Ellie Goulding -- About to Pop
By Marina Galperina Posted Feb 10th 2011 06:04PM
Video: 'Starry Eyed (Acoustic)'
Hails From: Hereford, England
For Fans Of: Florence and the Machine, Jessie J
Why She's About to Pop: Taking a break from college to focus on her music career was one of Ellie Goulding's best decisions. This year, the 24-year-old UK singer-songwriter hit No. 5 on Rolling Stone Magazine's hot list and, with three BRIT Awards under her belt -- Critics' Choice 2010, British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Artist 2011 -- Goulding is ready to reign in the US. She started writing pop songs at nine, took up guitar at 14, got into electronic music in college and got signed in 2009. Last year she supported John Mayer on his UK tour and had her song appear on CW's 'The Vampire Diaries,' gaining new fans on both sides of the globe.
Before her album 'Lights' gets its US release this March, PopEater caught up with Goulding to chat about growing up in a small town, covering Elton John and why she's so excited to play SXSW this year.
Eight Questions With Ellie Goulding:
What was the first song you learned to play on guitar?
The first song I learned was 'Summer of 69,' closely followed by 'Tears in Heaven.' The only person around me who could play well was my sister's boyfriend and he taught me his favourite songs.
You covered Elton John's 'Your Song.' Who would you love to hear cover your own songs?
I'd love to hear someone like Kanye do to one of my songs what he did to Bon Iver's 'Wolves' or someone sample 'Starry Eyed' maybe. But also I would love to write a song and have someone like Dolly Parton sing it!
Who are you musical idols?
I've never really had an idol, but I had to say who I owed a lot to for all the inspiration she gave me since I first heard a song, it would be Bjork.
What's the best advice your friends in the music industry have ever given you?
Nothing specifically, but general advice to stay grounded is to always remember your life before, and where you came from. And don't read things written about you, good or bad!
How has growing up in a small town reflected on your songwriting?
It hasn't necassarily affected my songwriting but I feel like a better person for it. I grew up in a small council house in a village just on the border between Wales and England, and there wasn't much to do other than play guitar and go out walking. I suppose I was blissfully ignorant in many ways, discovering bands and songs a long time after people in cities did, not going to the theater much or seeing live music, or ever really having a huge interest in fashion -- most of the time I wore wellies and trainers and dressed practically. I was bombarded with art when I went to University and on to London and I'm so grateful for it. So I suppose I've had both worlds. I write a lot about missing home because it was so quiet and simple and the air was clean!
Are you looking forward to playing SXSW?
So much! I've heard amazing things! Feel like I should stay away from the free alcohol I've been promised though.
Is there a difference between playing live in the US and the UK?
When I played my little shows in L.A. and New York I felt like people were more lively and energetic. In the UK, unless you're a hardcore fan, you don't tend to show much enthusiasm at shows. I put that down to American people being generally more positive and happy, and not being afraid of liking something that everyone else likes!
What message do you hope people take away from your music?
I'd hope that people feel positive and hopeful after my shows. I sing a lot about wanting to be a better person but also about my triumphs with harder times. Hopefully this will rub off on people.
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