In 2010 Ellie Goulding took the U.K. by storm with the fastest selling album of the year. A remarkable feat for her debut album Lights, things weren’t always easy for the singer. In an interview with 97.1 AMP/Los Angeles, Gouling discussed her early days.

“I remember having to call up from a payphone the person’s house I was going to,” Goulding said. “My phone had been blocked so I couldn’t pay the phone bill. I had to get the person from the studio to send a car to pick me up. I think that’s why I appreciate everything so much now.”

Goulding broke into the industry by singing on demos and writing songs for other artists. “I was a writer before I was a singer,” she confessed.

The 24-year-old describes herself as a “really sing-y person,” who grew up harmonizing with artists like Beyoncé and Lauryn Hill on the radio. By emulating such strong singers, Goulding began to develop her voice.

“Then I discovered Bjork and Imogen Heap and I found a whole new world of music and female singers and performers and artists,” she said. “And it was when I got to Uni that I started properly writing songs. I think when you start writing your own songs you start getting your own voice.”

Having already conquered her native Britain with Lights, Goulding said she is thankful for how things panned out.

“I’m grateful that I made an album and I got to do really what I wanted and no one tried to make me do anything different,” she said. “I still get to do it now. And the fact that it was the fastest selling debut that’s just an amazing bonus.”

– Robyn Luttrell, 97.1 AMP Radio

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