Aidin Vaziri | In just a year, Ellie Goulding went from being a complete unknown in her native Britain to serenading Prince William and Kate Middleton with a private performance at the royal wedding. Goulding’s first album, “Lights,” was the fastest-selling debut of 2010, and her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” enjoyed a dizzying run up the charts. Now the 24-year-old electro-pop singer has cautiously set her sights on America. She checked in with us last week in preparation for her appearance at the Outside Lands Music and Arts festival in Golden Gate Park on Friday.
Q: You were the only live performer to be asked to play the royal wedding. Did it feel like just another gig or were you biting your nails?
A: I’m notoriously underwhelmed by everything that happens to me. I just thought I wanted it to go as well as possible because it was their day, not my day. I didn’t want my nerves to ruin it for them.
Q: I remember reading that your family discouraged you from singing because they said you had a weird voice. All this must be a bit gratifying.
A: I think it was my mom’s way of being supportive in a negative, tough-love way.
Q: Did she want to keep your hopes in check in case things didn’t work out?
A: No, we just had a weird relationship. I grew up in a household of negativity and pessimism. I always expect the worst. I’m in that mind-set. I don’t go crazy when good things happen.
Q: Do you ever leave magazines with your face on the cover lying around when you go home?
A: I don’t go home that often, but I know my mom buys the magazines. Some people are everywhere. I’m not that kind of celebrity.