Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ellie Goulding // Ellie Goulding On Starting Fresh in the U.S.

British pop star Ellie Goulding talks to Leigh Belz about hitting the top of the charts in the U.K. and starting fresh in the U.S.
To ring in 2011, British pop singer Ellie Goulding decided to go off the map—or, at least, get out of the U.K. for a bit. She ended up in Sri Lanka. "Thank God I went," she says a couple months later by phone from London. "I had a few days of total isolation—2010 was the most difficult year of my life. I feel like I crammed five years' worth of stuff into one."
The 24-year-old singer is speaking, of course, of being the British music scene's It girl. In January 2010, after signing with Polydor Records, the young songwriter was chosen as the winner of the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll, an annual honor given to a "promising musical talent." (Previous awards have gone to Adele, 50 Cent, and Keane.) Ellie's first studio album, Lights—which she says was influenced by Beyoncé and Lauryn Hill—followed in March, bowing at number one on the U.K. album charts, helped by the success of her hit single "Starry Eyed." Her fresh sound (think Florence + the Machine's airy vocals with a blippy La Roux-like soundscape) and sweet demeanor won Ellie instant fans. She spent the next eight months on multiple sold-out U.K. tours—including a slot at Glastonbury.
Now, after her restorative vacation, she's ready to introduce herself to American audiences. A new version of Lights was just released, and the singer kicked off a small U.S. tour with a set of shows at the game-changing SXSW festival in Austin. But despite all of her success, the singer admits she had some anxiety about taking her act across the pond. "I'm from a place which is basically a couple of farms and, like, 20 houses, so New York is scary. But I'm just really excited to be in America—I hope I have a reason to stay."

Elena Jane "Ellie" Goulding (born 30 December 1986),[2][3] is an English singer-songwriter. She became only the second artist to be named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of the year in the BBC's annual poll of music critics, Sound of 2010, and become the recipient of the Critics' Choice Award at the BRIT Awards in the same year, following Adele's win of both in 2008. After signing to Polydor Records in 2009, she released her first extended-play recording in 2009, An Introduction to Ellie Goulding, and her debut studio album Lights followed in 2010.[4] Her album went on to debut at number one on the UK Albums Chart and sell over 380,000 copies by the end of 2010.[5]
Her musical style has been compared to that of Kate Nash, Lykke Li, Tracey Thorn and Björk.[6]