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POSTCARD FROM COACHELLA: ELLIE GOULDING

Presenting the latest in our Coachella correspondent Samantha Hissong's series of conversations with performing artists. In this installment, Sam compares tattoos with Cherrytree/Interscope's Ellie Goulding.

How important is playing festivals to you and what do you see as the benefit that they provide?
I consider myself a pop artist, but we seem to have a festival appeal. We always get booked for good (and big) festivals like Coachella. Some people might not necessarily be fans of me when they’re at the festival, and I like to know that I’ve made fans from the performance. It’s a really cool feeling when you start off a festival performance with 10,000 people and then, at the end, you’ve got 50,000. That’s happened before, and the idea of being able to draw people in is pretty awesome.

What is your favorite song to perform live?
My favorite song to perform live—which I’m gonna do today—is “Holding on for Life.” It’s [about] when you feel depleted and you have nothing left, but you’re kinda in it together at the end. It’s dark, but it’s a really uplifting song. It’s got a kinda gospel vibe. I love performing it; I end up getting a bit possessed and something comes over me.

How do you plan on spending your downtime this weekend?
Well, we leave tonight [Friday] for Phoenix. We have a show tomorrow night. No downtime. Every year I’ve been here, I’ve never been able to hang out, but at the same time, I’m on the road and I’m just doing my job. I’ll have time at some point in the summer to go to a festival and chill out. Well, I say that, but probably not [laughs]. We had a day off in L.A. yesterday, so that was nice. I was getting tatted up, so I guess that’s hardly a day off [laughs amidst noises of pain]. Shout-out to Dr. Woo.

So is that what you’re doing between both weekends? Shows?
This is literally the middle of the tour. We have this next week of shows and then we come back here and then I go to a Miami for a few days, and then I go home for a few days and see my cats, and then I go back out again.

Are you playing other festivals during the tour?
Yeah, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Hangout and Glastonbury back home. Glastonbury’s right at the end, though, after Madison Square Garden. I just played Staples Center, and it was unreal, one of the highlights of my career. L.A. has always had my back from the very beginning. I remember playing The Roxy, and it’s kind of built up since then, but I’ve always had such a strong fanbase there, maybe our biggest in the world. I’ve had fans at my shows for seven years straight in L.A.

What would you like fans to know about what they can expect from you in the near future?
Well, next year, I’m not gonna tour, but I’ll probably still be releasing a bit of music. It’s definitely not gonna be as full-on for me next year I need some downtime and some time to get writing. I tour a lot, so I think I need a break.

Do you find that your writing process is best when you have downtime or are you one of those people who can just do it on the go?
I’m supposed to be writing music now and cutting things, and I’m just not in the zone. I’m in the touring zone, which is like a routine. A writing zone is a different kind of game—you have to be emotional and in touch with your feelings. Whereas touring is very functional; you just have to keep going. It’s obviously an amazing experience every night, but at the same time, you have to focus, and it’s a different type of focus.

BLACKOUT TUESDAY: HOW THE MAJORS RESPONDED
(6/5a)
HARLESTON, HABTEMARIAM LAUNCH UMG TASK FORCE
(6/5a)
SONY MUSIC SETS UP $100M FUND
(6/5a)
10K OPENS FUND TO AID BLACK YOUTH
(6/5a)
BLACK MUSIC MONTH: THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
(6/5a)
WHAT NEXT?
The biz ponders action after some reflection.
GRAMMY SPECULATION
100% guaranteed to be somewhat accurate, probably.
BLACK MUSIC MONTH
...continues.
TRUMP'S IN THE BUNKER
Just to inspect it, though.
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