It’s the perfect combination for any performer trying to stay relevant in today’s world of instant gratification: millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter, an enamoring performance at the Grammys and an album that continues to make headlines.
But even amid all of the success, Ellie Goulding joked in a recent press release that she’s “the worst pop star in the world.”
“If we think about the connotations of being a pop star and the things that pop stars are supposed to be, I just think I’m none of them,” the English star told us in a recent phone interview.
“My friends say it, my family says it, even my label says it … they think it’s funny that I make pop music, and I’ve got the potential to be something probably a lot bigger, but I’m very happy where I am.”
She’s spent the past few months promoting 2015’s Delirium, which features the single “On My Mind.” Currently on the North American leg of her Delirium World Tour and planning to hit Verizon Theatre on April 18, the soft-spoken and expressive singer has become known for an icy-cool voice and energetic, electro-pop style.
Her 2010 debut record, Lights, and 2012 follow-up, Halcyon, feature six platinum U.S. singles and helped her to reach millions in album sales. She’s collaborated with the likes of Calvin Harris and Major Lazer, and recently confirmed she will release another tune with Harris later this year.
With all the success, Goulding expresses relief that she’s never had to change who she is as an artist.
“When I signed a record deal, it was very unique in that there were no restrictions on what I could or couldn’t do with production,” she explains. “I had the freedom of not having anyone say what to do or how to sound.”
With an infectious, danceworthy mix, Goulding has found a niche that pairs well with her vocal ability. She says when recording, she spends most of her time making sure her voice is as clear as the music and can be recognized.
“I have a tough voice to deal with. It’s not a secret that my voice is different — everyone knows that. It just means that it’s tough for people because it can be quiet and loud and soft,” says Goulding.
Outside the studio, she can be seen hanging out with some very familiar stars — Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Cara Delevingne, to name a few. When asked about her circle of famous friends, Goulding avoided name-dropping.
“I have friends in and out of the spotlight; I would argue that I have friends in music. It’s a valuable thing to have people who understand what you’re going through as a musician on the road,” Goulding says.
“My assistant, and my best friend in the whole world, is a woman. My backing singers, my makeup artists are women. They just understand because they’ve been with me for the past seven years.”
“I make sure that I surround myself with very strong and motivated women.”