The artist behind the current number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart has made headlines over the past few weeks for more than just her music, and now it seems she is changing her tune. Ella Yelich-O’Connor is taking the globe by storm as Lorde, a pop artist who is so different that people first classify her art as alternative.
But besides the success of “Royals,” the teenager is finding herself in the news for her opinions on her peers, namely Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. In Rolling Stone she said Gomez’s “Come And Get It” that she was “sick of women being portrayed this way.” Yelich-O’Connor is a self-described feminist who also admitted that sonically, she enjoys pop music and the aforementioned track.
Speaking to Metro magazine in her native country of New Zealand, Lorde called Swift, “so flawless and so unattainable, and I don’t think it’s breeding anything good in young girls.”
In an interview that aired Wednesday on “The Ralphie Show,” when asked what artists set a good example, Yelich-O’Connor mentioned the “22” singer.
“Taylor Swift is a really good role model, and I think what she’s saying is pretty cool,” Lorde replied, focusing more on her American label-mate’s lyrics than looks. “Yeah, I think (her lyrics are) empowering. I think it’s cool.”
There are certainly more layers and depth to the teenager’s initial quotes about Swift, but on her Tumblr page, Lorde went in to more detail about what she said and apologized for the comments about Swift.
“I’m so new to, like you say, ‘the game,’” explained Lorde. “It’s such a weird thing, and I am just like a big-ole dorky teenager and I say what I think all the time and run my mouth about everything and get in trouble for it.”
The songstress did not want to elaborate about what exactly she got in trouble for.
“I try not to say things unless I have a reason for saying them,” she noted. “So most of the time, my ass is covered.”
There are conflicting messages not just in Lorde’s interview excerpts, but also in her music. On her first album Pure Heroine, which dropped Monday, she declares on the hit single “Royals” that, “she’ll never get caught up in your love affair,” of fame and its materialism, yet insists you call her “Queen Bee.” Earlier in the LP on “400 Lux,” she claims, “we’re hollow like the bottles that we drink.” But later on during “Still Sane,” the singer who spent “three to four years” on this project sings, “all work and no play never made me lose it.”
Should we get caught up in attempting to decipher the 16 year-old’s lyrics? The songwriter doesn’t always think so.
“It’s awesome,” Lorde first responded to the idea that people’s minds are traveling beyond the melodies. “My only thing is sometimes in songs I will say something that isn’t full of meaning; just because it sounds pretty or I really like the words and it’s just like a superficial choice.”
Especially in regards to her age, it doesn’t seem like the singer makes many choices with “superficial” in mind. Lorde’s tenacity and courage to simply say “no,” whether it be in response to a web design, commercial placement, or touring partner, is fascinating and in probably many artists’ circles, commendable.
“I think I just care so much about what I do and it’s like a child: I know what’s best for it,” she said. “I just have its best interests at heart all the time I guess, so I’m quite protective of kind of making sure that (my art) stays pure.”