In an industry littered with over-the-top commercialism, in walks clarity.
Meet Lorde, otherwise known as Ella Yelich-O’Connor in her New Zealand beach town, a musical prodigy who writes with an insight beyond her 16 years. With her hypnotic voice, cleverly-crafted lyrics and keen bass line, she’s changing the scene of pop music.
Her latest song, “Royals,” a sort of anti-anthem of the excessive, hyped-up pop culture, displays her lyrical talent as well as her defiance of the pop star standard:
But everybody’s like
Diamonds on your timepiece
Tigers on a gold leash
We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair
This is not to criticize artists like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna—flashiness seems to come with the territory of pop stardom. They have the right to choose the image they project, but I can’t help but wonder why the choice often seems to be so sexually-charged (something that is displayed in merely a fraction of their male counterparts).
Each of these women could stand on their talent alone, but, instead, their personas seem to be taking over. The discussion no longer becomes about their music, their voice or their artistry, but rather their excessive actions.
At just 16, and at the beginning of her career, only time will tell if Lorde will fall into the same traps as many of the pop starlets before her. I hope not. Her simplicity is what makes her so compelling and such a stark contrast to her contemporaries.
Lorde steps away from the industry garishness, instead letting her talent shine through her sophisticated voice and smart songwriting. And in the process, she’s standing out in the crowd.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise