The 24-year-old British singer-songwriter took a time out from touring with Katy Perry to speak with DETAILS about trying to capture American audiences, her new acoustic EP, and what it was like to perform for Prince William.
DETAILS: Your acoustic EP Live at Amoeba San Francisco was released on November 25th. What inspired you to record an acoustic album?
Ellie Goulding: I love playing acoustically—it's a whole different side to what I do. This album is my music, but just way stripped back. It's nice for my voice to be the main feature. I feel like there isn't enough of that.
DETAILS: And now you're joining Katy Perry's California Dreams tour for stops in five cities. What are you looking forward to most about it?
Ellie Goulding: I'm just looking forward to having a great time. I know Katy's fun—we've spoken before and hung out a bit. I'm excited and a little nervous because the venues are so bloody big.
DETAILS: Katy's obviously a huge deal right now, but who are some of your other musical influences?
Ellie Goulding: Björk is a really strong musical influence, always has been. I'm enthralled by female singers and female performers. Watching people like Rihanna and Lady Gaga is inspirational because they make you realize that you can pretty much do what you want on stage. You've got to own the stage.
DETAILS: And your dream musical collaboration?
Ellie Goulding: I really want to collaborate with Drake. I say that in every single interview, but I'd just love to do something with him.
DETAILS: You had your own sold-out North American tour this past summer. How did it feel to gain recognition in the U.S.?
Ellie Goulding: It felt really cool. In America, I let myself go a bit more. When I'm in London, performing is quite nerve-wracking because it's where I live. When you're in another country you can be a little crazier, which makes the performance a bit more interesting and fun.
DETAILS: Let's talk about your pre-show prep. I've read you like to run. What songs are on your workout playlist?
Ellie Goulding: I listen to Robyn a lot when I run. On my playlist right now I've also got Beyoncé, Fleetwood Mac, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Britney Spears, and loads of dubstep.
DETAILS: Speaking of, the Bassnectar dubstep remix of your single "Lights" was extremely popular in the U.S.
Ellie Goulding: Yeah, that one was huge in America for some reason. I was speaking to Bassnectar on the phone, and he told me when he plays that remix live girls lose their shit. [laughs]
DETAILS: It's funny to think about what Americans are into versus the English, huh? What are some of the things from England that you take with you on tour?
Ellie Goulding: I bring over green tea and chocolate. Chocolate is not that great here, no offense! [laughs] All the other food in America is amazing, though—it's unreal.
DETAILS: What's really unreal is that you performed at Will and Kate's royal wedding reception. Were you nervous?
Ellie Goulding: I was nervous, but it was too fun to even think about that. The whole thing was just so enjoyable that it didn't really matter. It was awesome!
DETAILS: So is Kate Middleton as attractive in person as she seems?
Ellie Goulding: Yeah, she's beautiful inside and out. She and William are both really beautiful people, actually.