First there was Anna Paquin in Jane Campion’s ‘The Piano,’ Peter Jackson with ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Flight of the Conchords‘ created a cult niche for themselves in the US, followed by pop sensation Kimbra...and now there’s Ella Yellich O’Connor a.k.a Lorde.
Anyone who’s anyone, knows about Lorde. The media have been in a frenzy since her single Royals went viral. Miley Cyrus and Alexa Chung have been tweeting about her, and she’s just made her debut US television appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which has also coincided with ‘Royals’ hitting No. 1 on the US billboard charts.
I remember seeing one of her music videos on TV a couple of months back; that incredible curly mane and translucent skin–she was edgy– interesting. Wondering who she was, I thought to myself…”am I just not in-the-loop?” Funny thing is, no-one was, with the exception of the privileged few reporters granted access to her prior to the big launch, and later (post-frenzy here in New Zealand), a TV 3 programme: 3rd Degree profiled the (make-up free) teen, documenting her journey in the lead-up to the insane world-wide ‘Lorde’ explosion where she explains how things haven’t just happened over night, and why she isn’t a one-trick pony.
The girl is articulate, smart, and undeniably talented. Most adults (one imagines), would be intimidated by her sharp intellect and cool composure. She’s handled any of the back-lash well too, artfully divulging her thoughts on the matter of her overnight success to any ‘critics’ in a very considered and rather poetic write-up here. It reads like a manifesto of sorts, one that delivers like beautiful prose. In moments you can hear her flit between her ‘writer’ self, to the ‘teen-self’– it’s reflective writing that draws you in, and before you know it, you’re transfixed.
I guess this post isn’t just about Lorde, it’s actually about how I felt and reflected (as a Gen-Xer) whilst reading about her and watching her take flight. Working in the media world myself, I know had I been in the office, that there would have been plenty of banter going around with ‘hoorahs’ for whoever scored that ‘special’ interview, and I imagine I would have sat there and listened, but all the while caught in the tornado of activity, I probably wouldn’t have had an opinion, I might have just thought, yep, the story has been done, we know who she is, it’s a cool song…let’s move on. But letting things permeate in the quiet, I appreciate that she’s ‘arrived’–that there’s promise for the future somehow. For if every young man/woman grows up to be as forthright, confident and eloquent as Ella, then I think future generations will be in safe hands. She’s the kind of role model that I never had growing up in New Zealand. She says what she thinks, and by the sounds of things, she thinks a lot. She’s making ‘left-of-centre’ cool, and the world is taking notice.