The Brits belonged to Emeli Sandé last year. Before that it was Adele. But since Ellie Goulding was chosen to perform at the wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton there has been only one 20-something female singer/songwriter on the nation’s playlist.
Goulding hit number one in the album charts last month with Halcyon, and now she has more nominations than any other woman at the Brits. The Herefordshire-born singer is tipped three times: for British Female Solo Artist and twice in the British Single category (once for her song Burn and once for I Need Your Love, her collaboration with DJ/producer Calvin Harris). To make her evening complete, she will also be performing live on the night.
That double nomination reflects the two poles of her music: as a slightly wispy, clubby, folky songstress and as a guest vocalist on more hardcore dance tunes.
All told, the Brits 2014 is the perfect bookend to a fairy-tale four years that began at the 2010 Awards, when the then-novice artist was given the Critics’ Choice trophy.
“Things were trundling along for me,” she recalls of her embryonic pre-Brits career. “I was doing sporadic shows. I remember finding out about the Brit Award but being so stressed out about rehearsing for this little tour I was doing,” the 27-year-old says with a laugh. “I was too anxious to even acknowledge that I’d won it.”
Like music-loving kids everywhere, Goulding had grown up watching the awards ceremony. “I lived in the middle of nowhere, so TV was really important. I’d always be watching telly as soon as I came home from school. It was either that or doing my homework or playing my guitar. So yeah, the Brits were a huge thing.”
Since 2010, Goulding has been a part of plenty of other high-profile events, from visiting EastEnders’ Albert Square for Children in Need to performing her cover of Elton John’s Your Song at Kate and William’s wedding reception at Buckingham Palace.
And as to her Big Brits Moment 2014: does she want to win? Well, she thinks Laura Mvula would be a worthy British Female Solo Artist winner. “I think she deserves a bit more attention, she's extremely talent.” But Goulding admits she does want a gong for herself.
“It would be nice. My mum’s coming to the ceremony so I want to make her proud. It’s the first time she’s been to anything in all the years I’ve been doing this. And my brother’s coming too.” But Goulding, young Brit Awards old hand, knows how raucous it can get inside the O2 and has issued them a warning. “I’ve told them to promise to keep an eye on each other!”
The Brits - tonight, 8:00pm, ITV