New Zealand pop sensation - Lorde

Many New Zealanders made their mark in 2013, but none made quite the same kind of impact as Lorde.

Just a few years ago the New Zealand teenager - real name Ella Yelich-O'Connor - was in school uniform, spending her leisure hours doing homework.

Now - when not flying around the world performing on the likes of Later …. with Jools Holland, Ellen or the latest music awards ceremony - Lorde is hanging out with Hollywood glitterati and making music history.

Born and raised in the seaside suburb of Devonport, on Auckland’s North Shore, Lorde’s creative heritage includes an award-winning poet - her mother Sonja Yelich - and a civil engineer father.

A drama school student since age five, it all began for Lorde after she performed at her school talent show with a friend, covering Welsh songstress Duffy’s 'Warwick Avenue'. The duo won, the friend’s father sent out a recording of the performance to various talent scouts and the rest, as they say, is history.

Lorde was signed to a development deal with Universal Music at the tender age of 13. There she teamed up with New Zealand music royalty Joel Little (Goodnight Nurse, Kids of 88 contributor). Shortly after, she began writing songs during the school holidays with guitar in hand.

Chart-storming ‘Royals’

In November Lorde embraced the digital era of music, releasing her debut The Love Club EP on SoundCloud (an online audio distribution platform) to much acclaim.

The first the New Zealand public heard of the young singer was with the release of her standout single Royals. The toe-tapping, shoulder-shaking, chart-storming tune has Lorde waxing lyrical about teenage angst in her own unique way.
The single not only debuted at No.1 on the New Zealand charts, but shot straight to the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 charts, making her the first Kiwi to achieve such a status.
Royals spent a massive nine weeks at the top of the charts, and cemented Lorde’s place as one of the world’s most exciting emerging artists.

‘Pure Heroine’

Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine was released in September 2013.

On its release Pure Heroine achieved critical acclaim and announced the massively talented singer with the distinctive sound on the world stage. Singles Tennis Court, Team and No Better followed, as did a cover of the Tears for Fears classic Everybody Wants to Rule the World for the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, one of the biggest movies of 2013.

And just as the music flows, so do the accolades.

In October 2013 Lorde and co-writer Joel Little won the Silver Scroll Award, New Zealand’s top music honour for the catchy single.

'Woman of the Year'

In 2013 Lorde was named Woman of the Year by MTV’s college channel MTVU. She was also named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential Teenagers of the Year in a list that also included Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko, and hailed as an Emerging Dominant Player in the music world by The Washington Post.

But the pièce de résistance for Lorde was no doubt winning two of the four Grammys she was nominated for - due to the fact she was up against some of the biggest selling, established artists in the world.
Lorde left the competition in her wake after clamming 'Song of the Year' with co-writer Joel Little and 'Best Solo Performance' for Royals at the prestigious awards ceremony in January 2014.

Down-to-earth Kiwi attitude

An incomparable sound, spine-tingling live-performances, non-conformist nature and down-to-earth Kiwi attitude has helped endear Lorde to millions of music lovers.
In a world filled with plastic pop-princesses and auto-tuned dudes - sometimes it’s just nice to come up for air - Lorde, it seems, has helped the music world do just that.