Lana Del Rey: Difference between revisions

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===Influences===
 
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Lana Del Rey sees herself as quite a bug influence saying "I always seen myself in the mirror and thought, I want to be her, then realising that I am. I am my biggest influence. I am the best singer in the entire world"
 
Noah Levy, senior news editor at ''[[In Touch Weekly]]'' magazine, noted that her dedication and talent is undeniable, quoted as saying "I think she cares about the art that she is creating. I don't think that is fake at all."<ref>{{cite web| url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jan/21/lana-del-rey-pop| title = Lana Del Rey: The strange story of the star who rewrote her past| work=[[The Guardian]]|publisher=Guardian News and Media| date=January 21, 2012| accessdate=May 31, 2012| first=Paul| last=Harris}}</ref> Amongst her musical influences, Del Rey cites several contemporary artists such as [[Elvis Presley]], [[Antony and the Johnsons]], [[Frank Sinatra]], and [[Eminem]].<ref name=out>{{cite web|url=http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2011/08/first-look-lana-del-reys-video-games.html|date=August 8, 2011|last=Michelson|first=Noah|title=Look: Lana Del Rey's "Video Games"|work=[[Out (magazine)|Out]]|publisher=Joe Landry|accessdate=December 22, 2011}}</ref><ref name="Anitai">{{cite web|url=http://buzzworthy.mtv.com/2012/01/11/lana-del-rey-mtv-britney-spears-bruce-springsteenphoto/|title=Lana Del Rey Visits MTV, Talks Britney & Bruce, We All Collectively Fall In Love Even Harder (PHOTO)|date=February 2, 2012|accessdate=February 24, 2012|publisher=MTV. [[MTV Networks]]|last=Anitai|first=Tamar}}</ref><ref name="Sciarretto">{{cite web|url=http://popcrush.com/lana-del-rey-love-eminem/ |title='I F—-ing Love Eminem'|date=February 1, 2012|publisher=Pop Crush |last=Sciarretto|first=Amy}}</ref> "[I really] just like the masters of every genre", she told BBC radio presenter [[Jo Whiley]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtAFIa52_eA|title=Interview with Lana Del Rey|first=Jo |last=Whiley|publisher=[[BBC Radio 2]]. [[BBC]]|date=February 2, 2012|accessdate=June 20, 2012}}</ref> Her favorite artists include [[Bob Dylan]], Frank Sinatra, [[Jeff Buckley]] and [[Leonard Cohen]].<ref>{{cite web|last=Dawson|first=Kim|title=Lana Del Rey's Master Class|url=http://www.dailystar.co.uk/playlist/view/222113/Lana-Del-Rey-s-master-class/|work=[[Daily Star (United Kingdom){{!}}Daily Star]]|publisher=[[Northern & Shell]] Media|accessdate=January 8, 2013}}</ref> She covered Cohen's "[[New Skin for the Old Ceremony|Chelsea Hotel #2]]" in 2013.<ref name=cohen/>
 
Noah Levy, senior news editor at ''[[In Touch Weekly]]'' magazine, noted that her dedication and talent is undeniable, quoted as saying "I think she cares about the art that she is creating. I don't think that is fake at all."<ref>{{cite web| url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jan/21/lana-del-rey-pop| title = Lana Del Rey: The strange story of the star who rewrote her past| work=[[The Guardian]]|publisher=Guardian News and Media| date=January 21, 2012| accessdate=May 31, 2012| first=Paul| last=Harris}}</ref> Amongst her musical influences, Del Rey cites several contemporary artists such as [[Elvis Presley]], [[Antony and the Johnsons]], [[Frank Sinatra]], and [[Eminem]].<ref name=out>{{cite web|url=http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2011/08/first-look-lana-del-reys-video-games.html|date=August 8, 2011|last=Michelson|first=Noah|title=Look: Lana Del Rey's "Video Games"|work=[[Out (magazine)|Out]]|publisher=Joe Landry|accessdate=December 22, 2011}}</ref><ref name="Anitai">{{cite web|url=http://buzzworthy.mtv.com/2012/01/11/lana-del-rey-mtv-britney-spears-bruce-springsteenphoto/|title=Lana Del Rey Visits MTV, Talks Britney & Bruce, We All Collectively Fall In Love Even Harder (PHOTO)|date=February 2, 2012|accessdate=February 24, 2012|publisher=MTV. [[MTV Networks]]|last=Anitai|first=Tamar}}</ref><ref name="Sciarretto">{{cite web|url=http://popcrush.com/lana-del-rey-love-eminem/ |title='I F—-ing Love Eminem'|date=February 1, 2012|publisher=Pop Crush |last=Sciarretto|first=Amy}}</ref> "[I really] just like the masters of every genre", she told BBC radio presenter [[Jo Whiley]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtAFIa52_eA|title=Interview with Lana Del Rey|first=Jo |last=Whiley|publisher=[[BBC Radio 2]]. [[BBC]]|date=February 2, 2012|accessdate=June 20, 2012}}</ref> Her favorite artists include [[Bob Dylan]], Frank Sinatra, [[Jeff Buckley]] and [[Leonard Cohen]].<ref>{{cite web|last=Dawson|first=Kim|title=Lana Del Rey's Master Class|url=http://www.dailystar.co.uk/playlist/view/222113/Lana-Del-Rey-s-master-class/|work=[[Daily Star (United Kingdom){{!}}Daily Star]]|publisher=[[Northern & Shell]] Media|accessdate=January 8, 2013}}</ref> She covered Cohen's "[[New Skin for the Old Ceremony|Chelsea Hotel #2]]" in 2013.<ref name=cohen/>
   

