Friday March 1, 2013
By KEVIN TAN
British singer Ellie Goulding was positively electrifying in Singapore.
SHE has been called the “electro goddess”, and during her concert in Singapore on Tuesday, British performer Ellie Goulding totally lived up to the title.
The sold out show was held at the seated Esplanade Concert hall, but the audience of 1,800 immediately jumped to their feet when Goulding, 26, took to the stage, starting out with Don’t Say A Word from her latest album, Halcyon.
Although she appeared more reserved and almost shy during the first two songs, she soon loosened up and by the time she did Explosions, she was well and truly exploding with passion and excitement, and infecting the crowd with it too.
In a way, it reflects Goulding’s ascendency from – by her own admission – a “middling pop star” to a leading light in electronic music.
Known more in her native Britain initially for her cover of Your Song, the classic Elton John ballad, and the fact that she sang that for Will and Kate’s royal wedding last year, Goulding has now slowly shaken off the image of her as a shy, raspy-voiced singer to an electrifying artiste capable of knocking your socks off with her immense talent.
“I’ve always been interested in electronic music,” she said during an interview with R.AGE after the concert. “When I wrote songs, I used to find them empty, like it needed something to fill the void. Then I found electronic was the perfect element to put in my songs.”
Listening to her live, it’s hard to argue with that. The electronic brilliance of her songs resonated through the hall, with Goulding and her backing musicians all working their individual effects pads to transform her compositions into beautiful waves of sound.
And if you’ve ever had any doubts about whether there’s actually a good voice behind all those beats and effects you hear on her tracks, take it from us (and YouTube) – this girl can sing; from those raspy low notes to her sweet, achingly beautiful falsettos.
She showcased the full range of her talent when she picked up an acoustic guitar and performed Guns And Horses off her first album, Lights. It was flawless, and, as she explained later during the interview, something of a comfort zone for her.
Goulding finds herself writing her best material when she’s alone in a quiet place, away from familiar places and the spotlight, with just an acoustic guitar for company. She wrote the entire album of Halcyon this way, sitting by the sea in Ireland.
“I like to be in a different environment and away from home when I write. I find that I can write stuff that sounds really good that way, at the countryside.
“It’s about spending time alone by the sea, talking to people on the road, and travelling alone that inspires me to write with my heart,” said Goulding, who once dated fellow electronic music star Skrillex.
But such inner peace wasn’t always a part of her life. She described herself as a “rebel” when she was young; a confused, broken-hearted yet hopeful teen.
“Without that part of my life, I probably wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “I use to write diaries, and the most interesting things were written in that diary. Many of the things said in there, I use them to write my music, which is very personal and honest.
Goulding’s talent was apparent from an early age. She could play the guitar and clarinet by the time she was 14, started writing songs when she was 15, and won her first singing competition when she was in college.
It wasn’t long before a major record label spotted her during a university talent competition, and she started to release tracks digitally in a low-key debut that made her a huge underground hit. By the time she released her debut album, she had already won the 2010 BRIT Awards’ Critics’ Choice Award. She had also won the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, which is determined by music critics and industry experts.
Now with two successful albums to her name, it’s safe to say she’s lived up to the hype.
During the Singapore concert, you could tell that the crowd was dying to hear Anything Could Happen, the lead single from Halcyon. All it took was for her to play the intro of the song on her effects pad, and the crowd just lost it.
Of course, there was no way the crowd was going to let her go without performing Lights, her biggest hit to date, which she saved for the encore.
By the end of the night, the transformation was complete. She was no longer Ellie Goulding, the timid, talented singer. She was Ellie Goulding, electro goddess.