updated 01/23/2014 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/23/2014 AT 3:45 PM ET
It’s getting harder and harder to believe that Lorde will never be royal.
The New Zealand newcomer has gone from normal teen to global superstar in a heartbeat. Her first single, “Royals,” topped the charts, she is nominated for four Grammy awards, and she’ll cement her status by performing at the show Sunday. Now, she graces the cover of Rolling Stone’s latest issue, and the outspoken singer pulls no punches in the accompanying interview.
“I’ve always been into the idea of confidence,” the 17-year-old tells the magazine. “Even my stage name is kind of cocky or grandiose.”
She also addresses her friendship with Taylor Swift, an artist she described in a previous interview as a bad role model for young women because her image is “so flawless and so unattainable.” But Swift sent Lorde roses to congratulate her on her success, and once the two pop stars met, they clicked.
Lorde even helped Swift celebrate her 24th birthday in Australia last month. In the Rolling Stone story, she texts Swift for Christmas gift advice while shopping at a design store.
“Taylor’s super good at this stuff,” she explains. “She’s decorated her whole house for ages.”
Later, Lorde lists Swift as one of the only young musicians with “real teenage voices.”
“There are very few of us,” she says. “The other teenagers sing other people’s songs, which is fine, but it’s not an authentic teenage experience.”
Lorde isn’t shy about calling out those “other teenagers.” She has dissed Justin Bieber and labeled Selena Gomez’s hit “Come & Get It” anti-feminist. But the outspoken singer stands by her statements.
“People around me, who I’m really close to, were like, ‘Do you have to express your opinions all the time?’ ” she says. “I knew I was right.”
Gomez – one of Swift’s best friends – seems to have taken the critique in stride.
“I’m going to support her whether she likes me or not because I think she’s doing great things,” Gomez, 21, says in the March issue of Seventeen. “Some day I will see her and we’ll be cool.”