Pop wunderkind Lorde is featured on the cover and in the pages of the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine — her first ever — and in her coverstory interview, Ella talks about her very successful debut album Pure Herione, her decision to use bravado as a sign of strength and she opens up about her childhood growing up in New Zealand. Additionally, Lorde posed for a series of photos for the magazine and if you can believe it, she actually smiled in a few of them. Click below to get your first look at Lorde’s RS coverphoto, read some excerpts from her interview and see a few photos from her spread.
Lorde is 17, lives with her parents and loves Sylvia Plath. She also has a worldwide smash with “Royals,” four Grammy nominations and acclaim for her smart, unique debut album, Pure Heroine. How’d she become the unlikeliest superstar in pop? Contributing editor Rob Tannenbaum travels to Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s New Zealand home to answer that question in our new issue (on stands Friday). “I get paralyzingly nervous a lot of times, so I tried bravado,” Lorde explains, quoting Kanye West’s “Dark Fantasy” (“Me found bravery in my bravado”). “The way I dress and carry myself, a lot of people find it intimidating. I think my whole career can be boiled down to the one word I always say in meetings: strength.” RS explores Lorde’s childhood (when she ignored an adult trying to influence her artwork at the ripe age of two), tracks the crooked path “Royals” took to Number One and examines how Yelich-O’Connor has become an icon for teen girls of all stripes. “Everyone talks about Ella as the anti-Miley because she dresses like a witch and she doesn’t twerk,” explains Tavi Gevinson, the editor of Rookie, the definitive website for self-aware teen girls. “But it’s more nuanced than that. She sings about partying, she curses like a sailor and her songs aren’t completely asexual. She reflects an intelligence in girls our age, and normalizes it.” Tannenbaum tags along as Ella texts with Taylor Swift, jokingly messes with one of many fans asking for photos on the street (and then apologizes — twice), opens up about the racially-charged controversy that erupted when a photo of her embracing her boyfriend on the beach hit the blogs and chats about how she’s taken control of her career and spun seemingly unpopular decisions into genius.
This is an issue of RS that I will have to pick up because I grow more and more in love with Lorde every time I listen to her music. I admit that I wasn’t particularly impressed with her single Royals when it came out so I guess I kinda dismissed her right off the bat. When her album dropped, I listened out of curiosity and I found that I liked almost every song on the album. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. While some of Lorde’s public comments can be really irritating in a somewhat immature way, I have to remember that the girl is only 17 years old. I’m sure I was irritating at that age myself. In any event, I’m intrigued by this Rolling Stone interview so I’m looking forward to reading it when it comes out on Friday. The photoshoot is hilariously goth, which I love. I can’t say that I really buy that she’s a fan of the Cramps so I’m guessing a stylist put her in that t-shirt. Still, I’m a fan and I want to know more. Any Lorde fans out there? Does this sound interesting to you?