The Best Moments From a Long-Ass Interview Between Tavi and Lorde

Illustration for article titled The Best Moments From a Long-Ass Interview Between Tavi and Lorde

Teen sensations Tavi and Lorde got together and had an extensive conversation ("There are eight pages of it. PRAISE THE LORDE," wrote one commenter) that ranged from discussing holding hands with David Bowie to the secret to good hair to writing song lyrics about Tumblr.

It's not a surprise at all that Tavi and Lorde would have a lot to talk about: they covered just about everything you'd want them to cover, diving into music they love and touching on some of Lorde's most controversial moments in her recent move to fame. In the interview, Lorde expresses her love of Beyoncé's new album:

But it also just feels like the album that I have wanted to hear from Beyoncé for such a long time, and I'm so happy that it has happened. I liked what you guys said about her not being afraid to let her feminism evolve, and you can hear that in this record, which I think is so important and such a hard thing to bare. It feels really personal. It meant a lot to me—I was just like, Shit, I'm so happy that this exists right now and also I'm so glad that no year-end lists matter anymore. [Laughs]


She and Tavi spoke a lot about the frustration they have with older people who put teens (especially young women) in a box: many interviewers, even ones that I consider really intelligent and good writers, will do the, like, "Oh, you're not taking your clothes off like Miley Cyrus and all these girls" thing, which to me is just the weirdest thing to say to someone. But then people will say, "She's always talking about being bored, that's petulant," which I feel like is kind of taking the piss out of teenage emotions—just, like, making light of how teenagers feel. When people react that way about things that every teenager experiences, how can you expect to make anything good?

Lorde's story of meeting David Bowie is...magical:

Have you had moments of just like, "Whoa, my life has come full circle"?

Definitely. I don't want to do the weird name-dropping thing but like–

Do it.

Meeting David Bowie was like that. To have someone like that tell you that listening to you felt like listening to tomorrow.


I was like…I could creatively die and just be happy forever. I never tell anyone about that experience, because it meant so much to me, and I feel like it would be dulled or something if I always talked about it in magazines or whatever. It's my special thing.

Do you want us to not include it in this?

Oh, I mean, it's OK. It was super cute, though—for some reason we were holding hands and just staring into each other's eyes and talking, and I was like, This is David Bowie's hand, what am I doing? It was insane. A beautiful moment.


And she's particularly articulate when discussing how she feels about criticism of her song "Royals":

I mean, it's one thing for kids who fight in the comments section of YouTube and who use "gay" as an insult to take offense at what you're doing; but when it's highly intelligent writers, all of whom you respect, you start to question what you're doing and if you have done something wrong. I have grown up in a time when rap music is pop music, and I do think people were maybe a little bit selective about the parts of that song they used to make those arguments, because a lot of it is examples of rock excess, or just standard pop culture "rich kids of Instagram"-type excess. But I'm glad that people are having discussions about it and informing me about it. Also, I wrote that song a few months into being 15, and now I'm a 17-year-old looking back on that, and I didn't know then what I know now, so I kind of am not too hard on myself.


Tavi and Lorde both love seeing Taylor Swift is live:

Unbelievable. I love the part when the guy's playing the drums that light up but, like, on the wires? And moving in the air? I was like, This is the best. And she is so good as a performer. I don't think people realize how difficult a stadium is to perform in. You have to change how you move and how you talk to accommodate that scale, and she is SO good at that. It feels natural when she does it. I'm so in awe of her ability, it's insane.


And of course, they talked about feminism:

I know that you identify as a feminist. How did you discover feminism, and what does it mean to you?

I think I'm speaking for a bunch of girls when I say that the idea that feminism is completely natural and shouldn't even be something that people find mildly surprising. It's just a part of being a girl in 2013. That kind of normal, non-scary, chill vibe that you had with it, and that Rookie had, was really encouraging when I was like 14. Even now, I find a lot of feminist reading quite confusing and that often there's a set of rules, and people will be like, "Oh, this person isn't a true feminist because they don't embody this one thing," and I don't know, often there is a lot of gray area that can be hard to navigate. It's just something that I'd assumed was natural for a long time. It's not some crazy kind of alien concept to me. Did you ever have that problem of getting into feminist writings and then feeling confused about all the ways people's opinions differed and all of the weird rulebooks and you're like, What?

Oh, yeah. Ultimately, I think we are all here for the same reason. I think it's so personal, though, for each person who identifies as a feminist, and it can be related to the hardest shit that they've had to put up with in their lives and all of these different ways in which they've been oppressed and marginalized. It can be so delicate and hard to navigate that sometimes I just feel like, "I never want to write about this again, because how can you ever know enough?"


"How can you ever have read enough to be able to talk about this in the right way?" What I've learned is that the answer isn't to retreat into ignorance, but to find the ways in which it's important to you and talk about that and help other women talk about their experiences too. Just finding the human part of it is what I find myself coming back to when I feel disillusioned with feminism as a community. It's complicated. Ultimately, I'm a feminist, yes, but I certainly have moments where it has to feel like something that is mine, and…

And not something that a hundred different people can define in exactly the same way.


YEAH. Read it all here on your lunch break/snack break/snow day/what have you.

Image via Tavi Gevinson/Instagram


Share This Story

Get our newsletter



This annoyed me: "I have grown up in a time when rap music is pop music, and I do think people were maybe a little bit selective about the parts of that song they used to make those arguments, because a lot of it is examples of rock excess, or just standard pop culture "rich kids of Instagram"-type excess."

She explicitly called out Nicki Minaj and Drake. People didn't make some grand jump to "racist!" based on the song, SHE decided that two black people just so happened to be the epitome of the behavior discussed in the song. Plus, Cristal, Maybachs, diamond watches, gold grills and Cadillacs? Why would anyone assume she's talking about rap?!

Sorry not sorry for not cheering on the privileged white girl tear down the black people.