Who’s Lorde, you might ask yourself?
Lorde, born Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, is the new music sensation. You might not know who she is, or what she looks like, but you have probably heard her new song “Royals”. By debuting at the n.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, beating out Katy Perry‘s “Roar” and Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball“, it made Lorde the youngest female artist (at 16) to get such an achievement since Tifanny in 1987.
Lorde and the concept of “no-publicity”
However Lorde (not pronounced Lord-eeh) doesn’t let her success get to her head. From turning down gigs with Katie Perry to covering Tears For Fear‘s “Everybody Wants to Rule The World” on the Hunger Game Catching Fire‘s soundtrack , she carefully selects where and when she will appear. In a way, you could say she’s using an “anti-publicity” way of marketing. Unlike the Taylor Swift/ Miley Cyrus and other Disney pop holy stars polluting our Youtube channels, Lorde wants to be recognized for her music and talent and not just as a “pretty” face. She doesn’t provoke, she doesn’t date her peers, she’s not playing the celebrity game. Lorde is the sort of teen you forget is a teen.
By using this marketing approach, she follows the steps of French artists Daft Punk or American hip-hop masked man MF Doom. Another “mysterious’ singer is Sia, who has been featured in David Guetta‘s hit “Titanium“, Flo Rida ‘s “Wild Ones” or, more recently Eminem‘s “Beautiful Pain” . Lorde is slightly different as you can just google her name to see what she looks like.
She’s sometimes compared to Lana Del Rey, the princess of indie music. However, LDR quickly became a pure Hollywood product, a celebrity with endorsing contracts and new activities not related to music whatsoever.
Every celebrity’s image has two major components: their product and the discourse about them and their product, also known as publicity. Usually the product is more important in dictating the tenor of the celebrity image, but sometimes the publicity overwhelms the product. Hollywood stars rely on publicity to keep them in the public eye between projects.
It will be interesting to see if, by using this concept of “no-publicity”, Lorde will be able to get over her “one-hit wonder” title.