Entertainment·Audio

Teen singer-songwriter Lorde breaks out with Royals

Teen sensation Lorde has become the first New Zealand artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her hit single Royals, but the 16-year-old singer-songwriter bristles at those who persist in calling her the anti-Miley Cyrus.
Teen singer-songwriter Lorde, seen performing in Los Angeles in September, became the first New Zealander to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her catchy track Royals. (Paul Hebert/Invision/Associated Press)

Teen sensation Lorde has become the first New Zealand artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with her hit single Royals, but the 16-year-old singer-songwriter bristles at those who persist in calling her the anti-Miley Cyrus.

"I get really frustrated about people pitting me as the anti-Miley. I think that it's one of those stupid things that journalists concoct in their offices," she told Jian Ghomeshi during an interview on CBC cultural affairs show Q.

"People love to pit female artists against each other in pop, which is the silliest thing ever," she added.

"People think I don't wear bras and undies in my videos because I think there's something wrong with it — I don't. I just personally don't feel super comfortable with it and I don't think it will help my music come across any different. But if I wanted to do it, then it would be my choice and it would be fine and I have absolutely no problem with anyone else doing it."

Signed to a record development deal at the age of 12 after she was heard singing at a school talent show, Ella Yelich-O'Connor (who performs as Lorde) admits she began songwriting just a few short years ago. It emerged from her fondness for writing short fiction, which she has done since she was young, she said.

Critics have lauded both Lorde and her debut record Pure Heroine for its maturity and assured voice, something rare among many of today's young pop stars, but she notes that she is still developing as an artist — a notion that excites her.

"One of the advantages of starting off so early is that I definitely feel like I'm at the beginning of all this. I feel like I have so much room to grow, so much room to evolve musically. I think that’s kind of exciting," she said.

"If I think that something is cool and no one else does, I’m still going to think it's cool. I'm not really stressed out about what other people think about the music that I make."

In the attached audio interview, Lorde talks to Q about her creative process, her sound and "calling out the lame stuff" in pop music.

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