ELLA MARIJA LANI YELICH O’CONNOR
Bringing a touch of mystery, a pinch of hope and a heap of class in to a marketplace awash with brash ‘show and tells’, Lorde is a genuine, gentle phenomenon.
Sufficiently well schooled in the principles to take pop music apart stitch by stitch, and re-assemble it to her own specifications, Ella Yelich has turned heads, defied preconceptions and made an indelible impression across the globe with Royals, Team and Pure Heroine.
The story of how a Kiwi schoolgirl concocted her own brand of sophisticated, observational and distinctive pop music, and took it to the world, has become so ubiquitous it has almost become a cliché – but it bears some repeating. When she linked up with producer and co-writer Joel Little, she found a kindred spirit and a musical catalyst, who was able to help translate her razor sharp lyrics and melodic sensibilities into something truly special.
The release of her, by now ravenously awaited, debut album Pure Heroine, in September 2013, added further substance to the extraordinary success – scaling the US Top Ten, and once again amassing a veritable mountain of platinum sales around the world.
Awarded- Best song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, The Brits (Best International Female Solo Artist) and a swag of NZ Music Awards.
If success has changed her, it isn’t showing. She remains the same straight forward, unique, smart, spirited individual, who initially insisted on sharing her songs and thoughts with the world for free – and ended up on the cover of Rolling Stone, Billboard and Teen Vogue as a result. Going from a first show in a tiny Auckland club basement, to a sold out American tour and top slots at the likes of Coachella and Lollapalooza in little more than a year – Ella has been subjected to the kind of attention and scrutiny that would phase even the most hardened showbiz veteran. Somehow she wears it like a natural, maintaining her integrity and never compromising her authenticity and honesty, no matter the setting.
Cut from a very different cloth to the people now ranked as her contemporaries, Lorde has carved out her own space, one where her artistry will be able to grow and develop, as she continues on with this fantastic voyage.
Kicking off our list of famous New Zealanders is Lorde. Lorde hit the big time with her first single “Royals” that won three Grammy Awards, and since then has released numerous award-winning albums such as “Pure Heroine” and “Melodrama”. She can still be seen playing New Zealand festivals.