Emeli Sande wants to be a music therapist.

The 'Next To Me' singer originally studied neuroscience before her music career took off and although she is thrilled with how things have turned out, she hasn't ruled out combining the two fields in the future.

She told USA Today: ''One day, I can see myself doing music therapy. That would be a nice medium.''

Sir Elton John has championed the 26-year-old singer and Emeli is overwhelmed by his support.

She said: ''I'm overwhelmed that a legend has such respect for my music. I hope I don't let him down.''

Along with Elton, Emeli - who has written songs for stars including Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Susan Boyle - also looks up to songwriters including Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone.

She said: ''My musical idol? Nina Simone, hands down. ''The way she held the tone, caressed a lyric. (When I write), I imagine how she'd sing a lyric.

''I love Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston for their vocal acrobatics. As a songwriter, I was influenced by a mix of artists: Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan.''