Back in 2013, a 16-year-old girl from New Zealand called Ella Yelich-O’Connor released an EP that featured a track written by herself with the help of Joel Little, containing a simple beat and some quite mature lyrics in a statement about her own relationship with fame and fortune titled “Royals”. A few months passed and suddenly this young woman under the name of Lorde was conquering the world with her chart-topping, Grammy-winning hit single that we just could not stop listening to on the radio.
With the single’s success, however, came backlash. More and more people started to notice the lyrics contained certain racist undertones, as they criticized the obsession over elements such as gold teeth, Cristal champagne and Maybach cars, which are directly linked to hip-hop and African American culture. When asked to comment on the matter in an interview with Rookie, Lorde tried to explain that, being from another continent, that was the way she saw American culture as a whole, while also admitting that the 15-year-old that wrote that song was not aware of the things she knew now, so she was glad that this was an ongoing conversation she could learn from.
The young newcomer swiftly started to make her way into becoming a household name after releasing her debut album “Pure Heroine” with over 5 million copies sold worldwide as of today, and becoming a Golden Globe nominee for her original song “Yellow Flicker Beat”. Most of her songs did not represent cliché love stories or party anthems, so everyone wanted to know what was going through the mind of a woman that was so different from her peers while still having commercial success.
“Having the world weighing in on you from all sorts of different perspectives is intense, but the criticism I listen to most is what comes from people the same age as me; they’re the only people I care about liking my music.”, she said in an interview with The Guardian
And just like that, Lorde was able to form her own group of fans all over the world who could deeply connect to lyrics like “It feels so scary getting old” or “You could try and take us, but we’re the gladiators” from her songs Ribs and Glory and Gore, respectively.
But the singer is not only writing for teenagers, she is also letting their voices be heard. “I’m speaking for a bunch of girls when I say that the idea that feminism is completely natural and shouldn’t even be something that people find mildly surprising, it’s just a part of being a girl in 2013”, she told Rookie Magazine. Lorde has not wasted one opportunity to let the world know she is a feminist and proud of it, unlike other celebrities who have refused to identify themselves with the term.
When the Pure Heroine era ended in Nov. 1st, 2014 all of her fans got to witness how much she had evolved as an artist in a short amount of time. In a concert held in her native country, which was as wonderful as it was emotional, she got to give closure to all of the events that changed her life forever in the past year.
“A year ago, Lorde played a sold out Vector Arena. She was awkward. Mostly endearingly, somewhat mysteriously – partially just plain awkward, swaying through her set from behind a sheet of hair, eyes down, banter at a minimum. Last night, she was an entirely different person. Walking tall, exuding confidence and grinning uncontrollably – no longer the 16-year-old who tried so hard to keep a straight face the first time around. It is evident this world tour has changed her.”, mentioned Siena Yates from Stuff in a review.
After the huge roller coaster that was the beginning of her career, Lorde took a break from music to realize what exactly she wanted to express in her next piece of music, as she told Zane Lowe on the Beats 1 radio show. Meanwhile, she stayed connected on social media to constantly show her support for other artists and sometimes, to make political statements and encourage everyone to keep getting informed and educated.
— Lorde (@lorde) January 28, 2017
the amount of hatred and fear radiating from this administration is already hard to bear, but we have to stay informed and stay outraged
— Lorde (@lorde) January 29, 2017
When we thought we could not wait any longer to hear Ella’s voice again, she released a refreshing four-minute-long track about heartbreak and moving on titled “Green Light” on Mar. 3 that immediately received a lot of buzz and approval from critics. The combination of incredible production and unique lyrics resulted in an excellent record that showcases the fact that her abilities are getting better and better as she grows. The upcoming sophomore album with a release date yet to be announced is called Melodrama, and it promises to be everything we expect and more.
In 2017, Lorde is a huge force to be reckoned with and we have yet to see the amount of things this prodigy has to offer us. Being the outstanding vocalist, songwriter and role model she is, her future is just as bright as her soul is. She is definitely building her own world, and I am pretty sure she will let all of us in.