The way my entries arrive isn’t an exact science. Sometimes I know I haven’t posted in a while and I come across something moderately interesting and decide to post it. Other times my mind will produce 5 blog worthy topics in a day that I write down and then execute them over the next couple days. This entry has been a draft for a month now and it was only an idea that I thought would be a good topic. It was going to be about how 16 year old Lorde is rhyming about “gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom”, and how there is no way she could have come up with those lyrics and how other people are writing her lyrics to make her famous. I held off on writing it because I didn’t have much material other than that thought. Fortunately I read her 2 page piece in the newest Rolling Stone which provided a much clearer perspective of how a 16 year old how becomes a global celebrity.
Lorde isn’t your typical 16 year old. The Rolling Stone Interviewer started with this question, “This might be a weird question – I don’t know if anyone ever feels their real age, but do you feel 16?” This was the leading question to the interview and I’m sure Rob Tannenbaum put some thought behind it. Her response, “That’s one of those questions I get asked in every interview, and everyone precedes it with the kind of thing you’ve just said.” The interviewer asked her how annoying was it to for everyone to ask how you feel being 16, she said, “I’m going to say a solid seven, People will be super-fucking patronizing and talk to me as though I’m a child and I can’t make my own decisions.” Lorde is mature for her age and her family background can explain some of this.
Her mother, Sonja Yelich, is an award winning poet who has been included in the Best New Zealand Poems anthology series four times. That explains where the lyrics come from. She also doesn’t go to school anymore and her answer on why seems to make perfect sense to me, “I don’t know how school’s going to go… I read and write so much anyway I don’t feel I’m particularly missing out.” “I’ve been taking drama classes since I was, like, five, and I’m, like, a fucking killer public speaker. I”m pretty good at turning it on.” After reading this I started to understand that she’s got a set of wits on her that doesn’t jive with a 16 year old. The rest of the interview regarding her take on music and the industry backed up this idea.
I was blown away with her thought on song structure, “I wanted to bend the song around the lyric, as opposed to vice versa, kind of squashing the words in there. The syllables have to match up!” This concept is a leading idea behind what creates quality music vs catchy music. Most pop music centers around the beat and chorus and lyrics are secondary. Think Katy Perry. Lorde is putting thoughfult lyrics behind music and also making it catchy, AT 16! Her take on success and how it happens is also grown up, “It’s weird, because, when you’re in the early stages of a project, it’s so pure – you’re like, “this will never be tainted. Then you get further on and your like, ‘I want people to hear this record, so I’ve got to do something to support it.’ I put my music out with no kind of commercial expectation and found out I was a pop star. The “pureness” in the process of her understanding the music industry is wonderful to see.
I was impressed throughout the entire article and even more impressed when she said, “I’m really interested in the Ivy Leagues, the final clubs, all the really old-money families, the concept of old money.” What? What 16 year old is fascinated with old money. So freaking bizarre because I’ve never gotten one step past old money being old. That’s it. Who gets quizzical about how old money came to be? She may be beamed down and is posing as a little girl because her wisdom is years beyond her age. Obviously anyone who goes into speaking with her expecting a typical teenage conversation is in for a little surprise.