2017 is shaping up as a groundbreaking year for music’s millennials and if the industry was searching for a cover girl of the movement, Lorde is leading the charge.
Re-emerging from her four-year hiatus with the announcement of her new music project Melodrama and performances at Coachella also meant the star has taken centre stage under the magazine spotlight.
She is making quite the triumphant return before her June album release, fronting the covers of New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and now Elle’s June Women in Music issue. And while many have sung the highest of praises, it seems the 20-year-old is the biggest fangirl of her own cover.
Dressed “head-to-toe in Christian Dior” for the cover, Lorde’s priceless reaction would be all of us.
“I was so ugly in high school now i’m on the cover of Elle, let’s get it!!!!! Bitch!” the Kiwi-born singer posted on her Instagram story before saying “she straight up can not deal” with the release of her Elle cover which was shot by Mark Seliger.
In the interview, Lorde revealed that returning to her New Zealand roots, including to her old friends, keeps a balance between her celebrity status and creative process. Labelling herself “the shyest and most introverted nerd” she moved from the “overly saturated” music scene of LA to New York and spent some time back home to allow herself a clear and focused process.
“I am so passionate about going home. Most of my friends are people I knew before I was famous. I’m very thankful that I never feel like the smartest person in the room, or the coolest person in the room, or the funniest,” said the young star who became a part of Taylor Swift’s squad a few years ago.
“When I’m there, I’m just there. People forget that I’ve done anything. They say, ‘Ella’s this weird old dowager with a nice house’.”
Her deep celebrity friendships had just as much of an impact in helping the singer with a classic innovator’s dilemma: trying to break through her new sound.
Recording most of her album in Lena Dunham and her partner Jack Antonoff’s living room, Lorde revealed that Dunham lent emotional and material sustenance.
“Lena’s not really an award-winning cook.There were a lot of Postmates [food delivery]. But she would come in and be like, ‘You’re incredible, you’re the greatest people, I love you, goodbye’.”
And it was the pair who convinced Lorde to return home after a major studio “freak out” made her convinced that she could not reach the heights of her debut album Pure Heroine.
“Everyone was like, ‘Get out of here,’ ” she says. “They barrelled me out of the studio, and flicked me across the globe.” After taking a month off in New Zealand the star also broke up with long-time boyfriend James Lowe, which led her to a “surprising” depth of emotion both personally and in her creative process.
“Five years ago, I thought that was as vivid as it got. And then to have this ‘oh, my God’ – it’s like that times 100. I think I’ve had a real emotional renaissance in the last 18 months of just being like, ‘Wow, it hurts,’ and letting myself feel all of those things, which has been kind of transcendent. This feels like a young woman. I can hear the difference.”
Using her personal time back home as her inspiration to do everything she would end up writing about in a normal space, before returning to New York to write about it.
“I felt having the distance was really important for me. I really needed the freedom to be like, ‘This is what I’m gonna say about this person.’ ”
With her album release date looming Lorde been very active on social media. As well as the Elle cover, she shared Melodrama’s tracklist on Friday morning, and was the ultimate girl pal by singing praise of Miley’s new music.