The singer’s “Brightest Blue” album offers a ray of sunshine in tough times, and here Ellie Goulding herself talks about the year she’s had and TikTok’s part in it.
We’re asking a range of music artists to tell us about their “TikTok Moment” – perhaps a big breakthrough, or a time when something really changed for you on the platform. What would yours be?
My song “Hate Me” with Juice WRLD from my latest album “Brightest Blue” had a real moment last summer with the #HateMeChallenge. I think it had over 1m videos in less than a month and even now I’m still getting fans sending me their videos to it. It really blew up on the platform and helped bring my music to a whole new audience.
TikTok is a place where people can be really honest about mental health issues and emotions, and you’ve been very open in your career about the stuff that moves you. Do you have a message for people who are going through a tough time?
I think it’s important – especially now more than ever – to take time to switch off. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that brings so many of us together but it can be incredibly isolating at the same time. So allow yourself time to get into the real world; go for a walk, speak to your real friends and family, exercise, meditate and find the things that really make you happy.
It seems like music is even more important to people in these socially-distanced days. How can music bring people together when we need to stay apart?
Music has probably been the one constant that’s kept us all together during this time. I know that lockdown has allowed me to discover new music that I wouldn’t normally have had time to enjoy while being on tour, but I’ve also allowed myself time to go back to some of my favourites and really appreciate their genius and the creativity as well.
How has TikTok changed your relationship with your audience, and has the lockdown changed the way you make music?
TikTok has helped introduce a brand new audience to my music who might never have heard it before. Some people may not have heard some of these songs when they first came out and now, they’re working and reworking them in new creative ways that are relevant to these new audiences. They’re then listening to these new discoveries in their personal time and finding out more about me, which is incredibly exciting. I did set up a home studio and I’ve been learning to play the piano more. I’ve always played the guitar so it’s been nice to have the time to get back into playing my instruments again.
The title of your latest album, “Brightest Blue”, has a hopeful ring to it. What are your big hopes for the immediate future?
I hope that this time has allowed people to think about their lives and what positive changes they can make to it. Whether that’s eating less meat or working out more or reducing their carbon footprint, small changes lead to bigger results so it’s encouraging to see people take their first steps to making our world a better place.
Who’s been your favourite TikToker to follow in 2020, and is there a TikToker you want to champion?
When I released “Brightest Blue” I was lucky enough to speak to Holly H (@hollyh) about the creative process and what the album means to me. She’s a brilliant creator and I love to watch what she’s up to. Jeremy Lynch (@jeremylynch) is incredibly entertaining too but for me, I love to watch anything involving cats! Cat TikTok is my favourite kind of TikTok.