The Hollywood Reporter just announced that British songstress Ellie Goulding, a teenager who just released her first album, will play at the private Royal Wedding reception Friday at Buckingham Palace. Not a bad gig for a newbie. According to THR, Ellie, whose LP Lights recently debuted at number one in the U.K., is one of Kate and William's favorite British artists.
However, in the U.S. Ellie is still largely unknown, and in fact last month she was playing a venue decidedly more low-key than Buckingham Palace: Yahoo! Music's actual hotel room at the Austin musicfest South By Southwest, where she performed an extremely intimate, acoustic show for a few lucky Y! staffers.
So who is this girl? Well, across the pond, the singer's rise to fame was swift: After recording some acoustic home demos a few years ago, a pair of musical relationships with cutting-edge producers/musicians Vincent Frank, aka Frankmusic, and Fin Dow-Smith, aka Starsmith, laid the groundwork for rapid attention from many fronts. Then came her record deal, appearances on Jools Holland's TV show, and critical recognition via the BBC Sound Of 2010 poll and the 2010 highly-respected Brit Awards, where Goulding took the Critics' Choice Award.
But on a recent day in Austin, just a week after her album finally saw its American release, Goulding was just one of many thousands of international artists seeking attention at SXSW. Charming, personable, highly intelligent, and quite funny, she graciously offered up unplugged versions of her lead single "Starry Eyed" and "Guns And Horses," told us a bit about herself, and proved that her intriguing blend of intelligent lyrics, acoustic and electronic textures, and overall catchiness mark her as one British success likely to be welcomed in America with open arms.
She's performing on command for England's future king and queen this weekend, but perhaps Ellie will sing at the White House next, as her Stateside star continues to rise. Watch her now, and find out why William and his princess bride fell in love with her music.