Revision as of 23:33, 25 May 2013

Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey at the Echo Awards 2013.jpg
Del Rey at the ECHO Awards on March 21, 2013
Background information
Birth name Elizabeth Woolridge Grant
Also known as Lana Del Rey
Lana Rey Del Mar
Lizzy Grant
May Jailer
Sparkle Jump Rope Queen
Born (1986-06-21) June 21, 1986 (age 32)
New York City
Origin Lake Placid, New York
Genres Indie pop, chamber pop, alternative hip hop, trip hop, pop, blue eyed soul, dream pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician, fashion model
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2005–present
Labels Interscope, Polydor, Stranger
Website lanadelrey.com

Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1986), better known by her stage name Lana Del Rey, is an American singer-songwriter. Del Rey started performing in clubs in New York City at the age of 18 and she signed her first recording contract when she was 20 years old with 5 Points Records, releasing her first digital album Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant in January 2010. Del Rey bought herself out of the contract with 5 Points Records in April 2010. She signed a joint contract with Interscope, Polydor, and Stranger Records in October 2011.

After she released her debut single "Video Games" in June 2011, a music video created by Del Rey for the song was posted on YouTube in August 2011. After the song became a viral internet hit with over 20 million views, her second studio album, Born to Die, was released in January 2012. The album sold over 3.6 million copies worldwide in 2012, making it the fifth best-selling album of 2012. Charting across Europe, this album spawned numerous top ten hits, including "Blue Jeans", "National Anthem", "Born to Die", and "Summertime Sadness."

With the release of her third EP, Paradise, Del Rey spawned her third top ten album in the United States, debuting at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 67,000 copies sold in its first week. To date, her discography includes two full-length studio albums, three EPs, seven singles, and eight music videos. She has won the Q Award for "Best New Thing", a GQ Award for "Woman of the Year", a BRIT Award for "International Breakthrough Act" and another for "International Pop Female Solo Artist", and an EMA for "Best Alternative Act".

Del Rey's music has been noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture, particularly that of the 1950s and '60s Americana. The singer has described herself as a "self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra." Before signing to a major record label, Del Rey provided sole production of her music videos. Musically, she draws influence from what she deems to be the masters of each genre, including Elvis Presley, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, and Britney Spears, as well as from poetry and film noir.[1] Del Rey has endorsed clothing line H&M, serving as the model for their Fall and Winter 2012 collection.

Life and career

1986–2010: Early life and career beginnings

Lana Del Rey was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in New York City on June 21, 1986,[2] to former Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur, Rob Grant, and former Grey account executive, Pat Grant.[3] She was raised in Lake Placid, New York[4][5] with two younger siblings.[3] She is of Scottish descent with roots in Lanarkshire.[6] She began singing in the church choir when she was a girl.[7] At fourteen, she was sent to Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticut, to deal with her alcohol dependence,[8][9] before heading back to her hometown at the age of eighteen. Del Rey then attended Fordham University in New York City, studying a branch of philosophy known as metaphysics [5][10][11] because "it bridged the gap between God and science. I was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why."[12] She said, "that was when my musical experience began. I kind of found people for myself."

After her uncle taught her how to play the guitar, she "realized [that she] could probably write a million songs with those six chords," and she began performing in nightclubs around the city under various names such as Sparkle Jump Rope Queen and Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena.[13] "I was always singing, but didn't plan on pursuing it seriously. When I got to New York City when I was eighteen, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn—I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point—and that was it," she revealed.[5]

"I wanted to be part of a high-class scene of musicians. It was half-inspired because I didn't have many friends, and I was hoping that I would meet people and fall in love and start a community around me, the way they used to do in the '60s."

