The star, whose latest album Not Your Muse went straight to number one, moved in with her boyfriend poet and model Sonny Hall during lockdown and says her happiness can be heard in her music.
She told Wonderland Magazine: “Something that I experienced this year properly was falling in love. “So there is more warmth and sincerity to my approach to certain songs as opposed to how I would’ve treated them before which was a bit more sombre and guarded.
“Now it’s like big horns and make it triumphant! There are songs that have come to fruition because emotionally something has occurred in me and I’ve evolved in a way where now I’m clearer on what I feel.”
The 26-year-old British-Jamaican singer was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Essex and Brighton and said the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has given her a sense of “empowerment”.
The star, who won the Brit Rising Star Award last year, said she got a boost performing for a crowd including Vogue editor Edward Enninful and Michaela Coel at a dinner in honour of film director Spike Lee.
She said: “I remember singing ‘Stop This Flame’ and all of a sudden I interpreted it in a completely new way.
“The night was also in honour of Black excellence and I was in a room full of people that had come across adversity and surpassed people’s expectations in their area as people of colour. In that moment I felt a sense of empowerment and comfort in singing that song and it just took on a new form.”
She also attributes some of the success of her new album to that sense of empowerment which let her trust her own instincts when she decided to make it with her own live band rather than sign up with a big name producer.
She said: “Surrounding myself with my band and people who were there only to make good music, it brought me back in touch with why I love making music, without all the outside pressure I was initially naïve to growing up, starting out in the industry.”