Lorde is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Auckland, New Zealand. She is best known by her stage name, Ella Marija Lani Yelich – Lorde. Taking inspiration from classical aristocratic lines for her first stage name, she has gradually developed into an artist with eclectic musical tastes.
One of the most popular music industry celebrities in the present day, Lorde rose to fame within the year after her self-produced album reached number one in the New Zealand album charts. In 2010, she collaborated with producer Sufjan Stevens for the single “Creep,” from her self-titled album. She followed this up with a series of singles, including the massive hit “Higgs Bosom” from her next album. The single “Paparazzi” from the same album was also a number one hit in the United Kingdom.
Lorde’s upbringing in a conservative Christian household in Upstate New York helped fuel her artistic development. She was very close during her younger years and attended Sunday school with her mother, grandmother, and older sister. She was also very fortunate to have her father, Richard Lorde, a minister, who encouraged her interests both in music and religion. Lorde was particularly drawn to the gospel and Christian rock genres and attended concerts by such performers as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and David Bowie.
It was these musical influences which led Lorde to write songs about love, relationships, and faith. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, she was very much influenced by the city’s ethnic culture, and this has clearly influenced her work throughout her career. Lorde grew up in a home where her mother encouraged positive thinking, and where her music was not censored in any way. She is happy to admit that while her family were very supportive of her musical development, they were not religious ourselves. In her words, “I never felt like I was a believer until I started university.”
As a teenager, Lorde was a member of the Devonport Residents, a funky group which backed a wide range of musical acts from Bob Marley to the Rolling Stones. She moved on to befriend the lead singer of New Order, Bernard Worden. By the time she went to college, she had a large following of fans who would regularly let her know that they were ‘hoping for a girl like Lorde’. Lorde responded by inviting them to her home for a jam session. When she was finally given a name, it was as ‘Lorde’ and from then on, nothing could shake her away.
Lorde’s path has been littered with triumphs and heartbreaks. This year marks twenty years since the release of her debut album, ‘Words’. Although she has had personal battles with drug addiction and public anxiety, her music has achieved much more notoriety, not to mention Grammys, and not even having to release an EP through a major label. This speaks volumes to the power of Lorde and her amazing musical talent.