Last Friday, Ellie Goulding captivated the Coachella crowd with a high-octane set that included some of her biggest hits—"Burn," "Anything Could Happen" and "Lights" among them. The British songstress has had a major couple of years by anyone’s standards—for starters, Kate Middleton and Prince William hand-picked her to perform at their royal wedding in 2011. Over the past four years, she’s also sold over five million albums and 15 million songs worldwide. And then there’s the Divergent factor to consider; in addition to contributing one of the YA film adaptation’s most memorable tracks, "Beating Heart," the pop superstar’s also featured on the movie’s score. Not too shabby for a 27-year-old.
I caught up with Goulding in her trailer just a few hours before she hit Coachella’s main stage. Read on for the secrets behind her incredible, ever-changing hair looks, her thoughts on playing the royal wedding and why her involvement in Divergent left her longing for some new ink!
Lucky: You’re always ahead of the curve when it comes to hair trends—you had pink hair years before anyone else, and an undercut way before it was considered a "thing." How do you decide when it’s time for a new look—and what are you planning to try next?
Ellie Goulding: Usually when my hair starts falling out from all that bleach, that’s when I start thinking it’s time to change it [laughs]. I actually got this platinum color done just yesterday—before, it was more of a dirty blonde. As long as you eat the right stuff and take your vitamins, I think it’s OK to mess around with the color. I have extensions in right now—my natural hair hits right about here [motions to the tops of her shoulders]—but the next thing I want to do is cut it. I run a lot, and for that, it’s just so much easier to have short hair.
How short are you thinking? Like a true bob?
Yeah, maybe! That’d be good, right?
Totally. So your music is a huge part of the new Divergent movie—if you lived in the story’s post-apocalyptic world, which faction do you think you’d wind up in?
I kind of remind myself of Tris in a weird way—I feel like I wouldn’t necessarily fit into any of them, and that I’d be Divergent too. But Dauntless, if I had to pick, because they’re really fearless and take risks.
Are you an adrenaline junkie? I could see you being into roller coasters and things like that…
You know, I’m not naturally, but I make myself do it. I make myself go on rides and go skydiving and do scary things like that. Skydiving’s one of those things you just have to do before you die, I think, to get that natural high.
You wear a few of Tris’ tattoos in the "Beating Heart" video. I know those were temporary, but has being a part of the movie inspired you to get any new ink or the real variety?
Yes—I’m getting a new one soon! I like red ink a lot, so it’ll be something in red for sure. I can’t tell you exactly what it’ll be, only because I don’t want to jinx it! Right now I just have a bunch of small ones…they’re kind of like "jewelry tattoos." I have a couple in white ink, which wears off pretty quickly—you have to touch them up—but it looks so cool.
Back in 2011, you performed at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, which is obviously a huge deal. Were you shocked when you got that call inviting you to sing at the reception?
Yeah—I genuinely thought I was a cover-up for someone else! But no, it turns out they’re just big fans of my music. And so I think the party was a real reflection of who they are as a couple—they wanted to have the wedding exactly as they wanted it, nothing crazy. It was pretty cool to be asked, though. Definitely one of the best nights of my life!
Style-wise, who’s really inspiring you right now—either within the music industry or outside of it?
I like people who take risks, who might wear something completely casual one day and put on something totally crazy the next, so Katy Perry and Rita Ora—who’s a good friend of mine—are both up there. Cara Delevingne, too—I feel like we have a really similar sense of style. I’m very much a tomboy at heart!
Click through to shop some of Ellie Goulding’s concert tour essentials—and check out her full Coachella performance below!