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Lorde: The Rolling Stone Cover Shoot

See the 17-year-old New Zealand pop sensation pose (and even smile) for our cameras

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

At our photo shoot for Lorde's new Rolling Stone cover, the articulate teen chatted about everything from her literary influences to her style icons to her stubbornness when it comes to guiding her own career. "People don't like girls who don't smile," she told contributing editor Rob Tannenbaum in our cover story — but she ventured a few grins on our set. Talking about authors she admires, she says, "I am really into how words sound out loud, so I was always the kid who would, like, read the page of the book to herself in her room over and over and over."

See Also:

How Lorde Broke All the Rules: Inside Rolling Stone's New Issue

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Phoenix Rising

"I’ve never really seen that much live music, being from New Zealand, but just recently I got the chance to see a band like Phoenix, you know, five times in a row. And that is such an incredible show for me, because it’s incredibly simple, but. . .They’re just symbiotic. It all feels perfect. You almost can’t tell which part was created first, which is so cool. I’m a big fan of their live show."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Choosing Covers

"I’m usually really drawn to a song, and I know it would be good to cover if it sounds like something that I could write, or I wished I could write. Sometimes a writer just sounds like they’re in your head, and that is really cool for me."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Your Cover’s Blown

"But I think there’s no point in covering something unless you’re going to do something quite different and take it out of its original context and make it mean something different, and make it apply to you. So there’s lots of stuff that I really want to cover, but I know there would be no point."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Songwriting Secrets

"When you’re writing for someone else, you can make it up. . . it can be drawn from your experiences, but it doesn’t have to be. And there’s something fun about that. You can just sort of write something in 20 minutes and be like 'Oh, well, it doesn’t matter if anyone uses it.' I like the kind of casual nature of that."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Dissecting Diplo

"Diplo is just a fun person, and I really like how he’s working all the time on just the craziest stuff. I just sit down with him and get him to play me, like, two hours’ worth of random beats that he’s been making. And he’ll work with anyone and make it cool. So he’s just interesting to me, and I like how his brain ticks."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Queen of Compromise

"I’ve learned how to interact with people in order to get what I want. . .you can’t just crush someone’s vision, you have to make compromises. That wasn’t something I was familiar with until quite recently. I was so kind of fixated on exactly what I wanted to do, but now I’m quite good at taking other peoples’ opinions on board."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Gut Feeling

"I’ve totally learned in this process that 99 percent of the time, your gut is right, and you know what’s right for you. I know exactly what’s right for my career and for my art, and sometimes, even if the whole room is saying, 'Don’t do that, don’t do that,' you know that doing that is going to be good for you, in the long run. So, yeah, I guess it’s a balance between listening to what other people say and not listening."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

TV Trip-Outs

"Playing TV shows is always a moment where you’re like, 'Holy crap, what am I doing on this stage? I should not be here. People so much cooler than me have been on this floor.' But you know that someone has said you were cool enough to be there, or you were good enough to be there. So, I don’t know. You’ve gotta fill those shoes. Like, playing Letterman and being at the Ed Sullivan Theater, being in the same room as the Roots on Jimmy Fallon, stuff like that just completely trips me out."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Comfort Zone

"I think back to the first photo shoot I ever did, which was in New Zealand, no makeup. Just mucking around, taking some photos. And I just couldn’t do it. I was paralyzed. I was so awkward, and I was scared in that situation. But now I can put music on that I like and dance around and take cool photos. And that, to me, is a sign of how far I’ve come."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Humble Pie

"When I meet people whose music I really inspire, and they may be a little bit famous, I still get the little, 'Holy crap! This person wants to talk to me.' And I think when you stop having that feeling, and you’re like 'Oh, of course they do,' then maybe you’re not who you were anymore."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Web Slinger

"You don’t necessarily have to have a record deal. . .if you want your music to be heard. You can just put stuff on the Internet and people can love it and that’s cool. I think the industry is much less scary than people think it is."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

The Write Stuff

"I have this thing with, like, words being in that perfect order, and you know exactly how they’re trying to make you feel. And the order of the words. . .just, like, slapping you in the heart."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Royal Changes

"It’s a really weird thing to write a song like 'Royals' and then go through something like this, which changes your entire world and way of living and changes what you do every day. And then you find yourself writing and being in a completely new stratosphere in terms of what you’re talking about and how you approach certain subjects. So it has been weird."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Drawing Lines

"You have to go into [the industry] with an idea of who you are and what you want to do, and you have to have an idea of the things that you won’t do, and the things that you want to aspire to."

Lorde, Video, Behind the Scenes, RS1201

Noah Berlow

Words of Wisdom

"My advice to young people wanting to make music and to be in this industry is to really spend your time making music. Make so much music you have no friends. If you’re making cool art, then everything else will fall into line, I think. If it’s good enough, if it’s cool enough, if it has enough emotion in it, people will listen, and people will love it. And there’s nothing else."

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