Lana Del Rey
Ever since she became the famous muse and superstar she is today, Lana Del Rey has been inspiring the industry and her listeners with her soulful voice, soft sound and authentic style, as well as undoubtedly touching lyrics. While at the beginning of her career, people told her that there was no market for her kind of music, she made it, becoming a strong female voice and muse of the 21st century with her fierce believe in staying true to her kind of "different" and authentic style. What’s behind her achievements, as well as her ability to maintain her truthful personality, is what we at Society wanted to find out a bit more about…
The American artist, who was personally chosen to sing at Kanye West’s and Kim Kardashian’s wedding, isn’t the type to make any compromises when it comes to her music.
At the age of 11, Lana saw the video of Curt Cobain’s "Heartshaped Box" on MTV and decided she wanted to become a singer. However, first she seemed to live a normal life, not really believing that the American Dream would at one point become a true story for her. At the age of 18, she moved to New York City, she started singing at open mic nights and playing at shows in Williamsburg. While her inspiration was shaped by huge male legends such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and Elvis, she has created her own very feminine musical style out of these inspirational figures.
She wrote her debut song "Video Games" on her sofa, watching her boyfriend at the time being playing video games. Never would she have thought that those personal lyrics would actually reach the world and reflect the basis for her astonishing career. Besides Video Games, the following singles "Blue Jeans" and "Born to Die," represented a trilogy of artworks, which referred to her own personal relationship that had ended, as well as to her way of honouring the memories of the past.
In "Lust for Life," she was singing the lyrics, "I have nothing much to live for." As all her lyrics take inspiration from her own personality and life experiences, she here wrote about a particularly hard time in her life. In an interview with Pitchfork, she stated:
"I spent my whole life reasoning with crazy people. I felt like everyone deserved a chance, but they don’t. Sometimes you just have to step away without saying anything."
Regarding her piece "Ultraviolence," possibly one of the most famous modern songs of this century, Lana brings attention to the difficulty and tragedy of domestic violence. She said, "Having someone be aggressive in a relationship was the only relationship I knew. I’m not going to say that that [lyric] was 100 percent true, but I do feel comfortable saying what I was used to was a difficult, tumultuous relationship, and it wasn’t because of me. It didn’t come from my end."
However, the only way Lana Del Rey gives a glimpse of her personal life to the public is through her lyrics. And while her honest songs have received both high acknowledgement, as well as negative criticism and disregard from the media, she always has stayed true to her own uniqueness:
"I’m always being myself. They don’t know what authentic is. If you think of all the music that came out until 2013, it was super straight and shiny. If that’s authentic to you, this is going to look like the opposite."
She continues, "Just because I do my hair big does not mean I’m a product. If anything, I’m doing my own hair, stuffing my own fu**ing stuffing in there if I have a beehive. Music was in a super weird place when I became known, and I didn’t really like any of it."
Besides the beauty of bringing back intimate feelings and truth into the world of music, combined with acoustic guitar tunes and delicate beats, Lana Del Rey had one global consumer trend on her side which certainly made it easier for her to conquer the market: "The Allurement of Authenticity." Voted as one of the top trends of 2017, its roots were already set years back when photoshop, make up and the digital reality all became too "fake" for the consumer market.
Women, in particular, would either disregard the award winning superstar due to a lack of being able to connect to her lyrics, or because of the vulnerability she was singing about; or they would fall in love her true-to-herself kind of style because they were able to connect to her real life stories and feel with her: "I can tell you that what I have done for women is tell my own story, and that’s all anyone can do."
Whether people do or do not connect with the truth that lies behind her songs, imagery and videos, the fact that she has never been bothered by how people would judge her, is what has made the mega muse what she is today. Singing about life, love, passion and the darkness of reality resulted in her winning 23 awards to date, including two MTV Europe Music Awards for the category "Best Alternative," as well as Echo Awards, Brit Awards and another Billboard Awards.
She has shown to the world that it can never be wrong to be you and express yourself, which is one of the main reasons we celebrate Lana Del Rey as one of the most aspirational figures of the 21st century.