Lauren Glucksman, Goulding's personal assistant, says her duty is "to make Ellie's job and day-to-day easier," by helping with everything from scheduling interviews to helping Ellie make fashion choices. But in the dash from city to city and venue to venue, Glucksman shares that, "time becomes a massive luxury where you go, I have an hour free. Ellie and I will go shopping sometimes and it feels so fun, even though in normal life it would just be very regular. There's something about carving out that time for yourself."
For Ellie, an avid runner whose Pittsburgh performance was a kinetic 45 minute workout had the thousands of Bruno Mars fans in attendance dancing and singing along by set's end, the small way she tries to pamper herself on tour is with beauty products. "The girlie side of me loves having expensive beauty products that actually last… and smell amazing."
The past two years have been an ascendant whirlwind for Goulding as she saw her song "Lights" rise all the way to No. 2 on the Hot 100 and her 2012 album "Halcyon" hit the top 10 of the Billboard 200 as she took her effortless, energetic show to stages -- theaters, clubs, massive festivals -- on multiple continents.
Keeping that whirlwind from turning into chaos on Ellie's trek with Bruno Mars, cool and calm tour manager Derek Fudge says that he turns to technology to make it all work -- and to keep him connected. "My job is to organize everything really," he says. It's "all about the computer and the email. It has so many benefits [like] keeping in touch with family."
Musical director and drummer Joe Clegg, who cites being able to go back and look at the photos of his U.K. home town that he's Instagrammed, are an invaluable "aid to memory" of home "when I'm out in the middle of tour somewhere," he says.
But Clegg, who says his job is "a fun position because it's almost like storytelling," is quick to point back to the music, and the people he works with on tour, as the magic that makes his job interesting. "Over the years I've known Ellie and have working with her, we've gone from the first tour we did… No crew, lugging all the gear ourselves and playing to five, six, 10 people to now where we come to the states and play huge shows. It's a great team. It's about the people and that's all aided by Ellie and her attitude to how she wants to tour."
As she perched on the black couch of her yet-to-be-decorated tour bus moments before soundcheck in Pittsburgh, Goulding seemed right at home. With new song "You My Everything" having just premiered on British TV and a fan-created video for her song "Burn" then on the horizon, she smiled and said, "I feel like I'm in such a good place at the moment and I've got an exciting year coming up… I'm in this place that I can take seven weeks on a tour to chill and maybe do some writing," she said. "I think this came exactly at the right time. I've got a feeling it's going to be a good one."