She’s only 16. But she’s making powerful music and hooking us one by one.
Ella Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, is still in grammar school in New Zealand. But after releasing her debut EP The Love Club last December, she promptly landed on the charts Down Under, before you knew it word spread across the globe, and now Lorde is quickly becoming one of the most popular new artists out there, expanding her fan base and racking up the spins.
Her music is infectious from first listen. With a penchant for songwriting, the young singer wields a deep and booming voice, over heavy beats with a subtle electro-pop spin to them. The video for the lead single off her EP, “Royals,” has already been viewed more than 1 million times, and she counts close to 3 million plays on SoundCloud in total.
Unlike indie sensation Gotye, it didn’t take Lorde long to get noticed in the US. She knocked it out of the park with her very first release and is already raking in a weekly number of mentions on Twitter that put her in the 98th percentile of all artists - 42% of these came from the US last week, versus only 26% from New Zealand. She is also starting to gain some traction on US radio, seeing 15 spins one week in early May jump to more than 600 last week.
As of Tuesday, the singer-songwriter counts more than 13,000 Twitter followers in total. She added more than 5,000 followers on Soundcloud in the past two weeks, a 329% increase from the fortnight prior, and if she keeps up her current rate of growth, will surpass 50,000 Facebook page likes any minute.
Lorde is a great example of exceptional talent that simply explodes on to the scene, and the proof is in the numbers. She is currently working on her next release and recently dropped a few new tracks through her SoundCloud account, “Tennis Court” and “Swingin’ Party,” the latter an up-to-date remake of the track from eighties band The Replacements. Combined, the two songs have attracted more than 370,000 spins in less than two weeks.
So if you’re looking for some new tracks to get stuck in your head, why don’t you give Lorde a listen? Everyone else is, and for good reason.
Liv Buli is the resident data journalist for music analytics company Next Big Sound. Buli is a graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and her work has appeared in Newsweek Daily Beast, The New York Times Local East Village, Hypebot and more.