VH1’s No. 1 Video “Royals” by Lorde

Story posted November 3, 2013 in CommRadio by Vincent Cataldo

Scoring in at number one this week on Vh1’s Top 20 Countdown; “Royals,” written and sang by the 16-year-old New Zealand artist Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O'Connor, has revealed the meaning behind the artistic song. Vh1 is responsible for playing the 20 most popular music videos on its network weekly, and is currently hosted by Jim Shearer. The top 20 music videos each week are chosen mostly by the fans who vote for their favorites, as well as contributing factors such as record sales, message board posts, and even the popularity of play on radio stations. This week, Yelich-O'Connor’s hit single has reached the countdown at No. 1 for the second week in a row (the first being Oct. 26th), and has currently been on the countdown for the past nine weeks.

Under the Vh1 video “What Does Being Royal Mean to Lorde?” Meghan O’Keefe explains that Yelich-O'Connor revealed her inspiration when using the word “royal” in her song. This came from a combination of her fascination of a National Geographic photo of a man signing baseballs with a Royals shirt on, along with her original interest in Kings and Queens like Marie Antoinette from long ago in the earlier ages. Yelich-O'Connor also addressed that when she says “Royals”, she pertains the meaning to herself and her group of friends she hangs with from high school.

The lyrics are about bringing down what Hip-Hop artists rap about while living their luxurious lifestyles.  Yelich-O'Connor’s words include gold teeth, grey goose, and trippin' in the bathroom, in which she wrote to make it known how influential expensive things can have on people, but also to realize that it is a load of nonsense of how many people idolize that lifestyle. When she refers to herself and her friends as how they will never be “royals,” she insinuates that they will not be caught up in the crowd. Yelich-O'Connor’s biggest fear is getting caught up in the fame, and losing touch with her closest friends.

Vincent Cataldo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email vjc5072@psu.edu.