Lorde’s Unlikely Inspiration For ‘Royals’ And Other Things You Might Not Know About The New Zealand Singer

11.07.14 3 years ago 9 Comments
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Today is Lorde’s 18th birthday. She’s had a huge impact on the world of music during her short time on earth, so to celebrate the occasion let’s look at some interesting facts about everyone’s favorite moody New Zealander.

1. Her knowledge of 80s music is pretty impressive.

For someone born at the tail end of 1996, Lorde is quite familiar with the best music of the 1980s. Not only is there her fantastic cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” on the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, she also recorded a cover of The Replacements’ “Swingin’ Party” for her first EP, The Love Club. Tears For Fears is one thing, but teenagers today who know The Replacements? There’s hope for this generation after all!

2. The inspiration for “Royals” was… a former Kansas City Royal.

People have argued about the meaning of “Royals” since it came out (more on that in a bit), but the inspiration came out of left field… or should I say third base? Yes, Lorde got the inspiration to write the song after seeing a picture of baseball Hall Of Famer George Brett in his Kansas City Royals jersey. While she likely did not write the entire song about a baseball, that picture was her starting point. Sadly, the song’s mojo wasn’t quite enough to vault the Royals past the Giants in this year’s World Series.

3. She was the first female solo artist to top the Modern Rock charts in 17 years.

Remember the Tracy Bonham song “Mother Mother”? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Well, 18 years ago it was a pretty big hit on alt-rock radio. Sadly, it was the last time a woman would top the modern rock charts until 2013, when “Royals” vaulted to No. 1. This is yet another example of Lorde’s far-reaching appeal, but seriously, let’s all try to make sure we don’t go until 2030 without another woman topping that chart. Because that would just be sad.

4. T-Pain’s remix of “Royals” indicated he might not be a fan.

There have been many interpretations of “Royals” since it came out, and not all have been positive. The most-common one is that the song is anti-hip hop, with some even going so far as to call it racist. T-Pain released this remix of the song, which seems to be a rebuttal of the original. Lines like “we were sippin Crown Royal/we don’t really give a f**” and most tellingly, “most n***as ain’t royal,” would be appear to be a response to the song’s critique of the flaunting of wealth, specifically in the world of hip hop. Whether you agree with this interpretation of the song or not (personally, I see it as a song about being alienated by all forms of rich people flaunting their wealth, not just in hip hop), T-Pain’s version is at least worth one listen, just to here his trademark auto-tune voice take on the chorus.

5. She was an impressive singer even at the age of 12 — check out her cover of “Use Somebody.”

If you thought Lorde was young when “Royals” came out, wait until you hear her version of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” that she recorded at the age of 12. Honestly, it’s a good thing she didn’t record an album at that age. The inferiority complex would have just been too much to take!

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