Lorde didn’t intend to represent New Zealanders’ vision of their country on her new album, but she hopes fans will recognize a part of Aotearoa within her music.
Solar energy, Lorde’s third album was released yesterday.
Ella Yelich-O’Connor spoke with Charlotte Ryan for RNZ’s Music 101 from New York. He says he can’t decide whether he finally returned to his life as a pop star after having a long hiatus in New Zealand or whether he is having “a short break from his life” to resume life as a pop star.
She is doing many interviews with the media to discuss the genesis of Solar energy, while still keeping some things private.
“I feel like I have really healthy boundaries right now.
“I know how to keep things private, which I think is important with an album like this and just keep sane with everything, because I think as I get older I write about things that are so personal, things that I don’t feel like.” Developing which is kind of fun because when I was a teenager everything was on the table.
“I think it’s good for people to have songs that may be a bit mysterious …”
She believes the album is uplifting, upbeat and honest, reflecting how grounded she felt while making it and is proud of it.
“I hope the Kiwis can hear a little bit of home in him. Even though I wasn’t trying to capture everyone’s New Zealand, I hope there are those moments where you think ‘oh that’s what it really feels like early one morning in a summer day'”. as for me too ‘I hope you have those moments.’
She had Kiwis in particular in mind for the last long track, ‘Oceanic Feeling’, which is very personal to her.
On another topic, he contrasts attending the Met’s glitzy New York gala with being at home with his mother. He says it’s hard to describe what it’s like to be a celebrity; she believes she has not had “the full celebrity experience” because she still supports herself and even at the Met gala she sat alone for four hours.
He began writing the album two years after not associating with anyone famous and not being in any “favorite person” circles.
This made her feel more spiritually enlightened, she says, and think of her position as someone that people might idolize, but might also want her to help them.
“I felt more important than ever to say, hey, I don’t know if I can be that to you, I’m like you, I’m a little broken, I’m a little screwed up, I’m figuring it out, but if we all redirect our attention to the Sun, we might discover something. together “.
She says she’s telling fans not to look at her for solutions: “I can’t be for you, but maybe someone else can.”
The videos shot on Waiheke Island to complement the album were co-directed by Joel Kefali, who also worked on the videos for Royals and Tennis Court when Lorde was just 16 years old.
“It was really cool to be with him again … and co-direct a bunch of videos together.
“[They’re ] my best visual work. I hope I can drip feed them slowly. “
She says her latest album, Melodrama, plus the tour to promote it, cost her a lot. He could already see the next wave of young talent emerge and felt that life might be passing by.
She was concerned that returning to New Zealand could damage her career as well and she should stay on the merry-go-round for a couple more years, but now she is convinced that she made the right decision to settle in Aotearoa.
She is “confused” by Los Angeles, where she has lived for long periods since she was a teenager. While life changed for her when she won her Grammy Awards, it took her time to realize that Los Angeles was not for her and it was always a relief to come home.
A celebrity for life in New Zealand
She’s comfortable with being a big name here, but sympathizes with Kiwis who aren’t her fans.
“I really relate to New Zealand – if you’re not a fan of someone like me and you didn’t choose me, you’re stuck with me and I’m considered this cultural representative, globally, and I’m sure that can get really annoying.
“… However you want to take someone like me, I think that’s totally cool … I want to say something different for everyone … What I’ve noticed about New Zealand celebrities is that they are celebrities forever .. So I’m depressed about what people want to take me. ”
During the interview, Lorde is asked about the multiple references to drugs in Solar energy and says that as an adult she has tried some drugs. She hopes this doesn’t prompt parents to try to prevent their children from listening to the album.
“I hope that the deep sensitivity and feeling of my work and the questions I ask myself and my world are enough to make them think that I am someone their children should be able to listen to, regardless of the reference herb here and there … “
The album’s supporting singers include Marlon Williams, Lawrence of Arabia and Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn, who taught her a lot about being a young woman, she says.
They communicated via text message and Robyn was a comfort to her in a moment of grief when her dog died.
“She was the perfect guide through an experience like that. I love her so much.”