U.K. pop breakout Ellie Goulding on her (really, really) slow rise to fame | EW.com


U.K. pop breakout Ellie Goulding on her (really, really) slow rise to fame

It's taken more than a year, but the 25-year-old's single ''Lights'' has finally hit the Billboard top 10. She talks to EW about taking the scenic route up the charts, performing for royalty, and fanning out on Tina Fey.

She’s still trying to figure out why America has embraced ”Lights” more than a year after its release

”I’d already released six singles in England [where her debut album, Lights, topped the charts], and though I love all my songs, it was never my favorite. So when I took ‘Lights’ around the States to radio stations and did performances, I’d been singing it for so long that I kept wanting to change it. By the end of the radio tour, it sounded like an entirely different song. [Laughs] It’s really interesting to see this crazy reaction, but I can’t think of a single moment [to explain it]. Loads of people tweeted me that it’s just jumped from number 12 to number 6 or whatever, and it’s like, ‘Cool!’… I feel insanely lucky, because I know that I work hard, but a lot of people work hard.”

Yes, she sang at last year’s royal-wedding reception — by special invitation from the groom…

”Prince William saw me performing at a festival — actually, I came straight off stage all sweaty and disgusting, and he was just there telling me that he loved the show and stuff, and then I had the camera straight in my face saying, ‘You just met Prince William! How was that?’ I didn’t know what to say. I was completely shocked. But I guess [William and Kate] both became big fans, and they had followed my progress.”

….but she may have been even more starstruck by Tina Fey

”When I got the call to come over and do SNL [in May 2011] I was like, ‘Hell, yeah,’ especially when I found out that Tina Fey was hosting. I just died — she is one of my favorite people in the world. Honestly, it was the most awesome, most nerve-racking thing I’ve ever done. So scary. It’s hard to go on that show, man! It’s really hard.”

She’s learned a lot from her boyfriend, dance-music kingpin Skrillex

”I’m his biggest fan. If I could, I’d be in the studio with him every week. I don’t wanna be gushing, but he’s not only a great electronic producer, he’s just generally an insane producer. The things that he makes and the way he thinks are remarkable, and I think that’s why he’s gotten to where he has — he’s extremely clever.”

Sometimes her own success keeps her from a good night’s sleep

”I was in a hotel in L.A. and there was a late-night party going on downstairs at the bar, and I was woken up by my own song two times — they played the original and then the Bassnectar remix. It’s really weird to be woken up by yourself!”