Hometown: Hereford, England
For Fans Of: La Roux, Little Boots, Dido
Despite the fact that Ellie Goulding’s debut album, Lights, earned four hit singles, premiered at No. 1 on the UK chart and gained two 2011 Brit nominations, the 24-year-old songwriter doesn’t believe the hype. “I feel like in myself I have so much more to give,” she tells Paste. “Everyone feels like I have had a massive success here, but at the same time I think there is another level to go.”
And yet, Goulding isn’t interested in becoming a household name. “I never wanted to take over the world, I never wanted to be a national icon or a diva or anything like that,” she says. “I have always just wanted people to be impressed by my voice and my songs and nothing else.”
From the reaction that her music is getting, people are definitely impressed, and regardless of her intentions, she is well on her way. Many of her songs have been remixed by DJ giants, her personal favorite being a version of “Guns and Horses” by French producer Monsieur Adi.
Goulding’ songs infuse heartfelt lyrics with catchy synths for an irresistible sound. Originally an acoustic singer-songwriter, the idea of pop music doesn’t scare Goulding. She has embraced electro-pop tunes, while retaining an earnestness in her lyrics that creates a honesty and intelligence that most of today’s pop music lacks. “I think pop music is dismissed generally by a lot of people as having no meaning and not really creating an impact,” Goulding says. “I have never been afraid of making a song that is catchy. Also, I feel at the same time that there are some songs [that] are just intended to be a hit and then be forgotten about. Some songs just disappear. I never wanted to make songs that disappear.”
Along with releasing Lights in the U.S., Goulding will kick off a North American tour at SXSW. She’s already at work on her sophomore album, and would like to collaborate Kanye West, Sufjan Stevens or Bon Iver in the future. “Some days I just feel like I have not achieved anything, and other days I just thank God I’m so lucky to be in my position,” Goulding says. “It’s quite a contradiction I always have going on in my head that keeps me on my toes.”