Ella Yelich-O’Connor a.k.a Lorde is sixteen going on seventeen, but her jetset life is far from rosy-hued cheeks and innocence. The New Zealand singer-songwriter seemingly has the maturity of someone twice her age but with a fresh, honest appeal that simultaneously befits her age. With her talent, it’s a combination that prompts Booker to compare Lorde to ‘90s rock royalty, Alanis Morissette. The “Royals” singer takes the comparison with a sense of sincere honor, but laughs when Booker mentions other ‘90s artists like Hootie and the Blowfish and Stone Temple Pilots whom Jason Flom, a major label record exec who helped boost Lorde’s career in the United States, signed. She has no idea who they are.
Listen To Booker’s Interview With Lorde Below
“I listen to a lot of electronic music, a lot of hip-hop, just your standard pop music,” admits Lorde, who cites some of her fellow performers like James Blake and Haim at the upcoming Laneway Festival as must-see acts. “A bit of everything really. I love that new Miley [Cyrus] song. Killing it. So good. That and ‘Royals’ are really close on iTunes. It’s just so good, man.”
Considering Lorde was recently insulted by Cyrus’ fans via social media because she nabbed the number one spot from the controversial “Wrecking Ball” twerker, Lorde has a good sense of humor about the whole thing. When they called her “eyes too far apart,” Lorde said, “They’re right. I even retweeted it.”
“I don’t care at all,” confessed the grounded 16-year-old. “It’s just one of those weird things that comes along with the internet, I guess. It’s alright.”
Lorde is traveling the world on the backs of her smash-hit EP, The Love Club, and has just released her debut LP, Pure Heroine–she really has no time for the haters. Picking and choosing her tours, Lorde says she’s a “shy little hermit” who creates confidence when she’s onstage, but has tons of fun traveling. In LA, she’s “staying at the coolest hotel ever” and is “mucking around, doing some promo.” She loves the kookiness of Los Angeles, giving a mischievous verbal wink at the “adult day health spas” and a salon she saw on the streets called Looks of Love. Just like her songs, Lorde is a pretty normal person, who, when given a bit of luxury, finds it charmingly foreign. She says she’s taken to wearing fur on her collars and stroking herself all day. She’s getting adjusted to being a pop star.
“You know how little girls are like, ‘I want to be a pop star,’ or whatever. It’s not as simple as that, “ but she admits, “I love it. It’s awesome.”
“I mean, it’s super weird because the EP was the first thing I’d ever put out. Six months later, I’m doing the kind of stuff that you just don’t get to do off one EP. But that wasn’t my choice, you know, all these people took what I made and decided it was cool,” Lorde said later. “Which is wild. But, I don’t know, people just took to what I was doing, Maybe it’s to do with the simplicity. It’s quite easy to understand musically, which I think people like. “
For those that love “Royals,” they might question what Lorde means by simplicity, but the songwriter says that the song literally only took her half-an-hour to an hour to write.
“Lyrically, I wrote it super fast. And I was just at home on a Saturday or something and wrote it in like half an hour, an hour,” divulged Lorde. “And it didn’t even end up getting rearranged that much. The bridge was the only part I wrote afterward and then it took us kind of a few days in the studio figuring it out. Yeah, it was swift, I guess.”
Lorde says that when she writes music, she likes to work on it and get over it fast. It becomes “ancient history.” She admits to disliking a song on her new album, but she won’t say which one. She will admit that she loves a song called “Ribs” that is about “getting old and rites of passage and being a teen and all that kind of stuff. “ Totally relatable things for her young, broad audience. “It’s cool because at the time I was quite stressed about this thing and so I combatted it by making this song super warm sounding and comforting sonically, which is nice. I like it.”
Since Lorde is still young, her two-year trajectory is limited to “having a good time” and “making some cool music.” Which, considering what she’s done in the last few years of her life, isn’t very limited at all.
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles