Lorde on Boyfriend James Lowe, Taylor Swift and More in Rolling Stone Interview

January 23, 2014

Lorde spoke out about the cyberbullying she and her boyfriend, James Lowe, have experienced, her friendship with Taylor Swift, “real teenage voices” and more in a new cover story interview with Rolling Stone.

The 17-year-old New Zealander Lorde — real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor — has had a meteoric rise to international fame as a new breakthrough pop music star. Her smash hit, ‘Royals’ has topped charts in dozens of countries around the world. She was never on a reality TV talent show nor did she rise up through television — the New Zealand equivalent of Disney or Nickelodeon perhaps? — nor did she find her fame as a YouTube cover artist whose video suddenly went viral.

Now with four Grammy Award nominations and the cover of Rolling Stone, it’s quite a collective achievement for a singer-songwriter who just recently turned 17. She will also perform live at the 56th Grammy Awards ceremony, having already performed at the Grammys Nomination concert in December.

Noting Lorde’s unusual story, the magazine thus christens her with appropriate headlines: “The Girl Who Broke The Rules” and the “Unlikeliest Superstar in Pop.”

She spoke out about her new friendship with Taylor Swift. Previously she had made comments about the country-pop superstar which were misunderstood. She had said, “Taylor Swift is so flawless and so unattainable, and I don’t think it’s breeding anything good in young girls,” and meant it as praise.

In broaching the topic, she told the magazine she was “floored” when she received roses from Swift when her international hit ‘Royals’ reached No. 1. She went on to say of Swift’s assessment, “She was like, ‘It’s fine. If all you’ve done is call someone perfect, it’s not that bad,’”

When she spoke of “real teenage voices” she identified Taylor Swift as being among them. She went on to say, “There are very few of us. There’s Tavi [Gevinson] and the Rookie [Magazine] group, King Krule, and, to an extent, Jake Bugg. The other teenagers sing other people’s songs, which is fine, but it’s not an authentic teenage experience.”

She also addressed the cyberbullying that she and her boyfriend, the photographer James Lowe, have experienced. It stems from the age difference — he is 24 years old — but also has racial elements, as Lowe is Asian. He has even been attacked for his physical appearance.

Lorde said that despite understanding it as coming from “the type of people who use the word ‘f—-t as an insult” had only gone but so far to mitigate the hurtfulness as she was “not completely impervious to insult,” adding, “I’m a human being.”

It is unfortunate that her rise to stardom has had what have become some of the typical perils. Fame is not what it used to be by any means with social media allowing the adoration of fans alongside the vitriol of detractors alike an instantaneous global airing. Ironically, her fame in many ways has been of the old-fashioned sort, based on the merit of her music. The hit song ‘Royals’ quite literally took off, climbing charts everywhere in advance of the release of her major label debut album. She may soon have some Grammy Awards to take back home with her to New Zealand.

More of the interview and the cover photo can be seen here.

Pictures: PR Photos

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