Ellie Goulding made to feel like 'sexual object' by music producers at start of career

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·2 min read
British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding poses on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2020 in London on February 18, 2020. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE  NO POSTERS  NO MERCHANDISE NO USE IN PUBLICATIONS DEVOTED TO ARTISTS (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding poses on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2020 in London on February 18, 2020. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE NO POSTERS NO MERCHANDISE NO USE IN PUBLICATIONS DEVOTED TO ARTISTS (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Singer Ellie Goulding has opened up about her fledgling years in the music industry, saying producers hitting on her made feel like a “sexual object”.

The star first interacted with music industry producers while still a teenager before making waves with the release of her debut album Lights in 2010.

The now 33-year-old told The Guardian: “The first producer I met wanted to sleep with me. And I was like, why? I didn’t see myself as an object of desire.

Read more: Ellie Goulding says she turned to drink to appear more interesting to fans

“I wouldn’t be able to get home because I couldn’t afford it, and they would say: ‘You can stay.’ But there would always be the suggestion of something. I’d have to laugh it off.

“Other sessions would have alcohol and it would get to a point where the man would say something suggestive and I’d feel uncomfortable. My whole career started off with instantly being made to feel like a sexual object, and being made to feel vulnerable in those sessions.”

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 11: Ellie Goulding performs at Shepherds Bush Empire on December 11, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Chiaki Nozu/WireImage)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 11: Ellie Goulding performs at Shepherds Bush Empire on December 11, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Chiaki Nozu/WireImage)

The #MeToo movement swept through celebrity culture several years ago after numerous women accused prominent movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault in 2017.

And while many stars took strength from the movement to reveal their own experiences, Goulding never did as she felt “too scared” she would be “judged”.

Despite feelings of vulnerability from her early career, Goulding went on to become one of the most recognisable voices in the British pop scene.

Read more: Ellie Goulding 'can't imagine' performing on stage again after becoming 'more introverted' in lockdown

However, the singer recently admitted she will struggle to get back to performing once music venues return following the coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast last month, she said: "I can’t even imagine now performing on stage. I think I am going to have to build up the courage.

“There is always a misconception that if you are a performer and you can perform to all those people, that you must be a very confident extrovert person.

“But actually I am the complete opposite. I think also this time has made me even more so."