Ellie Goulding was “treated as a sexual object” by producers when trying to make it as a teenager in the music industry.
The Army hitmaker started out in music in her late teens, eventually dropping out of university when she began to find success and releasing her debut album when she was 22.
Starting out, the now 33-year-old says some producers tried to prey upon her vulnerability in order to get her to have sex with them.
“The first producer I met wanted to sleep with me,” she tells The Guardian. “And I was like, why? I didn’t see myself as an object of desire. 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 – I constantly had to laugh things off.”
The star reveals that she was often offered alcohol and had to deal with advances that made her feel “uncomfortable”.
“Other sessions would have alcohol and it would get to a point where the man would say something suggestive and I’d feel uncomfortable,” Ellie adds. ” My whole career started off with instantly being made to feel like a sexual object, and being made to feel vulnerable in those sessions. And there are so many female singers that will hear me saying that and say: ‘Yeah, I can relate.'”
These experiences left the star feeling that sexualising herself, “was what one of my strengths had to be,” adding: “I really was programmed into thinking that that was part of how to succeed.”
The singer releases her latest album, Brightest Blue, on 17 July.