Lana Del Rey explains why she went into the music industry.[14]

On April 25, 2005, a seven track compact disc was registered under Elizabeth Woolridge Grant with the United States Copyright Office. The application title was "Rock Me Stable" with another title "Young Like Me" also listed.[15] The track titles are currently unknown. Between 2005 and 2006, the album Sirens was recorded under the name "May Jailer" and leaked in May 2012.[16][17][18][19][20]

When she was twenty years old, Del Rey signed a record contract for $10,000 and moved into a trailer park outside of the city.[5] Her album, however, was shelved, causing her to shift her focus. Instead, she began to work in community service. "Homeless outreach, drug, and alcohol rehabilitation—that's been my life for the past five years," she told Vogue in 2012.[5] Felicia Sullivan of The Huffington Post spoke with Del Rey after the release of Kill Kill about her life in the trailer park.[21]

A few years later, Del Rey got signed to 5 Point Records, an independent label of producer David Kahne, with whom she released her first three-track EP titled Kill Kill in October 2008 and a full-length album in 2010, titled Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant.[24][25] She explained that "David asked to work with me only a day after he got my demo. He is known as a producer with a lot of integrity and who had an interest in making music that wasn't just pop."[26]

Del Rey later released her first full-length studio album titled Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant [sic] in January 2010.[27] It was the singer's first professionally produced album, released under Lizzy Grant on an independent label with producer David Kahne.[28] Her father, Robert Grant, helped with the marketing of the album,[27] which was available for purchase on iTunes for a brief period before being withdrawn.

David Kahne, who produced Grant and previous label owner David Nichtern have both stated that Grant bought the rights back from her label, 5 Points, as she wanted it out of circulation to "...stifle future opportunities to distribute it—an echo of rumors that the action was part of a calculated strategy."[29][30] About choosing her stage name she has said: "I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba - Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue."[31]

On September 1, 2010, Del Rey was featured by Mando Diao in their MTV Unplugged concert at Union Film-Studios in Berlin.[32]

2011–2012: Born to Die, Paradise, product endorsements

After uploading a few of her tracks to her YouTube channel, Del Rey was discovered and was signed by Stranger Records to release her debut single "Video Games."[33] She told The Observer, "I just put that song online a few months ago because it was my favourite. To be honest, it wasn't going to be the single but people have really responded to it."[5] The song earned her a Q award for "Next Big Thing" in October 2011[34] and an Ivor Novello for "Best Contemporary Song" in 2012.[35] The same month, she signed a joint deal with Interscope Records and Polydor to work on her second studio album Born to Die.[13][29][36][37] Del Rey built anticipation to the album by doing a number of live appearances, such as promotional concerts at the Bowery Ballroom and at the Chateau Marmont, and with performances at television shows such as De Wereld Draait Door, and Later... with Jools Holland.[38][39][40][41]

Speaking about her mainstream success, she told Clash Music in November 2011:

"When you find everything you love and you lose it, and for me that was music, your ambitions definitely start to change, they have to. My goals have shifted from wanting to become an important artist to becoming an active member of my community. It’s really nice my music is being played and people are taking notice, but music isn’t my primary focus anymore. Not even close. My goal is to be a good person who lives with dignity and grace. I will write again because I have to now. It’s a luxury and will allow me to concentrate on other interests and pursuits. I wrote one album and no-one listened. I’m fine with that. I made an exquisite record three years ago which was perfect for me. I’ve learned to do things just for myself, and the fact things have kind of worked out now is just icing on the cake."[7]

Del Rey performing on December 5, 2011

On January 4, 2012, it was reported she had signed a deal with NEXT Model Management agency.[42] Del Rey also performed two songs from the album on Saturday Night Live on January 14, 2012 and received a negative response from critics and the general public. Del Rey's performance was defended by the evening's program guest host, actor Daniel Radcliffe, despite not having seen her performance.[43] She had earlier defended her spot on the program, saying: "I'm a good musician [...] I have been singing for a long time, and I think that [SNL creator] Lorne Michaels knows that [...] it's not a fluke decision."[44] The following week on SNL, Kristen Wiig impersonated del Rey where she humorously defended herself during Weekend Update.[45]

