Watch a 12-year-Old Lorde Rock Out

Ever since Lorde first appeared in our collective consciousness, one of the topics that's come up most often is her age. She's 17, we say in awe. How could someone be that successful when at their age, we were barely making it through gym class and Pre-Calc? Some (clearly envious) people have even gone so far as to demand birth-certificate proof that the singer isn't lying about her age, because it just seems so impossible that a girl not even old enough to vote could've accomplished so much in so little time. If you thought 17 was young, though, just wait until you watch a just-discovered video of 12-year-old Lorde kicking ass at a school Battle of the Bands. Self, meet pity.

In the video, Lorde, then just a middle-schooler named Ella Yelich-O'Connor, is seen fronting a band called Extreme at the Intermediate School Battle of the Bands Finals, way back in 2009 (!). Introducing the first song, "a bit of classic rock from Richard Blackmore's Rainbow," the future Grammy winner, even at 12, shows off the stage presence she'd come to be known for just a few years later. Her voice is not quite yet the powerhouse force that gave "Royals" its edge, but it's strong enough to keep the crowd screaming and the energy flowing.

And oh, yes, the energy — never before has Lorde looked so genuinely happy to be on stage. She jumps, she shouts, she shakes her hair and slaps fans' outstretched hands; it's Lorde like we've never seen her, a far cry from the focused, low-key performances she tends to give today.

The best part of the video, though, comes at the end, when Lorde and her bandmates get interviewed by a local journalist. The singer, a good foot taller than most of the others, looks overwhelmed and excited, telling the reporter how "the big stage really makes a difference." Oh, Lorde; if you think that's a big stage now, just you wait a few more years...

You can watch the video below: