New York  - As the youngest artist to top the US charts in 25 years, Lorde has the world at her feet. But those feet, it would seem, are well and truly on the ground.

In the new issue of Vogue, the New Zealand-born 17-year-old - who is pictured in a beaded Miu Miu dress and floral coronet - discusses her stratospheric rise to fame, and how her new life has been a coming of age, of sorts. ‘I had been in [the Auckland suburbs] my whole life that I had ached to get out of,’ she said.

‘I had wanted to live in a city. And then I had this experience of traveling and being in the biggest cities in the world.

‘Coming back home, I realised that - A - where I live is beautiful and - B - did I want to grow up? Did I want to leave the suburbs?’ Lorde’s rise to fame was a sharp one. She was discovered at age 12 after a school talent show, and was quickly signed to a record label. Vocal lessons were a major turning point for her though. Before that, she says, she ‘had quite a nasal, twangy voice.’ Though her mother, Sonja Yelich is a poet, she admits that reading and writing fiction was always her creative outlet, and prior to the vocal lessons, she had been expressing herself in the context of short stories.

‘It’s much more similar to songwriting for me - having to make something big and get it into a small space,’ she said.

Like any other 17-year-old, Lorde says she is looking firmly to the future. Despite having ‘made it’ by so many others’ standards, she is not done with fiction writing - or, indeed, exploring other ways of using her talents.

‘I feel like I’m not yet sitting comfortably in what I’m doing, and I definitely feel a hunger for branching out,’ she explained.

Being young and beautiful with an adventurous approach to fashion, Lorde has unsurprisingly been embraced by the fashion set. She says her personal icons though are artists with a strong sense of self, such as Grace Jones and David Bowie. And it seems they speak closely with her personal style.

‘The kind of clothes that I’ve found I like to wear ... have all been things that make me feel powerful and strong,’ she said. ‘I wear a lot of pants. I wear a lot of long, structured dresses.’

Unlike many of her peers, it seems Lorde has a strong sense of the responsibility involved in being a role model to other teens.

‘It’s a fine line between being a role model and preaching to people. I never want to tell anyone how they should be, especially not someone my age,’ she said.

‘But, that being said, I’m conscious of the fact that people my age are reading what I say and listening to what I say, and that’s cool - particularly for the girls who are into what I do.’