Oh, Lorde

With her un­mis­take­able alto and abil­ity to com­mand a sta­dium, the 21-year- old vo­cal pow­er­house speaks about self- dis­cov­ery and ac­cept­ing be­ing dif­fer­ent.

CLEO (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

The un­stop­pable force from New Zea­land speaks about her j our­ney of self- dis­cov­ery

Ith as been four years since we bopped along to the anti-main­stream an­them’ Roy­als’ on the air waves, and Lord ea nd her voice were gifts we never knew we needed. Unapolo­getic and re­bel­lious in a sac­cha­rine, care­fully-pack­aged pop in­dus­try, Lorde won us , and t he world over, with her al­bum ’ Pure Heroine’, be­fore seem­ingly drop­ping off the face of the earth. Now, af­ter se­cret ly re­view­ing onion rings via Ins tag ram( the ac­count is now de­funct ), Lord eh as come back to tug at our heart­strings with a sec­ond al­bum, ’ Melo­drama’ — and will be grac­ing Malaysian shores July t his year( make sure those cal­en­dars are marked !), as it was an­nounced thats heist he head­lin­ing act for Good Vibes Fes­ti­val 2018.

Depart­ing from the min­i­mal­ism of’ Pure Heroine’ and veer­ing into a rich er sound built around pi­ano in­stru­men­ta­tion and maxim a list elec­tronic beats ,’ Melo­drama’ has an emo­tional and lay­ered de­liv­ery, sound­ing like what you would feel if you had just wo­ken up from a cryo­genic sleep to ex­plore the fa­mil­iar, yet un­fa­mil­iar, world. The anti-royal of pop speaks here about her vo­cal range, how it was leav­ing her teen years, and feel­ing all the feels so in­tensely.

Four years ago you shot to fame and were called the‘ voice of a gen­er­a­tion ’. What is the most ur­gent subject for young peo­ple now?

I think that young peo­ple are so po­lit­i­cally and so­cially aware and just try­ing to be in con­ver­sa­tion with each other about that stuff and try­ing to make sense of it. Be­cause a lot of us are sort of newly aware of a lot of it. That sounds like ,‘ I only started read­ing news­pa­pers a cou­ple of years ago! ’ I read t he news­pa­pers but a lot of peo­ple don’t. So, I think that right now there is just desire to make sense of every­thing go­ing on in the world and try­ing to un­der­stand and lis­ten and be in con­ver­sa­tion with each other and find nice places to live in men­tally and col­lec­tively, be­cause it can be full-on be­ing a young per­son now.

Let’ s talk about your singing and your voice. You’ re a nat­u­ral alto right?

Yeah it’ s pretty low .[ Laughs]

It’ s quite un­usual though to have a young woman in pop with a lower voice—why do you think that is? Are they not ac­cepted by the in­dus­try?

I mean I think it’ s to­tally ac­cepted. I think pop just love sand fetish is es youth­ful women and if their voices are girl­ish that helps the process. I’ ve al­ways had a deep voice, I’ ve al­ways sung alto in choir sand bass in quar­tet sand yeah, it’ s kind of just who I am. But I think I kind of like hear­ing lots of dif­fer­ent voices on pop ra­dio. I think it’ s a nice thing.

You do change your range of­ten in the songs though. Do you do this in­stinc­tively or is it away of ex­press­ing dif­fer­ent sides of your­self as a woman and your per­son­al­ity ?

I mean I wish it were that but I re­ally just sing what I think is cool. I just write the parts and it’ s un­for­tu­nately a lit­tle more straight­for­ward, al­though I’ m sure there is a sub­lim­i­nal el­e­ment of that.

So you have a deep voice and you’re an old soul . Was the day you turned 20 a happy day that you weren’t a teenager any­more and peo­ple weren’t call­ing you a young girl any­more?

