Lorde: I'm no 'typical New Zealand hero'

Lorde, photographed exclusively for Stuff.

Lorde, photographed exclusively for Stuff.

Lorde's back - and she's more kick-ass than ever.

The 20-year-old musician revealed what it was like growing up in the spotlight, how she forged her own path and how excited she is about her new album.

"I do feel a little more seasoned now ... I feel calmer," the singer said.

She is currently in Auckland for her sister's graduation ahead of the release of her second album Melodrama next month.

Growing up in the spotlight, Lorde says this time round she can handle the attention.

Growing up in the spotlight, Lorde says this time round she can handle the attention.

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"On the one hand, I feel calmer, but also we had no sense of how big (first album) Pure Heroine was going to get and how much of an echo it would have.

"I still kind of feel the echo of that record in the business that I'm in, which is an insane thing to know about your own work."

It's been a four-year hiatus between albums, but Lorde said she hasn't minded being out of the public eye.

"I was like 'this is incredible, nobody cares about me.' I definitely wasn't bothered," she laughs. "I haven't really felt like I've been living in the public eye for a long time, I've been so off the beaten track."

She also revealed the discomfort she felt rising to fame as a 16-year-old when she wasn't the "typical New Zealand hero".

"I'm definitely not that. For one thing I was 16 and very sure of myself, which is a distinctly non-NZ trait, to be like 'I know exactly what I'm doing'," she said.

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"I'm not a rugby player, I'm not a cooking star and I remember finding it difficult to shoulder this intense kind of patriotism. I was just like a kid and I wore Doc Martens, just like this weird arty kid and all of a sudden it was like 'you have to uphold the culture of the country'.

"It was like 'Really? Do I?' But it's something I've kind of grown in to, and it's just one of those weird things.

"I think whatever complicated feelings [people] may have had about me in the beginning have given way to ... I think they know I'm going to be who I am. For the most part I felt very embraced by New Zealand."

Lorde has released two singles from her new album, Green Light and Liability, in which she canvases her feelings about living life in the spotlight.

Writing that song, and the entire album, was an act of empowerment, she said.

"I'm pumped on the album. I'm so proud of it." 

 - Stuff

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