When it comes to live performances, Ellie Goulding goes so hard even her audience breaks a sweat. The energy Ellie evokes from concert goers, stems from the same place her passion for running comes from: an addiction to natural highs. After an ill marketing plan that involved inviting fans to meet her in the very nontraditional way, going for a run with the Synthpop star, it didn’t take long before a collaboration with Nike happened to encourage her movement.
There’s no arguing that the 27-year-old singer/songwriter is an athlete. And after releasing a remixed version of Halcyon, her second studio album, with cuts dedicated to motivate herself and the other competitors in the Nike Women Half Marathon in Washington, D.C., a very marketable one at that. But was Ellie’s lifestyle always this active? And since she’s working with The Swoosh, what else does she know about kicks? Recently, the good folks at Bacardi invited us to Puerto Rico to witness Goulding, Kendrick Lamar and Calvin Harris perform at the Bacardi Triangle. Before she shined her “light” on the crowd, we got an exclusive interview to get all the answers. Follow her on twitter and instagram.
On how the initial Nike ads came about:
I think they discovered that I had a passion for fitness and being fit, but not thin. In the beginning I was incensed by the fact that there weren’t many athletic women gracing the front pages of magazines. It was just skinny girls and I was just like ‘I want to promote [fit looking women].’ So I thought I could use my position as a musician, as someone who had a little bit of input and influence with younger girls. I want to use that to raise more awareness [about a healthy lifestyle] really. I contacted them and they were like ‘well we should do something about this,’ and I then I started up a running club for fans.
On whether she contacted Nike before or after inviting fans to come run with her:
You know, raising [fitness] awareness was something I wanted to happen like, straight away. The running club was something I invented because I thought it was a cool way to meet fans that wasn’t in a kind of awkward, forced kind of environment. I just wanted my fans to have a funny, unique, active experience.
Which shoes are her favorite to run in:
I like the Nike Air Pegasus because of the FlyWire and I love the FlyKnits. I have the newest designs, which they sent to me so I could test them out. Compared to the Nike Free’s, which I tried using for running a half marathon a few weeks ago and my calves really suffered. They were like steel and it took a week for them to loosen up again. I realized the Pegasus and the FlyKnits are just better for running and the Free’s are good for gym stuff, or if you’re out training, like boxing, and stuff like that. Because if you’re doing a lot of side to side movements back and forth, they’re really good for that because they spread out the energy [along the sole]. Whereas for running is a bit more direct and less spread out. The Pegasus encourages you to use the front of your foot more and you exert less energy and can run for longer.
Does she make the cut as a sneakerhead? What’s her collection look like outside of running shoes?
I have a lot of kicks. I mean, I love Nike Airs. I’m always wearing Airs.
Air Force 1’s? We didn’t see that coming:
Yeah, I’ve got loads. I’m always wearing them because I like to wear shoes that look cool, but that are genuinely comfortable. A lot of my friends wear boots or heels all the time and I’m just like ‘I can’t do that.’ I’m constantly moving and being active, so I love having a bunch of [Air Force 1’s] I can change up in.
On the comparison between performing on stage and a runners high:
The feeling I get after a long run is kind of similar to the feeling I get after a show. But honestly, nothing can touch the feeling of performing. It’s just so unique. If you’re doing a show, like a theater show, it’s usually one that you do over and over again. But doing festivals is such a one off, unique experience for a performer and every show is different every time, and the crowd is different every time. So it’s like a real high. It’s really good fun.
On her athletic background as a youth:
I was the total opposite of who I am now as I was a teenager. I hung around with people who wanted to smoke weed and just hang out. At around 18 or 19-years-old, I realized I needed to match my motivation with being performer with just my life motivation. I felt a big part of that was becoming fit and healthy, and I wasn’t fit or healthy. I grew up with severe asthma and I wasn’t remotely fit. And becoming vegetarian as well was a massive thing for me.
Some of her favorite places to run outdoors around the world:
I love the Botanical Gardens in Sydney (Australia). I always remember that one. Love New Zealand, around the coasts. I love Hyde Park and the Royal Parks in London (England). It’s just always really beautiful. Like in Richmond Park there’s Deer. Then in Hyde Park there’s serene birds and kids running around. It’s just always really beautiful. Then, I guess, Vancouver (Canada) was a pretty beautiful place and Ireland as well. Dublin — I can’t remember the name of the park— but Dublin is awesome.