“I remember like having to call up from a pay-phone the person’s house I was going to” English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding is reminiscing about “interesting times” at the beginning of her career. “My phone had been blocked so I couldn’t pay the phone bill. I had to get the person from the studio to send a car to pick me up,” she explains. “ I think that’s why I appreciate everything so much now”.
Ellie talked with our own Casey McCabe about her beginnings. She discussed breaking into the industry by singing on demos and writing songs for other artists. “I was a writer before I was a singer”.
But the 24-year-old has been singing all her life. She describes herself as a “ really sing-y person”, harmonizing along with artists like Beyoncé and Lauryn Hill on the radio. After having emulated such strong singers, Goulding began to develop her voice from a young age.
“…and then I discovered Bjork and Imogen Heap and I found a whole new world of music and female singers and performers and artists. And it was when I got to Uni that I started properly writing songs. I think when you start writing your own songs you start getting your own voice.”
Having already conquered her native Britain with ”Lights”, the biggest and fastest selling debut album of 2010 in the U.K., she insists that this is all “pretty cool” but “everything’s a bonus”:
“I’m grateful that I made an album and I got to make an album and I got to do really what I wanted and no one tried to make me do anything different. I still get to do it now. And everything, like the fact that it was the fastest selling debut or whatever that’s just like an amazing bonus.”
McCabe did want to clear one thing up: is “Lights” about Ellie’s fear of darkness? Yes! She is afraid of the dark and still sleeps with the lights on.
“Sometimes if I’ve had a couple of drinks and I come back and just like lie on my bed and fall asleep I wake up and realize that there isn’t a light on and I have to turn a light on.”
The pop-folkster isn’t ashamed of sharing her fears, though. “Lights” gives an insight into her childhood, making the song a “good introduction” and “good foundation” she said.
As if being afraid of the dark isn’t coy and charming enough, when McCabe pried at her hush-hush relationship with electro-sensation Skrillex, Goulding quickly went from confident pop star to an adorable girl who is young and in love. Squirming in her chair and wrinkling her nose, she said “Maybe. Yeah.” Taking a hint from the shy songstress, McCabe directed the conversation toward working with Skrillex rather than dating him. Of course, Goulding had nothing but accolades:
” He’s like no one else. I think that goes without saying. That’s why he is where he is. He’s very very clever. Very talented and very hardworking.”
Details of the new album are “a surprise” and we can expect it to be released sometime in October, said the singer. The album contains what she described as “post-summer songs”. We can also expect the new material to be quite a bit darker. She compares the “Lights” and the new album:
“…if you like just read the lyrics [of "Lights"], it’s quite depressing but the album itself ended up sounding quite happy. My next album isn’t like that. There will be some tunes that you can really dance to and then others that are just really sad.”
While she wouldn’t give specific names, our interviewer did manage to pry a kind of collaboration wish list out of Goulding. Her top three American artists include Drake, Justin Bieber, and Bon Iver.
- Robyn Luttrell, 97.1 AMP Radio