Born to Die was officially released on January 31, 2012 worldwide, and reached number one in eleven countries, though critical reaction was divided.[46][47] The same week, Del Rey said that she bought back the rights to her 2010 debut album, and had plans to re-release it in the summer of 2012 under Interscope Records and Polydor.[48] Contrary to Del Rey's press statement, her previous record label and producer David Kahne have both stated that she bought the rights to the album when she and the label parted company, due to the offer of a new deal, in April 2010.[29][49] Born to Die sold 3.4 million copies in 2012, making it the fifth-best-selling album of 2012.[50] In the United States, Born to Die charted on the Billboard 200 album chart well into 2012, lingering at number 76, after 36 weeks on the chart.[51]

Del Rey at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival in May 2012

British pop star Cheryl Cole confirmed in May 2012 that Del Rey would write for her new album A Million Lights. Cole described Del Rey as "super-talented", and talked of how she came to the decision to approach Del Rey, saying: "I noticed Lana about a year ago. I was hearing these songs that were really fresh to my ear and amazing and I asked the guy who she was and he said, 'Watch out for her, it's a girl called Lana Del Rey.'"[52] On June 15, 2012, A Million Lights was released featuring the song "Ghetto Baby", written by Del Rey.[53][54]

In an interview with RTVE on June 15, 2012, Del Rey announced she has been working on a new album due in November, and that five tracks have already been written, two of them being "Will You Still Love Me When I'm No Longer Young and Beautiful" and "In the Land of Gods and Monsters" and the other track titled "I Sing the Body Electric," which was performed and announced as one of her songs at the BBC Radio 1's Hackney Weekend. In an interview with Tim Blackwell for Nova FM in Melbourne, Australia, Del Rey added that her upcoming November release would not be a new album, but more like an EP, which she described as the Paradise Edition of Born to Die. Del Rey stated that the new release would have around seven new songs.[55]

H&M confirmed that Del Rey would be modeling and recording a cover version of the popular 1950s prom anthem "Blue Velvet" for their 2012 Autumn Campaign.[56][57] On August 22, 2012, executives announced that Del Rey would endorse their new Jaguar F-Type which was unveiled by Del Rey at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar's global brand director, explained their choice, saying Del Rey had "a unique blend of authenticity and modernity."[58][59]

Del Rey told Vogue Australia that she is interested in working for the movie industry, stating "When I was starting, I had a vision of being a writer for film and that's what I am doing now. I'm so happy. Hopefully I will branch into film work and stay there. That will be my happy place. I'd like to stay in one place for a long time." She also told Vogue Australia that she suffers from stage fright when performing, saying "I love to take care of the songs – that's my natural place. Then, when I get on stage, that's not my element. Sometimes I kneel down because I am trembling, or touch the audience because I don't know what else to do... But the nice thing about kids is that they feel bad for me, and pass me soft toys!" She also said that she will not be working on a further album, saying "I don't think I'll write another record. What would it say? Everything I wanted to say, I've said already."[60][61][62][63]

Del Rey at the 2012 Paris Motor Show in September 2012

Mid-September saw the official announcement of Paradise's lead single, "Ride."[64] A music video for the single had recently been shot in the Las Vegas metropolitan area.[65] Two days later, the music video for "Blue Velvet" was released through H&M.[66] Nearly a week after the video debuted, the promotional single was released to airplay and became available for purchase.[67] "Ride" was released the proceeding week as the sixth single from her sophomoric album and the lead single from her third EP.[68] Del Rey's Paradise Edition of Born to Die was set to be released on November 12. The album became available to preorder, offering an immediate download of "Burning Desire", in September 2012.[69] The music video for "Ride" premiered at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, California on October 10.[70] "Ride"'s video released online two days prior.[71] Critics panned the video as pro-prostitution[71][72] and antifeminist, the latter being a word attributed to Del Rey's work since "Video Games."[73][74] H&M's 2012 Winter campaign, featuring Lana Del Rey, was released on October 12. This is the second H&M campaign Lana Del Rey is featured in.[75][76][77]

Sixteen bookings for her 2013 European tour were announced the day before Halloween. The countries included were Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Norway.[78][79][80][81][82][83][84][85] The tickets for the Paris concert were sold out within 1 minute and 30 seconds which is why another date was added.[86] Five dates were also added to the United Kingdom leg.[87] Shortly after, three Italian and one Spanish date were added to the tour schedule.[88][89] Del Rey will also be performing in Russia and Ukraine.[90][91]

