Lana Del Rey Talks Writing Process, Fans, Critics, and Recent Song Leaks [Interview]

Catherine Eklund

by Catherine Eklund

Published August 17, 2013


Lana Del Rey sat down with for an interview where she discusses "the Leaks, the Imitators & the Haters."

"Haters gonna hate." And they have hated on Lana Del Rey ever since she popped up on the radar early last year with a less than stellar performance on Saturday Night Live. Lana Del Rey (aka Lizzy Grant) might have an unusual voice, but she is talented. Her beautiful vocals are seductive and mysterious, and she has a creative mind to go with them. So, what is there to hate?

The summer of 2013 worked in Lana Del Rey's favor. In the much anticipated Baz Lurhmann film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, she wrote the title track "Young and Beautiful," catching the attention of several alternative radio stations. Top 40 radio stations picked up Cedric Gervais's remix of her song "Summertime Sadness," which hit # 16 on Billboard's Hot 100.

With the good, comes the bad. Several demos tracks that Del Rey wanted on her new album were leaked over the past two months. In the interview Lana says that the invasion of privacy has discouraged her from including those tracks, like "Black Beauty", on her new album.

When Born To Die was released last January, America didn't know what to do with it. The album faced harsh criticism from the likes of Perez Hilton and other bloggers. Well received in Europe, Lana Del Rey toured Born To Die there where she got a warm welcome. Now in a turn of events, Americans are a little more accepting of the songstress. Her music is being played on the radio and she has a large following of fans trying to emulate her image. Del Rey says, "it’s pretty surreal considering I didn’t have a great welcoming into the American public eye. I kind of feel lucky enough to have written those songs for myself and to tell my own story to myself. I think it’s important to be a witness to your own life through writing. And for me, I thought that would be where it’s really going to end because I’m not going to be accepted — that is my fate."

During the interview, Lana Del Rey spoke about her writing process. She revealed that she is a perfectionist, "Each time I write...I’ll never write a song if I don’t think it’s going to be perfect for the record." All of her writing comes from life experience, whether it be from her own or a passerby she encountered. Spending nine years exploring Brooklyn played a huge role in her music making.

Do you feel like where your life is at right now is more conducive to writing music more organically than before Born To Die came out and you were so shrouded in hype?

Lana: Yeah, I didn’t like that. I don’t think it’s been conducive to writing, being on the road and all that. I don’t really feel inspired to write at all, but beforehand, when I was in Brooklyn for nine years… I was kind of a night owl and just walked around and met weird people. That was me picking up life experiences and meshing them into my own. That really did it for me. Actually, Lollapalooza is my last live commitment. It’s too bad ‘cause it’s been such a long time since the last record. I really feel like I need six months to live again, time to be like, normal or abnormal. I don’t have anyone writing anything for me. It’s such an internal well and if it’s not full, it’s just not full.

Asked about her stage presence, Lana Del Rey admitted that she is not a natural performer and her home is really in the studio, reflecting on her live performances. The interviewer asked why her recent set at Lollapalooza, which included visuals from her music videos, was more elaborate than past performances. Lana Del Rey responded "Well, I'm sort of influenced by whatever I come upon...I went back to listening to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, whose life path influenced my life path 10 years ago when I was 18. For the visuals, sometimes before the songs come to me, I definitely have a picture first of something I want to paint with words."

The idea of painting a picture first is evident in all of Lana's music videos as well as her upcoming short film Tropico. Not only does she want the listener to hear about her experiences through her lyrics, she wants them to feel it, however dramatic it may be.

Read the full interview at

Lana Del Rey
Indie Pop Pop
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