Fresh from performing at that wedding (well, the post-ceremony party anyway) Ellie Goulding is busy breaking America with standout performances at Coachella and on Saturday Night Live.
We sat down with Ellie to discuss what it’s like having Kate ‘n’ Will as fans, her new Warpaint-influenced direction and working with Drake.
Did you have any pre-show butterflies when you performed at the royal wedding?
Yep, understandably. But I’m nervous at a lot of shows. I think any wedding is a nerve-wracking thing because it’s a very special day.
What songs did you play?
I can’t actually say… Everyone knows that ‘Your Song’ was the first song, but I can’t talk about the rest of the set – I’m sorry!
Did Kate and Wills have any special requests?
All of the songs that were requested we played. There were covers, too but I can’t officially say what they were. We did my material too, because they’re big fans of the album.
I’m guessing they approached you, how did that come about?
I met William at a festival last year, funnily enough, introduced to me by Tinie (Tempah). I knew they were fans of the album and then I got a phone call a while ago.
Nice – do you still remain in contact?
I can’t answer that. I’m really sorry. I want to – but I can’t , so it’s a ‘no comment’ I’m afraid.
Okay, but how does it feel to have the Royals as fans?
Just a real honour. I never thought I’d say the sentence ‘It was a real honour’ – because that implies that you’ve done something pretty special. But now I’ve done that several times. Yesterday I was in Buckingham Palace – I actually met the Queen yesterday and that was an honour. I never thought I’d do something like that. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved because to get to the point where a member of the Royal family hears your album is a pretty good achievement in itself.
You’re trying to break America – how are you finding it?
The crowds are very enthusiastic, very energetic and very happy. I think people (in the UK) are more stiff lipped, they find it hard to let loose here. So that’s why America is pretty cool.
Is that your favourite thing about US crowds?
I think generally in America being successful is very celebrated over there. But (in the UK) it seems like if you become mainstream then people will instantly shoot you in the face - which I don’t agree with. Here, people are like ‘I don’t like it and I’m going to fucking rip it apart’.
You played at Coachella recently. Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Drake I’d like to collaborate with. He’s a phenomenal lyricist. Probably the best rapper in the world at the moment. I love Kanye but there’s something about Drake; he’s more straight up, really clever and really poetic and metaphorical – I love that. He’s just clever. Kanye is also very clever but I guess Drake is new and fresh. I’d love to work with him.
Bjork, I’d love to do something with her. I’d love to do some sort of crazy orchestral choir thing with her. People compare us all the time, but it’s not just her voice but her music, the backdrop to everything she does has so many layers – I’d like to do something with her as well.
How was it working with Tinie Tempah?
He’s a really great guy, really friendly, really down to earth. He’s funny - he’s got a wicked sense of humour. We had fun and it’s good to work with someone that you get on with and connect with cos it can be quite awkward otherwise. We’re great friends - I spoke to him yesterday.
What do you think of new music? Anyone taking your fancy?
James Blake is fantastic and I love Anna Calvi. I also think Jamie Woon has made an amazing album.
What about Odd Future, have you heard them?
Yeah, I saw Odd Future at SXSW – it was fucking mental! I thought I was going to die. (laughs) I love what he’s doing, he’s exceptionally clever! I think he knows how messed up it all is – the whole playing up to the media and getting attention. He just doesn’t give a fuck.
How's the new album progressing?
I went to Ireland by myself for a couple of weeks and was in the hotel room listening to Warpaint, The National and Beach House for the first time. I’ve actually been listening to a lot less electronic music, as much as I am a big fan of dubstep. I’ve been listening to more piano and guitar based ballady stuff, so who knows what the next record will end up sounding like...
Do you have any working titles for your it?
Yes! But only as a joke, I couldn’t possibly determine what it’s going to be called because I haven’t written the whole album. It would be strange to write an album title before the songs. I’m thinking about it. My friend had a band, they had one big song and then they broke up.
He told me once that he was going to call his next album ‘Diamonds Of Sweat’ which I know sounds disgusting but I actually really like it – because I’m a runner and I sweat a lot. I’ve got a song called ‘Salt Skin’ because when you run in the heat it evaporates and you’ve got salt crystals on your face. I love that, because it means you’ve worked really hard. I really like that title but obviously it’s taken.
Shameless plug alert! Ellie Goulding is the face of SoBe, a new range of energy drinks and vitamin boosted waters. So that's nice