A HEREFORDSHIRE singer is following in the footsteps of Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse by working with music producer Mark Ronson.

Ellie Goulding has swapped her Lyonshall home for New York to team up with Ronson after she signed with Polydor Records two months ago.

The 21-year-old, a former Lady Hawkins student, has been touted as the “next big thing” in NME, and has also appeared in the Guardian and FHM.

“All the press we’ve had is through word of mouth and the love we’ve been getting on MySpace is amazing,” said Ellie.

“I feel really grateful to have so much attention because in the beginning I really did doubt myself, as I’m sure a lot of artists do.”

Ellie says she will always be grateful to the board of drama at Kent University, which suggested a gap year to encourage her talent.

She admits leaving university for London was hard but things took off when she met manager Jamie Lillywhite, a music scout who has dealt with the Sugababes and other major artists.

There’s also an “amazing”

bond with producer, Starsmith, who gave an electronic edge to her folksy, bittersweet love songs.

Ellie, who says she’s very patriotic towards Hereford, now lives in West London and starts a UK tour on October 21. The call from Mark Ronson should be a sign of things to come – expect a single and plenty more headlines from the next big thing.