A promotional video for the closing track, "Bel Air", was released on 8 November 2012.[92] The video featured outtakes from the "Summertime Sadness" music video.[93] In the video, Del Rey sings, "Roses, Bel Air, take me there/ I've been waiting to meet you/ Palm trees, in the light, I can see, late at night/ Darling I'm willing to greet you/ Come to me, baby."[94] Rolling Stone praised the shift in persona Del Rey exhibited in the ballad's video, noting a significant difference from her usual Americana lounge singer, First Lady Onassis-Kennedy, and biker chick alter egos.[95]

At the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, Del Rey received nominations in the categories Best Alternative, Best Push, and Best New Act. Winning Best Alternative, Del Rey presented the award for Best Female to Taylor Swift.[96] Following "Ride", "Cola" was confirmed to be Paradise's second single and the album's seventh single.[97] With the release of her third EP, Paradise, Del Rey spawned her third top twenty album and second top ten album in the United States, debuting at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 67,000 copies sold in its first week.[98]

2013–present: The Great Gatsby, and third studio album

At the 2013 BRIT Awards, she won the award for International Female Solo Artist, making it her second BRIT Award to date.[99] Del Rey's win surprised critics who highly anticipated Taylor Swift to win the award.[99] She is currently working on her third studio album. "It's a little more stripped down but still cinematic and dark. I've been working on it really slowly but I love everything I've done. I've been writing in Santa Monica and I know what the record sounds like. Now I just have to finish it. Musically I've worked with the same three guys," she said. She also mentioned that one of the songs off the album would be called "Black Beauty" and she already knows what the music video for it is going to look like.[100] In March, Del Rey recited Walt Whitman's poem "Song of Myself" for the French fashion magazine, L'Officiel Paris.[101] Del Rey's seventh single, "Dark Paradise", was released on March 1.[102] "Burning Desire" was released as a promotional single on March 19.[103] Del Rey won the ECHO Awards for Best International Newcomer and Best International Pop/Rock Artist on March 21.[104] A music video for Del Rey's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2" was released on March 27.[105] On April 18, Del Rey released a music video for her and her boyfriend Barrie-James O'Neill's cover of "Summer Wine" by Lee Hazlewood.[106]

Together with the film's director, co-writer, and co-producer Baz Luhrmann, Del Rey penned the original song "Young and Beautiful" for the soundtrack of the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.[107] The song will be released to contemporary hit radio as a single, and is being used as the film's kickoff single.[108] A snippet of the track appeared in the official trailer for the film and played during the scene where the characters portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan express their romantic feelings for one another.[109] Hip hop magazine Rap-Up called the single "haunting",[108] while MTV called it "somber-sounding".[109] An official audio video for "Young and Beautiful" appeared on 22 April. [110] The official music video for "Young and Beautiful" was released on the 10th of May.[111] Following the song's release, it peaked at 22 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Del Rey's highest peak on the chart since her first mark, "Video Games", peaked at 91 in 2012.[112]

Artistry

Lana Del Rey performing "Body Electric" at Irving Plaza in 2012

Musical style and personae

I would have loved to be part of the indie community. But I wasn't. I was looking for a community, I don't even know any people who are musicians. I never met that indie popular indie, whoever the fuck that is. Who IS indie? First of all, I can't really get my head around what indie music is. Because if you've heard of it, it's sort of pop music, right? Because it's, like, popular? Or is it just that it's not on the radio? It's not like I was in an indie community and then I blew up. It's like, I was living on the street and I'm not – like, for real, you know what I'm saying?[36]

Del Rey, when asked about her musical style.

She has been described as a "self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra" and "Lolita lost in the hood"[113] and her music has been noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture, particularly that of 1950s and '60s Americana.[21][114][115][116][117][118][119] Rolling Stone noted that Del Rey enjoys playing the role of lounge singer.[120] Del Rey has also been called a torch singer of the internet era[121] and the anti-Gaga.[121] Born Lizzy Grant, Del Rey has attributed her work to various stage names including Lana Rey Del Mar,[122] Sparkle Jump Rope Queen,[123] and May Jailer.[124] Settling on Lana Del Rey, the singer claims she selected the name because it was beautiful. First mention of the name Lana Del Rey came from her Spanish-speaking Cuban friends. Following in the shadow of artists like Prince and David Bowie, Del Rey chose her musical identity because it: "reminded [her] of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue."[125][126]

