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Lorde Looks Back at Her Musical Debut as a ‘Little’ Self-Assured 16-Year-Old Person

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At the ripe age of 20, Lorde is taking stock of her career so far which includes reflecting on her musical debut at the age of 16.

In an interview with The Guardian, the New Zealand singer and onion ring aficionado revealed that she could see how her precocious beginnings in the industry could have rubbed people the wrong way.

“I think I would have been annoyed by me,” she said. “This kid… This very self-assured 16-year-old, who seemed to think she knew everything. Writhing around on TV with bad, kind of broken movements. Wearing these weird clothes.”

Lorde gives credit to her younger self, however, for having the confidence to be unorthodox, even though she may have felt insecure at times.

“A two-part self. One, this ugly, incorrect, fledgling person-trying-to-be-a-person. And the other, someone who could roll their shoulders back on live television and do it. I hope that if I was a removed stranger, I would have thought: ‘Fair enough, she’s just a weird kid, doing her thing.’”

She later reiterated that sentiment by saying she felt “very protective of that little person.”

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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com