Lana Del Rey Talks Leaks, the Imitators & the Haters
"I had to go around the world for two years just to have an audience in Chicago," she told Radio.com. "I mean, I could just have been unpopular forever, that probably would have been a lot less tiring."
A year and a half later, after all the panning and parodies of Born to Die have come and gone, there's a touch of fame PTSD in how Lana Del Rey speaks about herself. She references her "not great welcoming into the American public eye," but the truth of the matter is, we're in the midst of the second coming of Lana Del Rey. When tastemakers grow tired, artists of a poppy temperament can try the most mainstream, "of the people" medium: radio.
Those who wrote off Lana Del Rey may be surprised to learn that she has a No. 1 song on a Billboard chart (Dance/Mix Show Airplay) this week. And a Top 5 (Hot Rock Songs, where she has multiple songs charting). And a Top 15 (Digital Songs). And, most noteworthy of all, a Top 20 on the Hot 100, where French house DJ/producer Cedric Gervais' remix of "Summertime Sadness" currently sits at No. 16. Originally released on Born to Die, "Summertime Sadness" has been given new life through its remixes, with Gervais' version racking up adds at Top 40 stations nationwide throughout the last month.
Meanwhile, "Young and Beautiful," Lana's contribution to The Great Gatsby soundtrack, is receiving airplay on alternative, not pop, stations. Radio isn't quite sure what sure what to do with Lana Del Rey, but stations are playing her nonetheless. And not surprisingly, she couldn't be more thrilled. She discussed all this and more in a meandering chat, including her plans for a new album, which she says have been thrown off by the recent barrage of leaks of her songs.
"To be honest, what really happened was, three years ago somebody remotely accessed my hard drive, so even songs I've never emailed to myself [were accessed]," she explained. "There are hundreds of them."
Radio.com: Seeing your set tonight, it's clear that your stage performance is more elaborate now than it was when you first started touring behind Born To Die, particularly because of the video vignettes. What were trying to achieve with this incarnation of your live show?
Lana Del Rey: Well, I'm sort of influenced each day by whatever I come upon. Like I don't listen to that much new music, but I actually really love Father John Misty, who kind of reminded me of my roots. I went back to listening to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, whose life path really influenced my life path 10 years ago when I was 18. For the visuals, sometimes before the songs even come to me, I definitely have a picture first of something I want to paint with words. I remember when I was 16 and I read Howl by Allen Ginsberg; that was the first time I kind of realized you could paint pictures with words and I wanted to do that.
I actually kind of met my directorial soulmate with Anthony Mandler. I always give him these mood boards and storyboards that he goes through and makes all of the visions I have come to life. He never says no and he asks me why do I want it to be about the kindness of strangers, like in the case of "Ride" [the video/short film] — why am I with different men and things like that? I tell him it's not about being submissive to men or anything like that. It's about not really knowing anyone close to you who can help you, and being really lucky enough to finding people who you just meet randomly, who can take care of you until you can take care of yourself.
This is to say, the visuals kind of come from ideas that I think are important. But when it comes to the live show itself, that's the one thing I really don't think too much about. I'm kind of traditional in that way, where I don't have much of a magic show. I'm just kind of there to sing and I don't have too too much to say. Read the rest of the interview here.
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