Ellie Goulding Talks Halcyon, Skrillex, & Success In The U.S. With Carson Daly
For most of us here in the States, Ellie Goulding is one of the hottest new artists to break into the pop music scene.
Her single, “Lights,” is racing up the charts, but it seems like we’re a little late to the party.
Goulding has already enjoyed her fair share of success in her home country, the United Kingdom, and watching the song gain traction a second time feels like deja vu for the 25 year old.
“I heard ['Lights'] for the first time on the radio the other day. Yeah, for the first time!” she told Carson Daly this morning. “I’ve heard it a lot already. I don’t know. It’s very bizarre. It’s cool. I saw a girl, she was just like nodding her head in the car.”
She may be getting acclimated to Los Angeles’ hectic traffic jams with a little help from her “friend,” Skrillex, who tagged along to the studio today to lend some support. The two musicians are rumored to be dating and while neither would elaborate on the exact status of their relationship, Skrillex said they “go hunting together.”
“Lights” was all the rage in London back in 2011, but when the song was later remixed to showcase a more electronic vibe, America went nuts for it.
“I played guitar and sang for a long time around just like pubs and around the London circuit. I’d always been into electronic music since I was really young. My mom used to make mix tapes for me,” she revealed. “People remix my stuff a lot, like, just randomly. I find my vocals somewhere in remixed stuff. I get people to remix stuff, but then also there’s loads of bootlegs and unofficial stuff.”
It’s that juxtaposition of her pure voice and catchy beat that has helped her gain a following out here, but the self-taught singer has to work hard to produce that angelic sound.
“I think sometimes it sounds like my voice is like, out of control…I have to really control it because it just kind of goes everywhere. Like, sometimes stuff comes out that I don’t expect. A lot, actually.”
It may be hard to believe, but Goulding has no professional training.
“It’s so funny because my favorite thing to do is imitate opera singers, but I’ve never had a singing lesson. Oh, I had a lesson just to teach me how to breathe better, but I never really had a singing lesson.”
That hasn’t stopped Goulding from becoming one of the most highly-respected singers in the world. She was personally chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton to sing her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” at the royal wedding.
“I actually met Prince William at a festival for Radio 1. And I came off stage and I was really sweaty and my hair was like in my face and then Tinie Tempah came up to me and said, ‘Oh, someone wants to meet you.’ And Tinie had just gotten off stage as well, I think. He was in a towel! He was literally just in a towel, like sweating. And then he steps aside and Prince William was there…I didn’t know what to do! I was really awkward! But yeah, he was so lovely, though. And then a few months later, I got a phone call from someone, some illusive woman from Buckingham Palace and then that was that.”
Since then, Ellie’s been hard at work recording her second album, Halcyon, which drops on October 9th. She explained the inspiration behind the record’s obscure title.
“It’s like a bird that basically during the winter, it would lay its eggs by the sea and bring calm to the stormy waters and a lot of my songs on this record are about the ocean and water.”
Goulding released a preview of the album online and she spoke a little bit about her song writing process.
“It’s really hard to explain. I record stuff all the time, like little vocal things. I write random things down…Sometimes I just get things stuck in my head and I record them and that actually becomes a song quite a lot of the time.”
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio, Los Angeles