Del Rey has stylized her musical sound as "Hollywood sadcore."[127][128] Time said the solid core of her sound was "movie music",[113] with a fairy-dusting of harp and an ominous timpani, laid out over-top a hip hop vocal cadence.[113] Her vocal style has been likened to rap. Of Born to Die, indie music journal Drowned in Sound wrote, "She likes that whole hip hop thing though, has this whole swagger thing going that not many girls like her got," adding that it sounded like a poppier Bond soundtrack.[129] In "National Anthem", "Off to the Races,"[129] and "Diet Mountain Dew", Del Rey employs this alternative rapping technique.[130] Under the stage name Lizzy Grant, she called her music "Hawaiian glam metal", [22] while the work of her May Jailer project was acoustic.[124][131][132][133] Regarding wardrobe, Del Rey has appeared numerous times in PR photoshoots and music videos adorned in gauzy dresses and floral headdresses; she has been recognized as being less flashy than other mainstream female pop singers.[121] Lyrically, "Born to Die" was recognized as sad. On the subject, Del Rey said: "I'm not sad, I’m happy. I feel like I’m happy because I’m at peace with the way that things are... I did have a darker filter on sometimes, but that slowly lifted through doing a lot of different things. And finding true love is something that really did inspire me, lyrically. Because I felt so much the same for so much of my life and then when you find someone exciting, you don’t know that you could actually feel differently than you did before. I was inspired."[121] Del Rey writes her own lyrics, drawing on various experiences she had while living in New York City, and she has said that her lyrics, "sound like stories."[121]

Influences

Lana Del Rey sees herself as quite a bug influence saying "I always seen myself in the mirror and thought, I want to be her, then realising that I am. I am my biggest influence. I am the best singer in the entire world" Noah Levy, senior news editor at In Touch Weekly magazine, noted that her dedication and talent is undeniable, quoted as saying "I think she cares about the art that she is creating. I don't think that is fake at all."[134] Amongst her musical influences, Del Rey cites several contemporary artists such as Elvis Presley, Antony and the Johnsons, Frank Sinatra, and Eminem.[135][136][137] "[I really] just like the masters of every genre", she told BBC radio presenter Jo Whiley.[138] Her favorite artists include Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen.[139] She covered Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2" in 2013.[105]

Janis Joplin's live version of "Summertime" from the Cheap Thrills compilation album is one of Del Rey's favorite songs. Del Rey has also cited "Time of the Season" by The Zombies and "Hotel California" by The Eagles as favorites and inspirations.[140] Her favorite films, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and American Beauty have also inspired her musical style.[141] Inspired by poetry, Del Rey cites Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg as instrumental to her songwriting. Specifically, she enjoys the chapbook "Leaves of Grass" by Whitman and a poem called "Howl" by Ginsberg. Her song, "Body Electric" from her third EP, Paradise, alludes to Whitman in the lyric, "Whitman is my daddy." The song's chorus of "I sing the body electric" is a direct reference to his poem "I Sing The Body Electric."[140][142] She recited Whitman's poem "Song of Myself" for the French fashion magazine, L'Officiel Paris.[101] Before becoming a singer, Del Rey wanted to be a poet.[143] As a child, her father wrote country songs for personal enjoyment, while her mother was interested in singing;[121] the former introduced her to The Beach Boys, while the latter was a fan of Carly Simon.[121]

Music videos

After having recorded the cover of "Blue Velvet" for H&M, neo-noir filmmaker, David Lynch, who was the inspiration behind the song's video, positively commented on the singer, saying, "Lana Del Rey, she's got some fantastic charisma and – this is a very interesting thing – it's like she's born out of another time. She's got something that's very appealing to people. And I didn't know she was influenced by me!"[116][144] For songs such as "Video Games", "Blue Jeans", "Kill Kill", and "Carmen", Del Rey produced the music videos using her webcam and clips from old home movies on YouTube.[121][145][146] Of the video production, she has said:

I'm very swayed by how things look on the outside. Though I have been burned by what's on the inside of them so many times -- don't get me wrong, but I still have love for something that hits my eye right. A flag waving or a Pontiac Grandam [sic] -- I didn't even have to know what those things stood for to know they were beautiful.[21]

Although directed by Yoann Lemoine, the concept for the "Born to Die" video was also written by Del Rey in form of a treatment she titled, "The Lonely Queen".[121] The video was intended to be set in Heaven, metaphorically represented by a Romanian castle.[121] While the narrator was flanked by tigers, she would recall memories of being with her beloved.[121] Lemoine took Del Rey's concept and reworked it into something doable, she said, and she was satisfied with the outcome.[121]

Voice and timbre

Del Rey possesses an expansive contralto vocal range, which has been described as unique, captivating, and highly emotive, being able to transcend from sounding high and girlish in her timbre, down to a low and jazzy sound with great ease, although both these areas of the voice can be conflicting in the contrast of their sound, polarizing opinion.[147][148][149][150] When recording in the studio Del Rey is known for vocal multi-layering, double tracking and overlays which, as it has been noted, is difficult for her to replicate within a live setting, especially with the lack of backing singers to fill out the original vocal style.[147] Contemporary music critics have called her voice "smoky",[151] "gravely",[22] and reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe.[22]

