Australians and New Zealanders are already all over Lorde; following on from the success of her singles ‘Royals’ and ‘Tennis Court’, the 16-year-old Kiwi songstress’ appearance at the recent Splendour In The Grass festival – filling in for a gap left by Frank Ocean’s sudden cancellation – has only boosted her profile.

Now international tastemakers are starting to take interest in the young music-maker who recently completed a performance in New York and is covering more groundwork in the US with gigs through September and October, while the likes of Grimes, Moby, and even the Backstreet Boys and Selena Gomez have all sung Lorde’s praises. All which has her tipped with definite ‘next big thing’ status.

According to the teenager herself, the key to her popularity is in making her music as smart as it is stylish and not dumbing it down for a broader audience. “For so long, pop music has been this super-shameful thing, where people don’t want to be associated with it, they want to be on Pitchfork,” Lorde tells MTV in a recent interview.

“But, the way I see it, pop music doesn’t have to be stupid, and alternative music doesn’t have to be boring; you can mesh the two together and make something cool. People who listen to Top 40 radio aren’t as stupid as ‘Aw yeah, Shawty in the club,’ you know?” “Do you know when Macklemore plays, they open and close with ‘Thrift Shop?’ That’s bad.” – Lorde

It’s the same subject matter that marks the lyrics of her breakout single ‘Royals’, a tune that charmingly pokes fun at the high-flying lifestyle of divas, pop stars, and rap gods soaking up the superficial benefits of success.

“People have a brain, and I think you can combine saying something clever with saying something in a highly-accessible way,” says the Auckland native, who’s also voiced her opinions on some of pop’s biggest stars.

“Do you know when Macklemore plays, they open and close with ‘Thrift Shop?’ That’s bad,” she says of the independent hip-hop duo and their live show, while remarking of Miley Cyrus new ‘adult’ change of direction on single ‘We Can’t Stop’; “I love her song. I mean, lyrically, it’s he, but there’s this bridge melody that’s so good.”

Lorde, real name Ella Yelich O’Connor, says she’s unlikely to be distracted by the limelight despite the huge amount of attention that’s already been thrown her way. “I’m from a family of six, so, like, I don’t think I’m that cool or anything,” she says. “I live in New Zealand, you have to get a boat to go to the city; I just live in a suburb, and my friends and I don’t really have anything to do,” adds the 16-year-old.

“No one’s old enough to drive, and we can’t get into bars, in general, it feels like a waiting period, and everyone wants to get out of it and start their lives. I’m starting mine, and it’s really fun. I love it. I think if I didn’t love it, I shouldn’t be doing it.”

Lorde’s debut EP The Love Club, hit the #2 spot on the ARIA Singles Chart this week, despite being 19 minutes and six tracks long, thanks to a strange set of conditions in the ARIA Code of Practice; while her follow-up single ‘Tennis Court’ is backing up at #32 on the charts. Lorde’s singles are still performing strongly in the singer’s home country as well, with ‘Tennis Court’ at #15 and ‘Royals’ at #31.

Lorde’s live show has also been receiving rave reviews, with her last minute addition to the Splendour In The Grass 2013 lineup being a “nifty plan-b” as as our Tone Deaf reviewer wrote in their three-day report of the Byron festival; “like Jake Bugg and Haim before her, she oozes craftsmanship and live delivery beyond her adolescent years and puts to shame the rest of us who really weren’t too productive during puberty.”

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing Lorde cropping on more major music festival lineups – either local or international – in the very near future.

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