Young People to Watch #4 - Lorde


Ella Yelich O'Connor or Lorde as she is known as to millions. A New Zealander and a two time Grammy winner at the age of nineteen. I know she became "someone to watch" per se when she released "Royals" in 2013, but I suppose I want to to explore the sides of her that you may not have known about.
For me it seems inevitable that I would discuss Lorde at some point on this blog as she is a young woman who I really look up to. She speaks out for young people, especially young women in the music industry. I've admired her for years, for her quirky style, intelligence and outspokenness  but it was her tweet of solidarity to raise awareness on singer Ke$ha's court case that inspired me to talk about her:
Where do I begin? My twin sister Úna introduced me to her,  the world of New Zealand suburbia and Kiwi teenagers. While I do listen to her music from time to time, it's not actually her music that puts her among the many female idols I have. It's her intelligence and willingness to speak up about important issues that has placed her firmly in my list of people I look up to. It doesn't matter that she's younger than myself. What matters is that she's using her huge influence to talk about things that SHOULD be spoken about, especially among youth.

You hear people saying this all the time, but Lorde is one of the most real, genuine well known people out there. She really is. I am very hard to please and I am mistrustful of most young and influential celebrities. But she really takes the time to respond to fans, especially on her Tumblr, which is a wild, weird and amazing place.

Her contribution to Rookie Yearbook 4 which I own.
She pours her heart into little messages that she shares for her fans to read and has interesting thoughts about the world we live in. Lorde makes me feel like I'm normal for wanting to talk about, decipher, explore and write about every little detail of our lives.

Something she touched upon in the very first song "Royals" is the world's obsession with riches, power and fame. This is something that I do have strong opinions about, but that's another story. She uses social media to talk about different ideas, issues and vocalizes her opinion on topics such as racism, feminism, and musical icons. A while back Lorde called out photographers who photoshopped her acne to make her skin look perfect.

I want to be able to write freely like she does about feelings, the world and how sometimes you just wonder why things are happening the way they do and what does it all mean? Lorde also is just so PROUD of being a woman too. She called out misogynists in two interesting tweets.

"hey, men - do me and yourselves a favour, and don't underestimate my skill"

"yes, i'm a young lass, but i'm also making the best decisions for me each day. #stayeducated"

The fact that she has contributed to and is also a good friend of Tavi Gevinson (someone I wrote about in the first post of this series) makes me even happier. They are two of the most eloquent and intelligent young people I have had the pleasure of discovering. Reading their words and hearing what they have to say really has opened my mind.

Tavi interviewed Tavi in early 2014 and despite it being two years later I feel that the interview is still relevant where she discusses materialism, relatability, adults' tendency to put down a young person who they feel is "too big for their boots" or in other words is succeeding. Take a look here.

Lorde (Ella) and Tavi
As we all know David Bowie died last month, much to the world's dismay. While I wasn't a major Bowie fan, even I was aware of the impact he has made on fashion, music and creativity alike. So reading Lorde's eulogy in a sense was interesting. I can see his impact on her creatively. In the eulogy (which you can find here) she talks about Bowie making her feel comfortable as she slowly began to navigate the world of fame. She talks of her feeling "distinctly uneasy and distrustful toward everything happening in my life that was putting me in these flat-voiced, narrow-eyed, champagneish rooms" in relation to being famous.

Yet meeting Bowie, her idol, everything Lorde had worked towards, all this alienation she was feeling, was justified and seemed bearable after meeting him. I have to paste the entirety of the second last paragraph as I found it incredibly emotional and akin to myself navigating the world as I learn to love myself again and accept myself for the unique person I am.

"I've never met a hero of mine and liked it. It just sucks, the pressure is too huge, you can't enjoy it. David was different. I'll never forget the caressing of our hands as we spoke, or the light in his eyes. That night something changed in me - i felt a calmness grow, a sureness. I think in those brief moments, he heralded me into my next new life, an old rock and roll alien angel in a perfect grey suit. I realized everything I’d ever done, or would do from then on, would be done like maybe he was watching. I realized I was proud of my spiky strangeness because he had been proud of his. And I know I'm never going to stop learning dances, brand new dances"

In an interview with Lena Dunham for Dazed Magazine Lorde discussed how she would never ever let the world of fame change her, talking about how she had a permanent sense of self, and would remain the girl she always was, Ella Yelich O'Connor:

Why do I want you to watch Lorde? She's someone that challenges the norm. She creates beautiful, wacky and weird music, and speaks about the world in such a passionate, thoughtful, interesting and imaginative way that should inspire you to consider thinking about it. Another good thing is she's from New Zealand and BY GOD do I love the accent and the country. But she seems to care about the young people in it and I suppose speaking up for those that do not have a voice. She really really is. I think both young men and women alike can listen to her music, or hear her speak and think, that she's just the same as we are, navigating this crazy, messed up world we live in. And she makes you feel like no matter how uncool you might feel your team is, or the fact that we'll never be royals that it's actually okay to be exactly what you want to be.

If you don't believe me, check out her Twitter account: @lorde.

Lorde is due to release her highly anticipated second album some time this year so be sure to keep an eye out for that. I'm very curious to see if she can top the first album.

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I liked writing it. I shall leave you with this tune which I find incredibly groovy.

All pictures used are merely decorative and belong to their respective owners.

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