Ellie Goulding: I wore baggy clothes to the studio because I was there for work, not men

Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding took the helm of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday to discuss her career - Reuters/Maja Smiejkowska

Ellie Goulding has revealed that she wore baggy clothes to the recording studio because she “wanted to be there for work” rather than men.

The British singer, 36, discussed the different pressures facing women in the music industry while guest editing BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday.

Speaking to music students at her old sixth-form college in Hereford about her early experiences in the profession, she said: “I felt a bit vulnerable, I would go to the studio purposefully in baggy clothes – not because I thought anything was going to happen, just because I wanted to be there for work.”

The award-winning singer added that it was “twice as hard” to succeed as a woman, saying: “When I used to work in the studios it was very obvious that I was a woman – to me – with mostly men around me and it was quite intimidating.”

Brit awards controversy

Her comments about baggy clothing follow controversial remarks made by fellow singer Tom Grennan about her breasts at the Brit awards in February.

The duo were presenting the best new artist award on-stage together when Grennan pointed at the three-dimensional breastplate she was wearing and asked: “Don’t I look good next to Ellie Goulding? I love what you’re doing. Are they your real boobs?”

She appeared to be taken aback by the question, which caused an online stir with people accusing Grennan of being “inappropriate”.

Goulding rose to prominence after she released her chart-topping debut studio album Lights in 2010, when she was just 23 years old.

She told the Today programme that she had given herself a year to succeed after moving to London to become a singer.

“It literally got to a point where I ran out of credit on my phone and had no money,” she said, adding: “The next day I signed a publishing deal.”

Battle with postnatal depression

The 36-year-old popstar took the helm of the BBC breakfast programme on Thursday to discuss her career, as well as her campaigning for climate change mitigation.

During the programme, she revealed that being out in nature had helped her deal with postnatal depression after giving birth to her only son, Arthur, in 2021.

She said: “I struggled with postnatal depression and the only thing that would make me feel better, other than a really big cuddle with my son, was putting a coat on – even if it was just over my pyjamas – and I would walk out into a field and I would start to feel some kind of life come back into me, the numbness started to ease off.”

The Love Me Like You Do singer had previously said she suffers from “crippling anxiety” and last year posted on her social media that she had been struggling to deal with it.

She said: “I’ve struggled daily, nightly, hourly with a kind of panic I didn’t even know existed… If I was to really think about it, my anxiety has dictated quite a lot of my life and career, and I feel sad about that.”

The popstar took a music hiatus after her 2017 Delirium World Tour to deal with her anxiety and intense media scrutiny before releasing her fourth studio album, Brightest Blue.