Vogue’s October cover is Lorde – a musician who has established her own way of being a pop star: playful, passionate, and wary of the rituals of fame. Lorde speaks with writer Rob Haskell about her new album, Solar Power, and the toll that stepping back into the public eye takes on her.
On being confident as a musician, not as a public figure: “I’m great at my job, but I’m not sure I’m the man] for the job. I’m a highly sensitive person. I’m not built for pop star life. To have a public-facing existence is something I find really intense and is something I’m not good at. That natural charisma is not what I have. I have the brain in the jar.”
On working with her longtime production partner, Jack Antonoff: “Jack listens really well. He’s in therapy. He’s good to talk to about the kinds of things that people writing deep shit into a song want to talk about. I think there’s an understanding with us that we’re going to do this for a really long time, and it’s going to be one of the great relationships of both of our lives.”
On abstaining from social media: “I think I was known for having my finger on the pulse, so it was actually a huge decision philosophically for me to step back from that. But I started to see the phone as a portal. I can’t keep going through that portal, in the same way that I wouldn’t just take mushrooms all these moments of a day. It’s too deep a tunnel… I could sense that it would be very bad for the work and for me if I stayed online. I don’t think I’ve met too many people for whom social media is a net positive. It’s producing crazy chemicals, forming crazy neural pathways that are not rooted in positivity… But I think we’ve got to be upfront about the things that are making us sick as a society.”
On the 2015 Met Gala: “I can register fashion as both beautiful and absurd. I do remember that visceral moment of thinking, A pharaoh is lying right there, and we’re in couture. But I kind of love it. There’s tons to be gotten from all of it.”
On connecting with her LGBTQ+ audiences: “I have a big young, queer contingent to my fan base, which is so divine to me. You think you know what your kids will be like—you think they’ll just be like you, like, a million little yous. In the same way that if you wrote a book, maybe you’d imagine it would only be interesting to people like you. But it’s different. I have much cynicism but not about what I know to be the alchemical thing that happens in my work. The work is very powerful to people. My fans are young, and I just know that they look to me for a lot emotionally and spiritually. But it’s an attachment like any other. You want it to be a healthy one. It needs to be right for both of us, and there needs to be that understanding that mummy does go away to the other room, and she will come back!”
Vogue’s October 2021 issue is available on newsstands nationwide on September 21st.
Cover: Schiaparelli Top
Image 1: Balenciaga Gown | Tiffany & Co. Earring
Image 2: Marni Gown
[Photo Credit: Théo de Gueltzl/Vogue Magazine]