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Currently sitting pretty at No. 3 on the US Hot 100, New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde appears to have come from nowhere to score one of the most addictive and yet effortlessly cool songs of the summer. With a debut album, Pure Heroine, due for release on September 27, here’s a look at some of the things you need to know about Ella Yelich-O’Connor.
She signed to Universal aged just 13
Spotted by an A&R scout following a talent show performance at her Auckland school, Lorde signed to Universal on a development deal aged just 13 and has spent the last three years juggling her school commitments with writing her own material.
She’s obsessed with royalty
As well as naming her breakthrough hit “Royals,” Lorde’s moniker was also inspired by her love of the aristocracy: “When I was trying to come up with a stage name, I thought ‘Lord’ was super rad, but really masculine—ever since I was a little kid, I have been really into royals. So to make Lord more feminine, I just put an ‘e’ on the end! Some people think it’s religious, but it’s not.
She likes but can’t relate to Lana Del Rey
Despite professing a love for the likes of Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lana Del Rey, Lorde has revealed that “Royals” is actually a reaction to the ‘opulence’ and ‘bullsh*t’ that such artists regularly refer to in their music.
She’s a superstar in New Zealand
Lorde is already on her way to achieving pop royalty status in her New Zealand homeland. Both “Royals” and “Tennis Court” debuted at No.1 on the country’s Top 40 chart, the former of which has already received the cover version treatment on The X-Factor, while she and co-writer Joel Little have recently been shortlisted for industry award The Silver Scroll.
She’s the new Tracy Bonham
“Royals” recently topped the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, making her the first female artist to do so since angsty singer-violinist Tracy Bonham back in 1996, the same year Lorde was born.
She has a sick Frank Ocean to thank for her Australian big break
Despite conquering her homeland, she was still an unknown in neighbouring Australia until Frank Ocean pulled out of the Splendour In The Grass festival in July over a career-threatening vocal cord injury, allowing last-minute replacement Lorde to wow the crowds with a typically self-assured set.
She makes Victoria Beckham look overly smiley
Don’t expect to see her flashing her teeth too often. The permanently sultry musician has admitted that she hates smiling and prefers to spend her life ‘looking fierce’ in photos.