Why Lorde is so excited

MICHELLE DUFF
Last updated 08:54 20/08/2014
Lorde
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NORMAL: Lorde says being back in NZ has been "calming".

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Of her first New Zealand tour since becoming a megastar, Lorde has three words: ''I'm so excited.'' 

The teenage Grammy-winner is today announcing a four-gig tour in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland in October. 

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For her, it is a fitting end to the international touring schedule of Pure Heroine - the album that spun her to global success.  

''It kind of felt right to me that it ended where it began, I wanted to kind of leave this album behind somewhere really special and it just made sense to me that New Zealand helped me say goodbye to it,'' Ella Yelich O'Connor told Fairfax Media last night.

''And also because I've grown so much, performance-wise, it seems fair that you guys get to see me after I've played heaps and heaps of shows and gotten really good at it.'' 

It is the first time Lorde will have toured here since being propelled to fame on the back of The Love Club EP and Pure Heroine .

In January this year, she performed to a crowd of 10,000 at Silo Park in Auckland, having rescheduled a set at Laneway to attend the 2013 Grammy Awards where she won best song of the year and best pop solo performance. 

That show was one of her all-time favourites, she said. 

''The audience was amazing, that was just one show when I was just like 'I can't top this.' I feel like New Zealand audiences are the best audiences.'' 

She has performed only two other solo concerts in this country, both in May last year - eight weeks after Royals topped the New Zealand charts.

The intimate gigs at Mighty Mighty in Wellington and Galatos in Auckland sold out in minutes.

Four months later, she topped America's music charts, becoming the first New Zealand artist to have their own song at No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

''I've wanted to do a New Zealand tour pretty much since I played at Galatos, it's been a while coming obviously.  I had to build the foundation of a season, and it's awesome New Zealand audiences have been kind of patient and let me do that, because now I can come home and do the last shows of Pure Heroine, this album cycle, which is like super-cool,'' she said.

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Yesterday, Yelich O'Connor woke at 5am to start shooting visuals for the tour, which kicks off in Philadelphia in September. It will boast custom sets, lighting and costumes, and ''is very much my world,'' she said.

She has also been working on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1 soundtrack, which she is curating, and writing for her new album. Some as-yet-unheard material will also feature in the shows.

''I'll definitely be playing some new stuff, there are a couple of unreleased B sides that we wrote around the time we had Pure Heroine, and the track from the Hunger Games soundtrack which I'll be playing for the first time as well.

''I haven't decided, but I feel like I might leave some of it to the end, to the New Zealand audiences. I guess I'm just excited to see them at the shows and finally play for them, and give them a show I've been putting my heart into.''

She had honed her performing skills a lot in the past year, she said.

''It's really just a result of playing a lot of different shows to to a lot of audiences. Being a live performer is so difficult and so scary and you really just need practice to get it really good. I've been lucky enough to play in front of 50,000 people in Portugal right down to small shows in London.

''Just in terms of personal growth I feel like it's been a huge year, I've learnt so much about myself and about how to exist in this business, it's just been one big butterfly emerging from a chrysalis moment.'' 

Back from playing at Lollapalooza at the beginning of August, walking down the street in Auckland had been ''surprisingly chill,'' she said.

''People are really friendly and really nice and I don't know, it's good to be back. It's very calming.'' 

It has been a meteoric rise to the top for Lorde, who was signed to Universal Music after performing at a talent contest at Belmont Intermediate, on the North Shore, in 2009. Adapting to the fame had been an interesting ride, she said.

''It's definitely a difficult thing and it takes time to figure it out, but I think I'm okay. I think I have learnt to live with it in a fairly normal way and I don't feel too different.'' 

She has previously said inspiration for the music video for song Team came from a dream.  

Asked if there would be any dreamscapes in the upcoming tour, she said: ''Interesting that you should say that ... I don't want to tell you too much yet, but hang on to that thought about dreams.'' 

* Lorde will play Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on October 27, Dunedin's Town Hall on October 29, Wellington's TSB Arena on October 31 and Auckland's Vector Arena on November 1. Tickets go on sale at 9am on September 1 through Ticketmaster.

- Stuff

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