Ellie Goulding Talks Ultra Fest: "I Want to Be at Ultra, But I Guess I Have to Be a DJ"
To thrive like Ellie, an artist must approach their career with tons of determination and honesty. Thankfully, Goulding's got that in droves.
We here at Crossfade caught up with the singer-songwriter as she prepared to catch a flight to come rock the Fillmore Miami Beach tomorrow night.
Crossfade: So you were at university and took some time off to pursue your career. Why did you decide to leave school?
Goulding: It was just getting too hectic because I was really trying to balance performing and recording in London with my studies. It started proving to not work and I was concentrating less and less on my work, and wanting to focus completely on music. It just became really tough. I wanted to do everything. And I couldn't.
Well, it seems you made the right decision. But would you advise other artists to follow their dreams so resolutely? Or do you consider yourself rather lucky?
No, I mean, I did a lot of writing. I did have to do a lot. You should never go into it thinking that it's going to be easy, I guess. Because it's not. [Laughs] I absolutely endorse people following their dreams, but people should be prepared that it's not that easy.
I heard you're kind of obsessive in the studio. Can it sometimes be difficult to work with others?
No, I like working with other people. Usually one other person is good enough for me. It actually helps me to bounce ideas off someone.
How long did it take you working on Halcyon?
It was a couple of years, but on and off. I took my time with it. I didn't want to rush it. I just let things come naturally.
You recorded it in a converted barn near where you grew up. How did that happen?
That was where Jim Elliot lived, my producer, and I also believed that it would add something else, some sort of extra life to the record.
I am so attached to where I come from, so I have so much nostalgia and good memories that when I recorded, I could actually look out onto fields, the kind of fields I grew up around. Nostalgia has a real effect on my writing.
It seems like your writing is very personal. To be surrounded by the place you grew up, does that make it easier to open yourself up?
Yeah, I'm just very honest with how I write. It's how I've always written, I suppose. I've never really held that much back.
Is it nerve-racking sometimes when you put so much of yourself into your art to release it? Or are you beyond that now?
I've just realized that my hand writes very honestly. Maybe there'll be a time when I'm not as honest, or I write about things that perhaps aren't as personal to me. Maybe that will be a next venture.