In pop music, you learn how to wait around. Venues, airports, hotels. Waiting, waiting, waiting. And photo shoots. In mid-July Ella Yelich-O’Connor, now far better known as Lorde, is wrapped in a black dressing gown while a stylist separates her vast cloud of chestnut curls – “That pet on top of her head,” her mother calls it – into semi-manageable clumps. She teases, divides and piles, attacking it with curling irons and straighteners.
Ella’s face is grim. Later, in a small break before attention is switched to her face, she tells me “I really like that kind of thing”, gesticulating to the racks of clothing. “I don’t care about hair and makeup.” That’s unfortunate. Hair and makeup takes three hours.