Music is dying. Most of the songs sound the same. All feature loud and catchy earmworm choruses with ether whistling or a series of “oohs,” a rapper of sorts, a random celebrity shoe horned into the video to get more views and the consistent themes of partying, sex, drugs and inadvertently throwing one’s hands into the air like one just does not care. There is one artist however, whose music stands out from the mainstream.
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known as Lorde, is a teenage singer songwriter from New Zealand. Ella is only a few months older than me, and yet as I sit in a franchise coffee shop in a miserable English town writing about her, she is busy working on a new album to wow audiences with her breath-taking vocals. Lorde is unlike any musician of her age in the 21st century. She may sing of love and turbulent times, but she portrays her music in a way that defers from the mainstream music of today. Lorde’s music talks of just wanted to enjoy life the way she wants and doesn’t want to be dictated by society. Her hit single Royals bears the line “I’m kinda over being told to put my hands up in the air, so there.” Go through the current top 40 and I guarantee you 90% will have “put your hands up in the air,” or something similar.
Sex sells. Doesn’t take a genius to work that one out. Sex at a young age (and I’m sure at older ages as well) often happens at parties. Hence why today’s musicians sing about parties and drugs and women in demeaning ways. People want the lifestyle these songs portray. Singers portray better lifestyles in their songs and always claim to want the best lifestyles according to society. Cars, money, fame, fortune and so many more materialistic things. Lorde sings not about these things, but about feelings, emotions, experiences and most noticeable of all, not wanting any of the things that other artists ‘crave.’ Lorde’s chilling tones and ghostly melodies haunt the ears in a trance of intelligent lyrics and provoking thoughts. She doesn’t wear what other artists her age wear in her music videos and preaches against their scantily clad bodies.
Her videos are more artistic than provocative. You can really tell that she cares more about her music rather than the number of views she gets for getting her body out. Ariana Grande sexually cycles in a spin class, Nicki Minaj jiggles her bottom in a jungle, Fifth Harmony break every workplace safety violation and dance provocatively in a ‘busy’ building site. Lorde’s video for ‘Royals’ has her singing straight into the camera with two male boxers boxing but you only see their fists and head really. She is the aspiring young female artist that little girls should look to, rather than avoid for being different.
So why as a male am I into this artist? Her messages of sexual liberation through song rather than through flaunting ones body combined with chilling anti-materialistic and uber-feminism make her music more wholesome to listen to that another generic chart hit. She writes her own music. A lot of artists claim to do this but they mostly lie. Not Lorde. She writes about what she wants to write about. She takes so long to write her music as she wants her music to have a message, rather than have her music just be another manufactured piece of crap from the assembly line of generic chart music. She comes from a part of the world that is alien to modern artists. The beautiful country of New Zealand. How many artists come from here? Even where she is from highlights just how different she is as a musician. She isn’t from Hollywood or London or has rich parents who push her music career with their vast wealth. She’s just a singer songwriter with a passion and a message.
I’m not a massive feminist. But I do believe in feminism to an extent. Lorde personifies my beliefs on the issue. She doesn’t flaunt her body. She is an enjoyable artist who is a welcoming difference to the massively over sexualized music scene of today. Her next album is due out soon and I like many others cannot wait. Hopefully, she decides to stick to her philosophy and not sell out. This would be another loss for societal change. But i firmly believe in her and that she will produce another victory for the people we deep down want to be but are too brain washed to become.