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Chris Ford: Congrats for the Grammy Lorde!

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford

Congratulations Lorde! A great day at the Grammys for New Zealand.

Yes, we've had Grammy winners before in comparatively minor categories. Today, however, Lorde broke into the big time by claiming Best Pop Solo Performance and Son of the Year at the music industry's night of nights. No Kiwi has claimed these prestigious awards before. And, for Lorde, they cap a stunning year where she emerged out of nowhere to claim the number one spot in not only Aotearoa but also the US, Australia, the UK, Canada and top 10 placing for her debut single Royals in a slew of other countries.

I think Lorde's triumph signifies another thing - that the efforts of Kiwi musicians who have tried to break into the key US and British markets before has all been worth it. I say this because while bands like Split Enz had moderate success in the early 1980s, Kiwi music has been treated as a sort of alternative genre which, in the past has, for example, featured on student radio in the US but not gotten mainstream airtime elsewhere. After all, Kiwis have watched as countless Aussie musicians have gone onto make high profile careers overseas while our bands and musicians have struggled to get an airing, even at home.

That's why I think that today the likes of band members from The Chills to Ardijah, The Fan Club to Mi Sex, and everyone else in between, will be cheering Lorde's success. I say this because each of the abovementioned bands may not have realised it at the time but, obviously, they helped clear the path for Lorde and her success. While the abovementioned bands had some success in markets such as the United States, East Asia and Australia, they did not break out of the straitjacket that kept Kiwi music merely confined to being listened to in Aotearoa and Australia only.

Now, Lorde has proven to be the game changer we needed! Our musicians (both present and future) will hopefully be able to ride on the back of Lorde's success. Indeed, I hope that Lorde becomes a good export earner for us. Her success will hopefully mean that Kiwi music will not be marginalised anymore!

Above all, Lorde shone at the Grammys today not only for her great performance of Royals but for the humility shown in her acceptance speeches. I've heard so many American artists thank their mothers and fathers, God, and their record label but very rarely, as Lorde did today, their acknowledged musical heroes and influences as well. In that respect, Lorde did us proud!

May Lorde go on as she has begun!



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