Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite little punching bag at the moment Miss Lana Del Rey. I can honestly say I had no idea who this artist was until she bombed her hit song, “Video Games” on SNL just two weeks ago, but I can also honestly say that when I heard this girls voice I knew and you’ll know that we have found someone very special here. The way I feel about Lana is the same way I felt the first time I heard Amy Winehouse. The girls voice is meant to heard. It’s unique, it’s dare I say transcendent, and can I just say the girls got mad writing skills!
Lana aka Lizzy Grant, (real name Elizabeth Grant), was born in Lake Placid, New York and is the daughter of investor Rob Grant. Growing up this teenager was shipped off by her parents to Connecticut to boarding school for getting involved with drugs and alcohol, (such is the story with any great artist or writer it seems). This evidently influenced her music through her writing as she grew as an artist.
You may be wondering where her name came from and why she changed it. During an interview with Vogue Lana 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.”
In 2010 Del Rey released a full-length album titled Lana Del Rey AKA Lizzy Grant. It was available to buy on iTunes for a limited time. However Lana bought the rights back to the album from the label in what some think was a calculated decision to make it difficult to distribute and keep it in circulation.
In the Summer of 2011 Lana was signed to Stranger Records and released her single “Video Games” to which singing it was her eminent fall on her first appearance on U.S. television on Saturday Night Live. But let’s not get so down on her just yet we still have a lot to learn about little Miss Lana. In October of last year she was signed to Interscope and has since promoted the new album, Born To Die at a number of live shows like MTV Push and at the places like the Bowery Ballroom. Yet taking a step back she originally released Video Games on Youtube and became an overnight sensation before signing with Interscope. She has been quoted saying that the only reason she released it was because it was her favorite song on the album and had no intention of it being the first single. Her fans loved it making her a star without an album even out.
Rolling Stone described Del Rey’s style and stage presence as being, “The polarizing indie hipstress…” who, “Brought her ‘gangsta Nancy Sinatra’ swagu” to the stage. RS also noted that despite being obviously nervous on stage, something she still needs to get confident at, she, “sang with considerable confidence…her transitions could be rather jarring.”
In an interview with MTV on January the 13th, two days before her SNL appearance Lana was asked how she felt about making the appearance on the live show. She said that, “It’s an honor because I don’t think that they’ve even had an artist on that hasn’t had a record out…” when asked why her, she defended her spot on the live show by saying, “because I’m a good musician and I’ve been singing for a very long time, and I think that Lorne Michaels knows that…it’s not a fluke decision…” She was surprised about being booked for the gig when it was announced to her, “I didn’t even have time to have a reaction you just think Don’t f@ck up! That’s all you ever think with live television and you hope that it goes well.” She went on to say that she sometimes feels she has grown as a performer, but is usually preoccupied with her family and what not to really pay attention to that and that it depends on the day and that first and foremost she is a writer then a singer.
Her influences are pop icons like Britney Spears, Nirvana, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Eminem.
When describing her song “Video Games” she says its a perfect representation of her and that its a 5minute love ballad without any drums. The premise is her past relationship with a person in its early days and the small things that stick out that meant a lot to her. But don’t let me tell you, see for yourself and let us here at Fusion know what you think about her videos Born to Die and Video Games.