Del Rey stated the use of her lower vocals on the tracks from Born to Die, claiming that "people weren't taking me very seriously, so I lowered my voice, believing that it would help me stand out. Now I sing quite low... well, for a female anyway."[152][153][154]

"I sing low now, but my voice used to be a lot higher. Because of the way I look, I needed something to ground the entire project. Otherwise I think people would assume I was some airhead singer. Well, I don’t think… I know. I’ve sung one way, and sung another, and I’ve seen what people are drawn to.”, she said on the topic.[7]

Performances

Del Rey performing at the Paradiso, Amsterdam in 2011.

In 2006, Del Rey had eighteen live performances, all of which were in New York City. She performed at open mics at Makor four times (April 17,[155][156][157] May 1,[157][158][159][160][161][162] May 15,[157][163][164] and June 16[157][165][166]). On June 22, she was part of the 58th Songwriters Hall of Fame New Writers Showcase at The Cutting Room.[167][168][169][170] She performed at Sin-é on July 22.[171] Del Rey participated in the CATHARSIS open mic at the Cattyshack on September 11.[172] She performed at the Laila Lounge the next day.[173][174][175] She participated in the first round of the Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition at The Lucky Cat on September 15 and was picked as a semi-finalist.[176][177] Two days later, she performed at Rodrigue's, a coffee house on the campus of Fordham University.[174][175][178] Del Rey participated in the semi-finals of the Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition at Galapagos Art Space on September 21.[173][179][180][181][182] The next day, she participated in the finals of the same competition at North Six but did not win.[180][183][184] She performed at 169 bar on September 27.[174][175] On October 14, Del Rey performed at The Loveseat Collective.[185] She performed at Pianos three days later.[186] On November 15, she performed at Laila Lounge.[173][187] The next day, she performed at Galapagos Art Space.[173][188][189][190] She performed at Sidewalk Cafe on November 29.[188][189][191][192]

On September 1, 2010, Del Rey was featured by Mando Diao in their MTV Unplugged concert at Union Film-Studios in Berlin.[32]

On September 14, 2011 Del Rey performed a "secret show" in Brooklyn, New York City at the Glasslands Gallery.[193] She held a concert at The Hotel Cafe on September 26. Three days later, she performed at The Volksbühne in Berlin, Germany. One month later, she performed "Video Games" on Later... with Jools Holland[38] and was featured in Woodkid's performance at the Highline Ballroom.[194] In November 2011, Del Rey held nine concerts in Europe. The countries included England, Scotland, France, the Netherlands and Germany.[195] She performed on Le Grand Journal on November 9[196] and on Dutch TV program De Wereld Draait Door three days later.[41] Her performance on German late-night talk show Inas Nacht was broadcast the same day.[197][198] In the following month, she performed at one concert in Canada and two in the United States.[195] On December 5, Del Rey held a concert at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City.[40] She also played an intimate show at the Chateau Marmont as part of the Mulberry Mix Tape Tour on December 9.[39]

Del Rey performing in Cologne, Germany in 2011

Del Rey was featured as a musical guest on The Jonathan Ross Show on January 7, 2012.[199] One week later, she performed two songs on Saturday Night Live and received a negative response from critics and the general public.[43] After her widely criticized performance, the artist says she's still adjusting to the spotlight. "I'm not a natural performer. But my fans know that." [200] "[On possibly performing at Coachella] I just stand there and sing. I'm not that exciting. People aren't dying to have me on stage." [201] On January 30, Del Rey performed on Le Grand Journal for the second time.[202] In the beginning of February, Del Rey performed on the Late Show with David Letterman,[203] at Amoeba Music in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Four days later, she was featured as a musical guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. On March 22, she was featured as a musical guest on American Idol.[204] Del Rey performed at easy Street Records in Seattle. She performed at the Jazz Café in London on April 10, 2012 and was featured as a musical guest on Spanish TV show Buenas noches y Buenafuente twelve days later.[205] One week later, Del Rey performed on The Voice UK.[206] In the beginning of June, Del Rey held three concerts at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles and the Irving Plaza in New York City. She spent one month, during June and July, performing at music festivals in Europe, the countries including Spain, England, Norway, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Portugal and Germany. In the end of July, Del Rey held six concerts in Australia. The cities included Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Byron Bay. She performed in Warsaw, Poland and at the iTunes Festival in London, England in September.[207] On September 28, she had her third appearance on Le Grand Journal.[208] On November 30, Del Rey was a musical guest on Later... with Jools Holland and performed her latest single "Ride".[209] She performed covers of Oasis' "Wonderwall" and The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" with rock and roll cover group Camp Freddy at The Roxy on December 21.[210][211]

