5 years ago nobody knew who she was; 2 years ago nobody knew who she was. Yet, within less than a year the New Zealand born teenage starlet Lorde has taken the world by storm and constantly remains in the spotlight. Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor) has won countless awards, including Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year at the Grammy’s.
Lorde performed at the Midland to a crowd of more than 3,000 teenage fans. An incredible achievement seeing as she only recorded one album in her career. Those who were present predominately female from the ages of 13 to 18. Lorde belted out her album Pure Heroine and received screams from her fans as she performed her most famous songs such as Teams, Tennis Court and her smash-hit Royals. Many artists throughout history have graced concerts and have drawn in enormous crowds. However, the most fascinating thing about Lorde is the fact that she is barely 17 years of age and is one of the most recognisable people on Earth at this moment. She has already started her own sold-out tour.
There has been a New Zealand dominance of pop-culture over the last two and a half decades. It started with Peter Jackson’s blockbuster masterpiece trilogy Lord of the Rings, then Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement with their comedic folk-group Flight of the Conchords, Kimbra being featured in Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know, and now Lorde. It appears to be what these artists have in common (other than being from New Zealand) is that they come out of nowhere to deliver something that is fresh and new. After their debut, they are all anybody can talk about or pay attention to.
Why is Lorde so popular? Why does she deserve all this attention and not someone else? The answer is her trademark song Royals is a pop song criticizing pop culture. Radio stations and the Top 40’s are bombarded with music depicting glamorous lifestyles and extravagance. Rappers and pop artists tend to dedicate their craft to appealing to the lowest common denominator; focusing on the most basic human instincts such as sex, violence and greed. Royals on the other hand specifically reprimands these messages celebrities are implanting in young people’s heads. In her song, the lyrics say “everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece. Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash. We don’t care; we aren’t caught up in your love affair.” These lyrics have made every teenager in the world admire Lorde as the star who best represent how the average Joe lives, hence why she holds the spotlight. There has been a rise in number-one singles wanting to balance the lavishness that the media continuously bashes the public with. Seattle born rapper Macklemore also launched his career with his hit-single Thrift Shop, poking fun at the modern-day pressure to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Whereas Royals was a critique, Thrift Shop is a satire.
Lorde is somebody teenage girls can look up and admire. In interviews she appears to be very humble and mature. Her fashion style is very classy and does not want to be provocative. Her lyrics do not have to be overly sexual and explicit. Her tour is not chock-full of impressive stage production of flashing lights and back-up dancers, but creates a minimalistic atmosphere whereas not to distract the audience from the meaning behind the lyrics. With so many teenage stars taking the easy route and dawning a “bad-girl” persona to stay in the spotlight, it is refreshing to see Lorde setting a pleasant example to girls all over the world.
Opinion By Ignacio Gatti