Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Lorde of Alternative Music

Everything you need to know about the elusive "Royals" singer.
 by Calmin Valentino

All I need say is "Royals" and you'll think back to the time when this catchy tune had you singing out loud with friends. Little was known about the voice behind the track when it was released, but as soon as it reached number one on the Billboard charts more was revealed about the teen singer/ songwriter Lorde.

The New Zealand-born star known as Lorde bounced onto the music scene in late November 2012 with an EP called "The Love Club" (which the hit single "royals" originally stemmed from), and soon thereafter she released her debut album "Pure Heroine" in September 2013. This album shot her all the way to no.1 on the billboard hot 100 charts with the single "Royals", making her the youngest and first solo artist from her country to do so.

Born 7 November 1996 in Takapuna with the birth name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, this "odd star" got her name from her fascination with royals and aristocracy. Originally she came up with the name "Lord" but thought it was too masculine so she added an "e" taking on the name of Lorde, which would eventually be recognised by millions all over the globe.

She may be new in the music world but she's already armed with a few heavyweight awards: the seventeen year old was nominated for 4 Grammy's, which include best vocal album and record of the year. The Kiwi singer took home 2 of them, one for best pop song performance and another for song of the year at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Strangely the singer wasn't nominated for best new artist despite predictions that she was likely to win in the category. She also took home best international solo female artist at the 2014 Brit Awards, and a Silver Scroll award, which celebrates outstanding songwriting achievements in the music industry.

Lorde has stated numerous times that when it comes to music, her voice takes on main priority, stating that her vocalscape is important, largely due to the fact that the "Royals" singer doesn't play instruments of any kind. The new queen of alternative, as dubbed by Billboard magazine, has been compared to artists such as Lana del Rey and Sky Ferreira, but says that acts like "The Weeknd" and "Burial" initially inspired her, with her sound being intimately described by Allmusic website as " a mix of arty, confessional bedroom pop and club-ready epectro-rock". When it comes to the lyrical stance of "The Love Club" and "Pure Heroine", it seems largely derived from her youth and mainstream culture in societies, with hints of adolescent aggrievance, social anxieties and romanticism.

Lorde announced Nicky Minaj as one of her favorite artists and further stated: "She is an important female in music". She also shares a close friendship with fellow singer/ songwriter Taylor Swift and refers to this starlet as one of the few artists who writes and sings for teens. The teen sensation also has a boyfriend of Chinese descent who she was photographed with while on vacation. Lorde hasn't gone without her fair share of bullying and hatred though; the claws came out when Lorde's "Royals" dethroned Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" from the number one spot on the iTunes charts. Miley Cirus fans sharpened their tongues towards Lorde, bombarding her with hateful tweets that read, "kill yourself you crusty old hag", and stating her eyes are too far apart, but waters between the "Wrecking Ball" singer and Lorde seem to be undisturbed with Miley taking to twitter with a post, "Why r people so mean???. Ps your music is awesome".

Blanketed under all the fame and fortune Lorde has accumulated, Ella Yelich-O'Conner is at times still just a normal teenager; she's still going to the same public school she attended pre-fame, and on her tour to North America it had been the first time she's been on an airplane. The rest of her daily routine outside music is just normal stuff, she claims: "My mom takes my iPhone at night, because I need to do my homework and sleep". This teen starlet is clearly not drowning in the bright lights of Hollywood. She sticks to her roots and humble beliefs, which in return gives her a more authentic and relevant sound, enriching her music.

Lorde holds many talents and one of them is writing. Her words have been described as incredible by her manager Scott Maclachlan, and Lava President Jason Flom stated: " I don't use words lightly...but I'd say she's a legitimate genius". It's reported that she wrote all of "Royals" in just 30 minutes. The singer definitively displays talent and maturity beyond her years. She recently turned down an opening slot on Katy Perry's world tour, stating on television that she has a pretty good gut instinct for stuff and that if it feels right, she'll do it. The star finds an obsession with royalty and to sum up the feel and direction of Lorde and her music even more, she states, "I'm now obsessed with really high profile celebrities who get really f--ked up...I find it all so interesting, such tragedies that stem from being put on a pedestal".

She's weird, opiniated, enshrouded in mystery, very young, and still in high school but this star is dubbed by many in the music industry as the voice of the future. It will be interesting to note how this teen hit-maker will grow and bloom in the years to come.