Pop-music shape-shifter Bruno Mars may be headlining Wednesday's concert at Sleep Train Arena, but fans will likely arrive early to catch the artist Rolling Stone recently dubbed "the Kylie Minogue of Generation WikiLeaks."
That would be English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding, whose debut album "Lights" landed on American shores in March 2011. Its breakout single a dance track also titled "Lights" subsequently sold 3 million copies in the United States and spent two consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Top 40 radio chart.
But it was her 2011 performance for the royal family at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding reception that cemented her reputation as an industry juggernaut.
Goulding has released her second studio album, "Halcyon," in October, furthering her diverse sound with high-register vocals augmenting swirling electronic soundscapes just as easily as they do with more traditional folk-rock guitar jams.
The Bee recently chatted with the 26-year-old artist via phone while she was on a tour stop in Auburn Hills, Mich.
How has the tour been with Bruno Mars?
The tour has been really, really fun. They're really happy to have us. They're such amazing performers and it's such a good show every night. Everyone is in really good spirits.
You recently released a new single titled "Burn." Does that mean a new album is in the works?
I'm re-releasing my album ("Halcyon") with newer songs. I've written a bunch of new songs and I've done a bunch of stuff since I released "Halcyon." So I kind of want to put them out because by the time I'm ready to make a new record to me they'll be old.
Also, I feel like I've gained a newer audience since the release of (songs) like "I Need Your Love" and even "Burn." I feel like I'm getting a bigger audience.
How has your career been since the release of "Halcyon"?
I've been touring a lot. I've been recording. I've obviously got the new songs coming out. I'll be back in the U.K. after this tour. I'll be doing festivals. I'm going to start DJing as well, because I've DJ'd before and had a really amazing reaction. I love playing music. I love playing new music. It's really fun.
"Halcyon" is about the struggle in your life following the success of "Lights" and other achievements.
I think you just get to the point where you've written so much and you've done so much stuff that you just start forgetting what you're actually capable of. That's what happened to me. I didn't trust my own writing anymore. If you don't trust in what you do and don't believe in what you write down, you can start getting into a different kind of trouble. But I'm back again now.
You are very hands-on with your music. You co-produced "Halcyon." How does that change the album's sound?
I think it's really important for me personally to be very hands-on and involved in the making of my albums. I want it to fully represent me and reflect the growth from the previous album to current.
You have collaborations with electronic music producers Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Zedd. Do you have any other collaboration you'd like to do?
I'd like to do a collaboration with Diplo, with Major Lazer at some point, so I want that to happen. I'm bringing out a couple of things. Something with DJ Fresh, something with Burns.
What artists have you been listening to most on your iPod?
Henry Krinkle, Disclosure, Blood Diamonds, Honest, Cyril Hahn, KASTLE, Citizen, Dunes, French Fries.
Where: Sleep Train Arena, 1 Sports Parkway, Sacramento
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Call The Bee's Kristopher Rivera, (916) 321-1101 Follow him on Twitter @kgrivera.