Ellie Goulding returns to the stage Wednesday for one of her most ambitious performances to date — a live-streamed concert from inside of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.
The Brightest Blue Experience will be available worldwide through a pay-per-view broadcast from LiveNow, a streaming platform created by global investment platform Aser Ventures which owns Premier League team Leeds United and international sports media company Eleven Sport. Goulding’s concert is its first pay-per-view music collaboration and will be “viewable by anyone, anywhere in the world in any language and with any currency,” says LiveNow director Marc Watson.
Goulding will be accompanied by a special ensemble of live musicians, performing tracks from her new album The Brightest Blue, which she released in July on Polydor Records and Interscope (U.S.), as well as some fan favorites from her previous three studio albums.
“It was always going to be like a very visual album and it’s really been my dream to make it come to life at the V & A,” Goulding tells Billboard. “The museum is a real pride of London that holds so many beautiful artifacts and archaeological things that I can’t even explain. It’s really, really special.”
Goulding says she views the museum as its own motif in the show, telling Billboard “we’re using everything that we can. We have a few different locations in the museum and we will have these beautiful sculptures in the background, as if a thousand years of history is the audience, making sure we’re no lonely.”
Earlier today Goulding announced that close friends and recent collaborators Diplo and blackbear, both of whom appear on the second half of the new album, will drop into the show to give fans a very special addition to the performance. Goulding hasn’t had a chance to perform many of the songs of the album and says the live experience is an important part of her creative process.
“When I tour songs, they come more and more to life,” Goulding tells Billboard. “They start to make sense. They make sense when I write them and they feel like they really mean something when I play them live and they build and build and start to feel right. That’s what happened with Halycon Days — the more I played those songs live the more they connected.”
Brightest Blue is Goulding’s most introspective albums lyrically and one of her most vibrantly produced, with a sound signature begging to be visualized across a radiant spectrum of saturated colors. Goulding has always been a favorite voice for some of the top producers in music, but on Brightest Blue, Goulding seems more comfortably in command of the narrative, weaving between introspective day dreams and hard truths as she takes the listener by the hand and gently tugs them forward, page by page and chapter by chapter.
“I still have an opportunity in my career and in my journey as a singer to have space and time. I still have an urge to sing in as many different voices as I can — that’s just my singing style,” she tells Billboard. “The unpredictability of it used to be a problem — I just didn’t know how soft or hard it would sound and I really had to get engineers to work with my voice. But now I have so much control over it and I’m able to sing very quickly and hold those notes, and go back and forth between head voice and chest voice very easily, but that’s just something I’ve taught myself. And I see it as a craft and I see my voice as an instrument and I’ve really had to practice it over the years.”
While she’s unafraid to take risks, she’s also one of pop’s most bankable stars with three No. 1s on the Official U.K. Singles Chart and 14 songs overall on the Billboard Hot 100. Brightest Blue is her second No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart.
“I’m really thankful and grateful that I get to keep evolving and keep doing things that challenge me, but also challenge pop music,” she tells Billboard. “When ‘Close to Me’ went to radio and did really well I was happy because I always thought that song was a bit too forward and a bit too strange and isn’t necessarily going to be the norm. I always feel like as a shy English girl over here, to have my songs get played on the radio amongst like these huge hop song is graceful triumph for myself.”
Goulding The Brightest Blue Experience takes place tomorrow for one day only and will not be available on-demand after Aug. 26 — the only way to watch it will be to purchase tickets to one of four livestream broadcasts. The Brightest Blue Experience will air live in Europe at 8:30 BST and then again at 7:30 p.m. Eastern for viewers on the East Coast, 7:30 Pacific for or viewers on the West Coast and 7:30 AEST on Aug. 27 in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.