During her Paradise Tour (3 April - 16 June 2013), Del Rey is set to perform in France (Amnéville and Paris), Denmark (Copenhagen), Germany (Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich), Sweden (Stockholm), Norway (Oslo), Austria (Vienna), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Czech Republic (Prague), Switzerland (Geneva), Italy (Turin, Rome and Milan), Monaco, Spain (Madrid), England (Birmingham, London and Manchester), Scotland (Glasgow), Ireland (Dublin), the Netherlands (Amsterdam), Belgium (Brussels), Poland (Warsaw),Greece (Athens), Lithuania (Vilnius), Russia (Saint Petersburg and Moscow), Ukraine (Kiev), Belarus (Minsk), Latvia (Riga) and Finland (Helsinki).[212] Del Rey is supported by the Scottish alternative folk rock band Kassidy on her Paradise tour.[213] She is also set to perform at Lollapalooza on August 2.[214]

Personal life

Del Rey stated that she has suffered from alcohol dependence. At the age of fourteen, she was sent to Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticut, to get sober. In September 2012, she told GQ Magazine:

I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on Born To Die is about these wilderness years. When I write about the thing that I've lost I feel like I'm writing about alcohol because that was the first love of my life. My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, 'I'm fucked. I am totally fucked'. Like, at first it's fine and you think you have a dark side – it's exciting – and then you realise the dark side wins every time if you decide to indulge in it. It's also a completely different way of living when you know that...a different species of person. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me.[215][216][217][218]

Del Rey's left hand is tattooed with the letter "M", referencing her grandmother, Madeleine,[73] and the word "paradise".[219] Her right hand is tattooed with the phrase "trust no one".[220] She also has the phrase "die young" tattooed on her right ring finger.[221] On numerous occasions, it has been suggested that Del Rey has had rhinoplasty and lip augmentation, which she denies.[73][222][223] She is reported to have been in a relationship with Kassidy frontman Barrie-James O'Neill since August 2011.[224][225] Del Rey has two apartments, one in New York City and one in Los Angeles, where she lives with her sister and brother.[226] Del Rey is Roman Catholic.[227] She is a supporter of the Premier League team Liverpool and Celtic.[228]

Discography

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Category Work Result Source
2011 Q Awards Q's Next Big Thing N/A Won
Virgin Media Music Awards Best New Artist N/A Nominated
2012 BRIT Awards International Breakthrough Act N/A Won
E! Awards Celeb of the Year N/A Nominated
ECHO Awards International Newcomer N/A Nominated
Hit of The Year "Video Games" Nominated
Glamour Women of the Year Awards Pandora Breakthrough Artist N/A Nominated
GQ Men of the Year Awards Woman of the Year N/A Won
IFPI Platinum Europe Awards Album Title Born to Die Won
Independent Music Awards Favorite International Video of the Year "Video Games" Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards Best Contemporary Song "Video Games" Won
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Alternative N/A Won
Best New Act N/A Nominated
Best Push Act N/A Nominated
mtvU Woodie Awards Breaking Woodie N/A Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Best Art Direction "Born to Die" Nominated
Best Cinematography "Born to Die" Nominated
NME Awards Best New Band N/A Nominated
Best Track "Video Games" Nominated
Best Video "Video Games" Nominated
O Music Awards Most F*cked-up Live Performance Gone Viral "Video Games" on Saturday Night Live Nominated
PopCrush Music Awards Best New Artist N/A Nominated
Video Of The Year "National Anthem" Nominated
UK Music Video Awards Best Cinematography In A Video "Blue Jeans" Nominated
Best Pop Video - International "Born to Die" ("Blue Jeans" and "National Anthem" also nominated) Won
Best Styling In A Video "National Anthem" Nominated
2013 BRIT Awards International Female Solo Artist N/A Won
ECHO Awards Best International Newcomer N/A Won
Best International Female Pop/Rock Artist N/A Won
Music Week Awards Artist Marketing Campaign N/A Nominated
NME Awards Hottest Woman in Music 2012 N/A Nominated
Swiss Music Awards Best Album Pop/Rock - International Born to Die Nominated
Best Breaking Act - International N/A Nominated

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