Lorde is currently covering the latest issue of NME, and the singer — who celebrates the drop of her new album, Melodrama, today (June 16) — is super direct when it comes to keeping the fame monster at bay.
Lorde — a.k.a. Ella Yelich-O'Connor — stepped into the spotlight before most kids decide what college they want to go to, as the New Zealander was 16 when her seismic debut, Pure Heroine, and its single "Royals" turned her into a worldwide household name. She was able to get centered for Melodrama and basically tuned out the outside world so that she could work at home with producer Jack Antonoff (a.k.a. Bleachers) to get away from the "headlines and the weather" that she sings about hating on "Perfect Places."
She compared the impulse to that of a person recoiling from a disaster: "I was very aware of the fact that we were just holing up in my house, drinking and making a concerted effort to block out the rest of the world, as if there’d been some sort of nuclear fallout." Still, to write off the swell in attention she received and its impact on her when she was first starting out would be disingenuous — and that's not how Lorde rolls.
"When it was happening, I was quite overwhelmed by it," she told NME. "But that was a long time ago. If anything, I’ve slowly been getting less famous since 'Royals' was really big, which is totally cool for me ... I suck at being famous. And that’s fine ... [Fame] rocked my foundations and could have fucked me, you know? I remember being made aware of my looks and my body in a way that I had never been." It definitely sucked to have kids make fun of her "really far-apart eyes" on the internet, but Yelich-O'Connor learned to brush them off and move forward with her incredible work.
Other nuggets of wisdom gleaned from her NME interview:
1. Partying is basically a religion, as the themes of Melodrama show, and she still believes "in the transcendent nature of partying."
2. She's not interested in being the voice of a generation ("Young people have never needed a specialized spokesperson — one young voice — less than right now").
3. She wrote "Writer in the Dark," her hugely personal breakup track, when she was in bed with someone (!).
4. She looked to older musicians that have made modern classics for inspiration when she was writing the album: "What I found so revelatory about someone like Paul Simon or Don Henley is it’s really nice for me to sit down with my headphones and be schooled in the art of writing a perfect song."
Honestly? Fame didn't really stand a chance, if it was trying to fuck with Lorde. She's steady as hell on her own two feet, and it's a good thing, too, as she's more famous than she's ever been thanks to Melodrama.