Lorde's sophomore studio album Melodrama is the artist at her best. No longer the bright-eyed 16-year-old teenager, Lorde revealed an edgier, rawer side of herself that digs deep into the insecurities, anger, and emotional breakthroughs that come with entering adulthood. She's brash, she's electric, and she's unapologetically herself.
Though Melodrama boasts confidence and empowerment, it didn't start that way. During a secret live iHeartRadio concert at the gorgeous Houdini Estate in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills, Lorde opened up about the emotional event that inspired the song, "Liability," that she wrote with Bleacher's Jack Antonoff.
"This is one of the earliest songs that we wrote, and it's one that means a lot to me and I think is going to mean a lot to me for a long time," she said. "Some of the songs you write are about emotions that you've been feeling for a long, long time. I had been thinking about the ideas that were expressed in 'Royals' for like two years. And ['Liability'] was the most potent hour of last year. I just had to get it down, it was the craziest feeling."
Lorde shared with fans that one day while she was in her home country of New Zealand, a fury swept over her and all she could think to do was to head out and just walk for five or six miles. After trekking for so long, she called an Uber to get home. Throughout the car ride she tried to choke back her tears as she listened to Rihanna's "Higher."
The young artist took a break from her story to briefly sing the first few bars of "Higher" while her band played a few chords from "Liability." Fans were delighted to learn that the two paired perfectly.
"I was crying because I was feeling this very specific feeling of being 'too much' for somebody. It's a very strange feeling when you feel like you're too much. Like you're taking up too much space," she explained. "And I felt like no one could ever love me for all that I am because I'm a lot...I feel everything so deeply, and that's what Melodrama is about; the depth of emotion, especially when you're 19 or 20."
As she processed those emotions and listened to "Higher," she began to feel a peace like she hadn't felt before.
"Ever since I wrote that song I've felt such a suit of armor — there's such a force field between me and that feeling," she said, later adding: "I'm sure if you listen to my music there's probably moments where you feel like you're a little much...but I want you to know that you are not too much. You are perfect. And I'll always be your friend, I promise."
So while Lorde's experiences and feelings are very much her own, it would appear that Rihanna unknowingly helped craft one of the year's most beautiful ballads and helped the "Green Light" crooner realize her full potential. Is there anything Ri-Ri can't do?