Ellie Goulding: Music industry changed after MeTooon December 28, 2023 at 9:10 am

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The singer says there are stronger protections in place for young artists starting out today.

Ellie Goulding joins Rickie, Melvin and Charlie for a Live Lounge session on BBC Radio 1 on Thursday 18th May 2023

Ellie Goulding has said the music industry has better protections in place for young singers now than when she launched her career in 2010.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, which she was guest editing, Goulding said she had felt “discomfort” when working in studios with male producers.

Goulding said: “I definitely think the landscape has changed a bit, especially since the MeToo movement.”

The singer added her own record label now have chaperones for young artists.

The MeToo movement gathered momentum in 2017 after allegations of sexual abuse were made against film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was later convicted and jailed.

It led to a reckoning in the entertainment industry which saw several women come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault against high-profile male figures.

Discussing MeToo, Goulding said: “I think that was really, really important for for people to keep speaking out about their individual stories, because I know a lot was happening and just wasn’t being talked about.

“I don’t think a lot of people felt comfortable to talk about their personal studio experiences.”

Asked whether she had felt vulnerable herself while working in recording studios, Goulding said: “I had experiences which, in my head, I sort of normalised and and thought, oh, ‘maybe this is just a thing’.

“You know, when you go into a studio and afterwards the producer asks if you want to go for a drink. And I’m quite a polite person, I don’t like letting people down. I don’t like disappointing people.

“So I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, absolutely, go for a drink’. And then and then it sort of somehow becomes like a romantic thing when it shouldn’t.”

‘A kind of currency’

The singer continued: “You don’t want it to be a romantic thing, but it’s like there was always a slight feeling of discomfort when you walked into a studio and it was just one or two men writing or producing.

“And I had to try and figure out whether it was just me, something going on in my own head. But then hearing so many other stories, similar stories from other female musicians and singers, I realised that I wasn’t alone in it at all. It wasn’t just me, being particularly friendly.”

Goulding described such advances as a “kind of currency” in the music industry.

“It was like a sort of unspoken thing where if you’re working with male producers, that was almost like an expectation, which sounds mad for me to say out loud, and it’s definitely wouldn’t happen now. I mean, very rarely, because things have just really changed.

“For example, younger artists at Polydor, my record label, will now have chaperones when they go to the studio. And they also have a chance to speak to a counsellor or speak to someone about about their experience as an up-and-coming musician.”

She added: “It’s a vulnerable place when you’re in a studio writing music.”

Ellie Goulding, who grew up in Herefordshire, topped the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, and went on to have success with her debut single Starry Eyed and her album Lights.

She has since reached the top five with songs including How Long Will I Love You, Burn, Love Me Like You Do, Goodness Gracious and I Need Your Love with Calvin Harris.

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