Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.
Singer Ellie Goulding is turning on the Lights and bringing her original sound to Chicago for the first time. Find out why critics and the Brit Awards are saying this artist is one to watch in 2011.
JN: (JerryNunn) Hi, Ellie. I heard you are finishing up with SXSW.
EG: (Ellie Goulding) Yup, we have been on the bus for about 21 hours. We are heading to Washington DC.
JN: How was the festival?
EG: It was insane. Nothing can prepare you for it. It is like walking into a city of chaos pretty much. There are people everywhere. It is a really cool thing to be a part of. I think my band and I felt very lucky to be there. We couldn't do it last year because we were so busy. This was a perfect way to start off the tour. I don't it will get any worse in terms of us scaling things down for the show so I think it is good.
JN: Maybe you could do Lollapalooza in Chicago.
EG: Yeah, that would be awesome.
JN: Did you see any band when you were at the festival?
EG: I saw Odd Future. It was really cool but too packed to get anywhere near the band. They were spraying everyone with water so I was really glad. I also saw Wolf Gang there. I can't remember the name of the DJ but they had a live violin player. It was really amazing. I didn't get to see as much as I wanted to. I wanted to see Kanye West. We wound up doing something else and went to a club. I went to bed maybe at 3:00 am.
JN: Sounds exhausting. Let's talk about your album Lights. How would you describe your music to people that don't know it?
EG: It is pop music but ethereal I suppose. There are some songs that are straight up pop ballads and there are others that are quite dreamy. You can see my influences. Everything that I write has folk music in it.
JN: My favorite song is called "This Love (Will Be Your Downfall). What was that inspired by?
EG: It is inspired by people having influence on each other. You can be the happiest you can be in a relationship but can have an urge to be with someone else. I know a lot of people that it has happened to. They have been on the receiving end or they have been the person. It is saying what right we have to do it but at the same time dismissing it because it is what people do. It is one of those things.
JN: You are a self-taught musician?
JN: What do you recommend for upcoming artists?
EG: Just to not fall in the trap when you are a young singer to not play covers all the time.
People know them, they are memorable and easy to play. You really have to focus on writing your own stuff. I wish that I had done that more actually because I felt like I got myself into playing covers. It is important to write your own material from when you really start singing. People need to realize that they have a voice.
JN: You do a cover of "Your Song" on your album but it is completely your take on it.
EG: I wanted to do my own version of it. I knew I would get some sort of annoyance from avid Elton John fans. It didn't matter because so many people liked it. It made people happy and some sad. I didn't expect it to do anything but it just so happened that it did. I am really shocked at its success in the UK. It was number one or two on iTunes.
JN: Has Elton heard it?
EG: Yes, he has. He really likes it.
JN: He can be hard to please so that is good.
EG: Yeah, and he like it thank goodness.
JN: You played with the singer Little Boots in the past.
EG: A long time ago. She is really cool.
JN: I read somewhere that you are a big runner.
EG: I try. I feel like it has gone downhill lately because I have been busy but I do try to run as much as I can. When I am on the bus touring it is quite hard. I hope there is a gym at the hotel so when I get there I can run on the treadmill.
JN: Have you been to Chicago?
EG: No, I have never been there.
JN: There are lots of things to do here. Well, have a good trip in Washington and we will see you in Chicago soon!