such as Whitney Houston and study the techniques that she used to sustain her voice and always keep it the best that it could possibly be.”

Emeli also revealed she has been keeping herself busy during lockdown by making a new album.

“This is the first album I’m going to be releasing independently and I feel the joy of music and creating music has come back to me,” she said.

“I do believe that music is really needed now, and I hope I have approached this album in a way that shows this to others as much as possible.”