Sunday 18 November 2018

Interrogation with singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding

The award-winning, globe-trotting singer songwriter reveals to Doug Whelan what gets her up in the morning and what helps her sleep at night...

Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding

Doug Whelan

Profession: Singer-songwriter

What are you promoting today, and why?

I was invited to play as part of the Guinness Amplify Series. I love playing smaller concerts when I can. At this point I'm playing a mixture of big venues and small venues.

I've just been in Asia and I was playing much smaller venues there, and I really like that mix. Although it's not easy on my crew to have to keep changing the set up depending on where we are! Intimate shows are better in the sense that you get to be closer to the audience and there's just more of a connection.


What is the most rewarding thing about your life?

That's easy - my job is the most rewarding thing. I get to get up every day and do exactly what I've always wanted to do. Not many people can say that so I'm very grateful for it.

I get to travel all over the world too; we barely went on holiday when I was young so that fact that I get to fly around the world regularly is really pretty awesome.


Why do you do what you do for a living?

[Laughs] I don't know, it just kind of happened! I sang when I was younger and I used to go around all the open mic nights and I was spotted and it just sort of snowballed from there.

I had no major plans for success, it all just happened! I was quite shy about it to be honest, I always thought my voice was quite average and not special, I just taught myself guitar and everything started happening.


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Oh I could spend all day coming up with things there! I wish I wasn't so addicted to sugar, that's one thing. I have these sugar binges and it affects my mood. Sweets, chocolate, anything with sugar in.

I thought it was just one of those things and everyone loved sweets but it's not. I eventually realised there are people who don't have a sweet tooth at all. I eat more sweets than anyone I know! I have mood swings because you get a bit of a high off them!


What's the rumour about you that's bothered you the most?

Well the weirdest thing that I still have never understood is when things are written about me dating someone I haven't. I just don't get it. I don't ever really respond to rumours like that because there's no point. It's just made up.

If I talk about those rumours there's no benefit or reason for me to speak about it. So I don't. I'm really happy and I don't need that affirmation from anyone so by now I just find it more amusing than anything. If I say anything, it's in the paper the next day.

What's real is what's real. I'm sure the universe will balance it out by itself anyway so I don't need to do anything about rumours.


It's Sunday night, you're curling up to watch TV. What's on your DVR?

David Attenborough. I've watched Blue Planet over and over again and I've just found out he's got a new series on the way in the Coral Reef which I'm very excited about.

Then at the other end of the spectrum I'm obsessed with crap TV… or what my friends would call crap TV! I love watching Geordie Shore. But I don't watch a lot of TV to be honest. It's hard to find the time.


What's the most shamefully uncool album you own?

I don't have anything I'm embarrassed about! If I like it I wouldn't class it that way! I do really like this guy called Fuse ODG at the moment but I don't know if that's something to be embarrassed about. I'll let you guys be the judge of that!


Do you like being well-known?

I like the fact that I've gotten to where I am as a musician. I'm surrounded by good people and I'm happy with my career. Being well-known comes as part of that package I suppose.

There are times I wish I could just go to the pub without anybody knowing me. It's not like I'm constantly being approached when I'm out and about now, it's just that you feel like you're being watched. But you just accept it, you know?


What drives you on a daily basis?

I have to have a green tea in the morning otherwise I can't function! Then I might go for a run which helps me get going, then after that every day for me is so different than the last I can never really predict what's going to inspire me. The unpredictability is what drives me in a way. I just make sure I get some exercise.


Who is your hero?

Björk is one. And David Attenborough because he makes you forget about everything bad in the world. I get lost watching his documentaries. I watch them before bed to clear my head.


What makes you emotional?

Oh Christ, everything! I mostly cry when I watch a film on a plane. I think it's a combination of the altitude and the wine! Recently I watched Dallas Buyers Club on a plane and sobbed my eyes out.


What's your favourite day of the week?

Whenever I have a day off!


Where do you see yourself in five years time?

You know, I'm in a pretty good place right now so if everything is just the way it is now or slightly improved, I'd be just as happy as I am now! I'm just going to keep doing what I do!

The Guinness Amplify concert series takes place at venues around Ireland until October 12th. For more info visit

Irish Independent

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