It was ac­tu­ally nice to turn 20. I wasn’t sure how it would feel but it was nice. I felt like it was time to leave be­ing a teenager be­hind. I felt like good about mov­ing on. But yeah, I’ m like 200. I’ m an old, old lady. [Laughs] Peo­ple around me say ,‘ You’ re real old, like a witch .’ So it’ s very strange.

So you never cared much about typ­i­cal teenage stuff ?

Oh no, I mean I def­i­nitely am just like a full young per­son and I want to go out drink­ing and sun­bathe and lie around and do noth­ing. I sleep in like crazy and I watch so much Net­flix , like I’ m def­i­nitely a teenager. I’ m also very old .[ Laughs]

You’ve called your al­bum ‘ Melo­drama’ — how melo­dra­matic are you?

[Laughs] I don’t think I’ m that much of a drama ... But I do like feel every­thing like re­ally in­tensely. So I think is an el­e­ment of melo­drama —these sort of vivid, ex­ag­ger­ated emo­tions which I do have. But I hope I’ m not too much of like a drama queen, I would hope [laughs ]. I think I’ m quite chilled. But I can see some­thing out of t he

”[A]s I get older I re­alise that I am ex­actly who I am and that’s kind of awe­some. I’m much more set­tled.”

win­dow and be like ,‘ Ah that’ s so amaz­ing’ and be like so moved by it, which is prob­a­bly how melo­drama man­i­fests f or me.

Why did you de­cide to call the al­bum ‘ Melo­drama’?

So the al­bum was called‘ Melo­drama’ and it kind of speaks to a num­ber of things. For one thing it’ s kind of ... It was al­most funny tome, it felt like laugh­ing at our­selves. When you’ re 19 every­thing feels like the big­gest deal in the world and my emo­tions felt so sin­gu­lar like ,‘ No-one’ s ever been this sad be­fore’ or ‘ No- one’s ever been t his happy ’.

And so there was sort of an el­e­ment of me laugh­ing at my­self. There was also, you know, we just had the cra­zi­est year[ when it was re­leased in 2017]. So po­lit­i­cally tur­bu­lent and I think a lot of peo­ple looked re­ally closely at them­selves and at their lives. That back­drop and t hen my kind of per­sonal life and all the ups and downs and all t he vivid colours of what was go­ing on there, the cul­mi­na­tion of those felt like, you know, a melo­drama was like a Greek the­atre, like re­ally overex­ag­ger­ated plot sand char­ac­ters, and it re­ally felt like we were liv­ing in a lit­eral melo­drama. So a bit of both. The songs are writ­ten with Jack Antonoff, who is 12 years older than you—were there ever mo­ments where you couldn’t un­der­stand each other’ s ideas? I mean Jack is def­i­nitely young at heart and I’ m def­i­nitely an old lady at heart. So I think that maybe we meet in the mid­dle some­where. It’ s in­ter­est­ing be­cause he would be writ­ing about a deeply sin­gle per­son and hav­ing all t he ex­pe­ri­ences you have when you’re sin­gle and you go out at night , and he hasn’t been sin­gle in five years. So it was kind of like, ‘Right, OK I guess that’ s how it is now .’ So yeah, there were def­i­nitely funny mo­ments like that. But no, for the most part we both just want to write mu­sic that speaks to what it means to be a hu­man. So I think that 10 years or 12 years, in the scheme of things, that is not so crazy re­ally. Yeah, I feel like we’ re the same age. I feel like he’s my brother. ‘Li­a­bil­ity’ on the al­bum seems to be a lit­tle bit about lone­li­ness and try­ing to find a con­nec­tiv­ity. Would you say young peo­ple feel more iso­lated these days? Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I think ev­ery­one is prob­a­bly hav­ing a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence. Ob­vi­ously, my sit­u­a­tion and what I do f or a job is dif­fer­ent to a lot of other young peo­ple and t hat song was quite specif­i­cally about what I do can af­fect the peo­ple around me. But it’ s also kind of about hav­ing to re­ally like your­self. If ev­ery­one around you is even­tu­ally go­ing to be ,‘ It’ s quite hard to be friends with you or be close to you’, you re­ally need to be com­fort­able be­ing your own friend and hang out with your­self[ Laughs ]. Sounds de­press­ing but it’ s weird ly kind of not as well. Do you feel you have learn tove rt he last cou­ple of years to love and ac­cept your­self and how you are bet­ter? Yeah, I def­i­nitely think that was one of the things that I got more in touch within the last cou­ple of years. You know, I think when you’ re 17 there’ s an el­e­ment of self-dep­re­ca­tion or be­ing like ,‘ I suck’ or‘ I’ m not that cool’ or what­ever. And I think as I get older I re­alise that I am ex­actly who I am and that’ s kind of awe­some. I feel like I’ m much more set­tled in know­ing that I am quite sin­gu­lar and that’ s OK. It al­ways gets a bit deep with this mu­sic. I find my­self talk­ing about my men­tal state and it’ s full-on.

