Lorde of the pop charts

FRESH: New Zealand indie singer song writer Lorde.

Last week, a heretofore littleknown indie artist from New Zealand called Lorde lorded over Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and "rap god" Eminem on the Billboard charts.

For the fourth week running. And no tongues, nudity or bums were involved.

So who is she?

Lorde, a 16-year-old from Auckland whose real name is Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor, has become this year's Gotye thanks to the cheeky lyrics and spare bass line of her No. 1 hit Royals.


The indie musicians that make it big are those who've figured out how to serve a different kind of pop song.

Think Somebody That I Used To Know from (featuring Kimbra) Australian musician Gotye, or Thrift Shop from indie hip-hop team-turned-superstars Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Like the latter, the fun of Royals is singing along to lyrics making fun of a life of excess - "Every song's like: Gold teeth, Grey Goose, tripping in the bathroom / Bloodstains, ball gowns, trashing the hotel room", sings Lorde.

And she's got more in her arsenal, with other songs from her debut album Pure Heroine like Tennis Court and Team inching up the Billboard Hot 100.


On her publicity rounds for Royals, the teenager's been busy handing out harsh opinions.

She thinks One Direction are "pretty overrated and their music isn't really good".

On US singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey: "She's great, but I listened to that Lana Del Rey record and the whole time I was just thinking it's so unhealthy for young girls to be listening to, you know: 'I'm nothing without you'."

But her most resounding diss was saved for Selena Gomez, calling her song Come & Get It "anti-feminist".

The Disney star, 21, responded, saying: "In my opinion it's not feminism if you're tearing down another artist."

But feisty young Lorde won't be cowed by someone who's never had a Billboard number one hit. Instead, she's fuelled the feud further.

"I have pretty strong morals and opinions being in pop music, and I can't help but express those, which I think people appreciate," she told MTV News.


Lorde probably doesn't care about stepping on the toes of minor pop princesses like Gomez because she's set her eyes on a bigger prize - to work with people who can really turn her into a pop juggernaut.

In an interview with Clash magazine, she divulged that US hitmaker Dr Luke - responsible for hits like Since U Been Gone, Teenage Dream, Wrecking Ball etc - has reached out to her.

"Why? It's like, 'You're Dr Luke. You're like Rambo'. He's pop royalty. He's cool. I find what he does so fascinating."

In the same interview, the ambitious young 'un also talked about wanting to write for frequent Dr Luke collaborator Rihanna.

"It'll be such a challenge to step out of my body. I can't wait," she said. "Rihanna would be fun to write for because she's done everything. And I'd love to write for, or with, Ellie Goulding."

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