HALCYON DAYS FOR ELLIE

ESP’s Mikey Clarke chats to our cover star Ellie Goulding… 

It was quite clear that Ellie Goulding’s second album Halcyon was going to be a hit. After all, when fans were offered a free download of her song Hanging On, the volume of fans rushing to hear the track caused Soundcloud to crash.

Halcyon is a fantastic album which I bought my wife for Christmas, and was honoured to chat with Ellie about it…

Our exclusive interview took place moments after Ellie had returned from visiting the teenage ward at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. She described this experience as – “A lot of fun. There’s no point going to these places and being down, that’s not what the patients want. So me and my band went down, played a couple of songs, and had a laugh – as we always do.”

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Halcyon is the follow-up to Ellie Goulding’s hugely successful debut album Lights which was released in 2010 and has gone on to sell one and a half million copies and generate five million single sales worldwide. How does it compare to the first album?

“It’s got a different sound,” Ellie told me. “I’ve really benefited from working with a new producer, Jim Elliot. It also helped that I’d already released an album. I had a much clearer vision of what I wanted to make, and I feel that comes across in the tracks.”

All the songs on Halcyon were written and co-produced by Ellie. I asked where she gets her inspiration. “There’s a lot of my life in these tracks. I think about my upbringing, family and friends when writing songs. I’m also a country girl, which I think comes across in the music.”

Amongst all the songs on the album, Ellie revealed – “My Blood is my favourite. It really captures the emotion I was feeling when writing the album. When I wrote that song, I knew I was on the right track with the album.”

Doing my homework for the interview, I’d read an article where the popular singer was described as a ‘vixen’. I asked if this is a fair statement. She laughed – “If I’m a vixen now then I’ve always been one, because at this moment of time, I’ve never felt more myself.” Asking how she would describe herself, she replied – “My fans would agree when I say I like to have fun. But I also have periods of being quiet, which I guess is normal. But I think it’s more noticeable with so many people around me. I’m also a big thinker, and am often thinking of a million things at once.”

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Whilst most of us spend our Christmas singing along the tunes in the car, Ellie recalls being invited to sing at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the White House, joining Barack Obama on stage for a round of carols. “The experience was mental,” she said. “There was so much security, and there we were singing festive songs. I met Obama and his wife afterwards and kept asking myself why I was so worthy of meeting the president.”

Ellie spent a lot of this December singing her own songs out on tour. Don’t worry if you missed her though as she’s promised – “2013 is really going to be my tour year. It will be the year where things really kick off. It won’t stop.” Asking what she plans to do when not on stage, she told me – “I plan to face my fears and man-up a little. I hope to do a skydive, run a marathon and try to squeeze in a little side-project too.”

Find out more about Ellie Goulding’s album, tour dates, and possibly more on this mystery side-project by visiting www.elliegoulding.com

#EllieGoulding

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