Lorde Talks Fame in New Interview: 'Everyone's Crazy When They're 16'

Lorde performs during the 2017 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 30, 2017 in New Orleans.
Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Lorde performs during the 2017 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 30, 2017 in New Orleans.

Fame is weird. That's pretty much the takeaway of a new Rolling Stone cover story interview with Lorde in which the now-20-year-old "Green Light" singer dissects her insane rocket ride to fame at age 16 and how she's settled into the spotlight and learned to love the glare. "Everyone's so crazy when they're 16," she tells the mag. "I think if you tell a 16-year-old that they're going to Mars—'We're gonna get on a rocket and go, and that's going to be your life'—they'd be like, 'OK, like, that's all well and good, but I'm doing this thing by myself right now, and that's what's important."

On a trip to buy some frocks for her gig at last month's Coachella, the singer (literally) strips down and describes the insanity of going from a high schooler to a global celebrity feted by David Bowie and Lady Gaga seemingly overnight. "Now I can look back and be like, 'That was f--ked. All of it. F--ked. Insane,' " she says of the wild ride first hit "Royals" sent her on. The problem, of course, was that once it slowed down she was expected to do it all again.

"It kind of takes a second, I learned," she tells the mag, "to write your way out of the record you just made." Like, her first attempt at following up her debut, Pure Heroine, included a very Bowie-esque concept album about a group of aliens getting an introduction to our planet. "I remember writing about the first step outside," she says. "These aliens have just lived in this hermetically sealed environment, and so what does the first step outside feel like?" 

By now it's known that she bailed on that idea and instead began working with Bleachers leader Jack Antonoff, with the former .fun member encouraging her to "gather around a piano and see how you're feeling... and see what has happened to you since your last album that's really worth sharing," he says. Once they broke the creative dam with the song "Liability," Lorde says the rest of Melodrama (due out June 16) poured out, most of it centered on things that took place in her native New Zealand involving her circle of friends. 

"Five years ago, I thought that was as vivid as it got," she says of the emotional time that inspired her debut, reflecting on the ensuing drama stirred up by leaving her parent's home, breaking up with her longtime boyfriend and facing the fear that she might never be able to match the success of Pure Heroine. "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," she says.

To read the full interview, click here.



The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.