From Katy Perry to Miley Cyrus to Lady Gaga, 2013 has been stacked with pop music heavyweights. And, yet, they are all being overshadowed by a 16-year-old little giant.
Her name is Lorde, and she has the biggest song on the planet right now. The song is called “Royals,” and it’s the first single off of her debut album, Pure Heroine, which was just released this Tuesday.
OK, so maybe “Royals” isn’t the biggest song in the world, but it is the biggest song in the country right now: This past week, the song was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, dethroning Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” (the song that dethroned Katy Perry’s “Roar,” which dethroned the biggest song of all time, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”)
Like most hit songs, the track was a slow burn. It was one of the songs featured on her debut project, The Love Club EP, which was released last November.
The song instantly grabbed attention. Everything about it was beyond her age: Lorde’s vocals are husky, while the content of the song features her attacking the materialism of hip-hop and pop acts.
In the song she sings:
“But every song’s like Gold teeth Grey Goose
Tripping in the bathroom
Trashing the hotel room
We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams”
What makes the song even more interesting is the fact that she wrote the track herself. Inspiration comes from the wildest places, sometimes, and this is true for Lorde.
In an interview with VH1 she explains how she came up with “Royals:”
“I had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs,” Lorde told us when we sat down with her recently. “He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’” Lorde was so taken by the image and the word that she penned the song around that idea. ”It was just that word. It’s really cool.”
After the release of “Royals,” a great amount of buzz started to swirl around the singer, not just in New Zealand, but also around the world. By the time July hit, the song was in talks to be song of the summer with the likes of “Blurred Lines,” “Get Busy” and “We Can’t Stop.”
After the success of Royals, Lorde crafted her 10-track debut album, which also features potential hits like “Tennis Court” and “Team.” The song has pretty much been universally praised by most publications: it has a 77 mark on Metacritic, which averages album score tallies. Not only that, but it’s pushing an amazing amount of units. It went platinum in its first week in her homeland of New Zealand and in America it’s only trailing Justin Timberlake for the number two album in the country (the album is expected to sell anywhere between 115-125,000.)
So how did Lorde even get to the point of releasing something on a major label? Well, it wasn’t a fairytale. It was quite simple, in fact. An A&R discovered a video of her singing during a talent show held at her high school.
Lorde was just 12 at the time. Now, four years later she is pop music’s next star.
If you haven’t, check out Lorde’s stellar debut album, Pure Heroine, below.