The producer of Lorde's Grammy-winning debut says he's no longer working on the follow-up because the pop star is "trying to do something different".
Little said he wasn't producing "at this point" the follow-up to Pure Heroine, Ella Yelich O'Conner's 2013 album that netted two Grammys and turned the Devonport teen into a household name.
Little spoke to NZ Herald ahead of last night's NZ Music Artisan Awards, at which he won two Tuis - gongs for best producer and best engineer - for his work on Broods' second album Conscious.
Little's work on Lorde's debut turned the former Goodnight Nurse rocker into an in-demand producer thanks to a Song of the Year Grammy win in 2014 for Royals. He's gone on to work with Ellie Goulding, Jarryd James and Daniel Johns.
Little said back in May 2015 he'd started working on ideas with Lorde for the follow-up to Pure Heroine.
"We haven't done a whole lot of production on it yet, we just want to make sure the songs are really good and try and experiment with some new things - just different beats and whatever occurs in the studio ... We can take the time to make sure we've explored every option."
But last night he clarified his role on the record, saying: "We wrote together, but I'm not producing the record ... This time I'm coming at it more as a fan than being super involved. I'm excited to see what she's working on."
Little said he would probably be first to hear the finished record when it was done.
"I'm sure she'll play it (to me) before anyone hears it. I've heard a lot, we've worked on it a lot. She's trying to do something different as well (and) working with other producers is a part of that, and so I haven't heard any finished (songs) or any of that stuff," he said.
In a now deleted Instagram comment, Lorde last addressed her second album to a fan who asked her why it was taking so long.
"I write a record when I have enough special stories to tell, and it's all me, every melody every lyric, not some team who just start the machine up every eighteen months like clockwork," she wrote in August.
"The record is written, we're in the production stage now. I've worked like a dog for a year making this thing great for you guys."
Lorde recently axed her manager Scott Maclachlan, who said in May he felt "quite sick" when she told him the news.
"It was pretty clear she was unhappy with the way things were going for a bunch of reasons, which I can't talk about because there are ongoing legal issues."