On May 18, the New Zealand Herald reported that Lorde and Scott Maclachlan, the manager who discovered her when she was a preteen, had parted ways after a seven-year professional relationship. The announcement was met with both surprise and—in Lorde’s opinion—condescension. How could she, at the tender age of 18, possibly leave behind the man who led her to global stardom?
In a 1,000+ word Guardian piece titled “Oh Lorde, pray leaving your manager wasn’t a mistake,” writer Eamonn Forde discusses the risk an artist takes when they decide (or are forced) to part from their manager. After outlining the slow downfall of the Beatles following the death of longtime manager Brian Epstein, Forde writes:
Within this is a morality tale for all musicians who, once they break from the manager who took them on when they were potless and guided them to stardom, almost always find themselves euthanising their careers. Lorde is, reportedly, the latest artist to follow this pattern, having parted from her long-term manager Scott Maclachlan. He signed her in 2008, five long years before her international breakthrough with Royals, got her a deal with Universal, and nurtured her from schoolgirl to superstar.
In addition to the Beatles, Forde cites the Rolling Stones and Duffy as musicians who have faltered following splits from their management. Of course, none of this really bodes poorly for Lorde. Even after Epstein’s death, the Beatles—as Forde points out—still managed to release Abbey Road and Let It Be. The Rolling Stones, while no longer “as dangerous and exhilarating” as they used to be, continue to tour and make money—all without their original manager. And Duffy—bless her—hasn’t achieved half the global success that Lorde has, making for a poor comparison.
Never one to keep her opinions to herself, Lorde—who has has heard Forde and other doubters’ concerns about her career—wants everyone to chill the fuck out and know that she’s got this.
“Hey, men,” she tweeted on May 20. “Do me and yourselves a favour, and don’t underestimate my skill.”
A moment later, she followed up with “Yes, I’m a young lass, but I’m also making the best decisions for me each day.”
While Scott Maclachlan has played a large hand in her success, let’s not forget that it’s Lorde’s talent that he’s been selling. Since the beginning, she’s come off as bright, business-minded, and clear on how she wants to grow as a public figure and recording artist. If Maclachlan can’t or won’t help nourish the career that she wants, why wouldn’t she try something new?
Image via Getty.
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