Rising Star: Lorde

September 19, 2013

Born and raised in New Zealand, Ella Yelich-O’Connor (better known as Lorde) has taken her native country by storm this year. Not only did her debut EP The Love Club  make it to number 2 on the NZ Top 40 album chart, but her track Royals  taken from the EP went straight in at number 1 on the singles chart.

Following this, the singer/songwriter  released the single Tennis Court  and yet again, debuted at number 1 on the NZ singles chart, at the same time, she became the first artist to simultaneously have four songs in the top 20 tracks of the New Zealand Top 40.

It’s one thing to be the darling of your home country, it’s quite another to conquer the UK and the States. No problems there though, her single Royals  hit the right notes with Americans, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart  making her the first woman to do so since Tracy Bonham in 1996. Meanwhile in the UK, Tennis Court  was snatched up by the BBC to accompany the coverage of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships  Ladies Final.

So far so good, but what makes this particularly impressive is that the artist in question is only 16 years old.

Spotted at a talent show at her school at the age of 12, Yelich-O’Connor signed to Universal  at age 13 and by age 14 was already developing her sound and artistic vision with the help of the record label. A midst all of this it’s easy to forget that the Auckland native is still in school. Which might explain why she decided to turn down the offer to support Katy Perry  on her world-wide tour? Then again, it might simply be that she wants to establish herself as an individual artist having once stated “I feel like mystery is more interesting” when speaking about how she was inspired by the initially hidden identities of artists such as Burial and The Weeknd.

The venue for her first UK gig, which took place last night, was equally independent – a packed Soho basement.  There’s no air of pretentiousness here, no need for theatrics, she wants to be acknowledged on the vocals and artistry alone.

With that said, the girl with the electric lyrics and sharp sound certainly has the ability to perform to the masses. When Frank Ocean  cancelled his appearance at the 2013 Splendour In The Grass Festival,  Yelich-O’Connor was called in at the eleventh hour as the replacement. She wasted no time in seizing that opportunity and played to 10,000 at the festival in northern Byron Bay, Australia.

With her debut album Pure Heroine  set for release in October this year, expect this rising star to soar. Listen to the latest single Team  taken from the album here:



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