You were i n Brooklyn while you wrote the songs for ‘ Melo­drama’ — how was that and be­ing away f r om New Zea­land?

Yeah, I mean I would kind of go back ever y month or like two months for a week or a cou­ple of weeks at a time and sort of stock upon, you know, see as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble and go out and kind of see ev­ery­one and then go back over there. Yeah, I def­i­nitely miss ev­ery­one when I’ m away. Even right now I ’m count­ing down un­til I can get back t here be­cause I love it so much. But at the same time it’ s quite nice to goto some­where like New York and have some dis­tance from all the stuff that I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and be able to write about it in more of a neu­tral set­ting. I’ m from such a small city and of­ten I would feel when I was work­ing on mu­sic, the sec­ond time around in Auck­land, that the faces of ev­ery­one that I know and ev­ery­one that I was writ­ing about were like five min­utes down the road whereas in New York, I re­ally felt free to kind of be quite con­fes­sional in away that maybe would have been a bit more in­hib­ited back home.

You also worked as a pro­ducer for ’ Melo­drama’. Has it changed your feel­ing about the al­bum com­pared to ‘ Pure Heroine’?

That ’ s a good ques­tion. I mean I ’ ve al­ways , even f rom the very first stuff that we made, had such a strong opin­ion about all things pro­duc­tion and it would al­ways kind of have kind of gen­eral ways in which I would push as on gina par­tic­u­lar sonic di­rec­tion. As I’ ve got­ten older, I’ ve felt more con­fi­dent as­sert­ing my­self in that way in a room. It’ s much harder than song­writ­ing I’ ve found to be like ,‘ Ac­tu­ally no, I don’t like that at­tack of that kick drum, I want it smoother .’ And peo­ple kind of look at you like ,‘ What are you talk­ing about ?’.

For me, t here’s no way we would have made a record that sounded the way I wanted it to sound if I hadn’t pro­duced it. The mu­sic is the in­side of my brain, I’ m just try­ing to show peo­ple the in­side of my brain. And if I just stopped at the writ­ing it wouldn’t sound like my brain. So, it’ s step­ping up and be­com­ing a pro­ducer that I found su­per lib­er­at­ing. I love do­ing it and in the next cou­ple of years as I’ m on tour, I want to get bet­ter and I’ ve got a bit of a goal for my­self. I don’t know if it will be the next record or the one af­ter, but I even­tu­ally want to pro­duce an en­tire record my­self.

And write i t ?

Oh yeah, and write it. Yeah, yeah .[ Laughs] Be­cause I al­ready write every­thing, pro­duc­tion will be su­per sick to be like ,‘ Yeah I made this awe­some thing .’

Be­hind the voice: Lorde’s In­sta­gram ac­count takes you on tour, back­stage, to re­hearsals, and her an­tics in the green room

A peek into her life less or­di­nary

All the rea­sons why we can’t wait for #GVF2018 — to see Lorde live!

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