Royals by Lorde
Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, is a singer-songwriter from New Zealand who has been making waves in the music industry at the age of only sixteen. Lorde began singing and playing guitar since she was twelve and was discovered after winning a school talent show.
Shortly afterwards, she signed a record deal and her first Extended Play was released in March of 2013. Lorde is the first female solo artist since 1996 to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart. Her song “Royals” is creating a lot of tremendous amount of buzz.
The song “Royals” comes from Lorde’s EP entitled Love Club. The song was released in 2013 from Universal Music Group as the first single from that album. “Royals” was written by Lorde along with Joel Little. The music video for “Royals” was directed by Joel Kefali and produced by Amber Easby. Lorde has stated that the song was inspired by the album Watch the Throne from Jay-Z and Kanye West but also by the music of Lana Del Rey.
The music video for “Royals” begins with a shot of expensive houses going by down the street in reverse. We then see Lorde as she begins to sing. There are shots of her interspersed with those of a hotel room with a bed and white walls. We then see a man getting out of bed, eating breakfast at the table, in the shower, and a fuzzy TV. The man is also seen in an empty gym with a basketball hoop. He is in the room again with boxing gloves on and sparring with another guy. There are more scenes of the man lying on a couch, shaving his head, and swimming in a pool. All throughout the video, Lorde barely moves from her position in front of the camera. Towards the end of the video, a group of guys is sitting on a bench and riding a train. At the end, there are again shots of moving down the street passing expensive houses.
The song “Royals” is extremely critical of luxury and explains that most people aren’t royalty who don’t want those things. We are just common people making our way through life. The singer speaks about how she has never “seen a diamond in the flesh” and “not proud of my address.” In a way, the song is critical of hip-hop music and its references to “jet planes,” “gold teeth,” “trashin’ the hotel room,” and “tigers on a gold leash.” In real life, everyone has to “count their dollars” and “didn’t come from money.” On one hand, Lorde sings about how we’ll never be “royals” and that that kind of “lux just ain’t for us.” On the other hand, she says to let her be the ruler so she can “live that fantasy” and call herself “queen bee.”