Lana Del Rey: The Voice That Launched 500,000 Hits

by Vanessa Cubillo and Laurent Altier

She sings as if she comes from a simpler time, where music is listened to on record players and jukeboxes. She would most likely be found singing in a cocktail lounge, pouring her heart out as the crowd listened, drink in one hand, cigarette in the other. Lana Del Rey is 60′s personified with her long lashes, pouty lips, and soulfully melodic voice. So now Del Rey is bringing her 60′s style to the music world of today.

Lizzy Grant aka Lana Del Rey, was just another singer in Brooklyn, New York trying to make it into the music scene. After scrapping a previous album she released, Lana worked trying to achieve the sound she was going for. Feeling proud with her song, “Video Games”, she decided to make her own music video for the song. Cutting and pasting clips from various sources, the finished product shows brief shots of Lana singing mixed in with old footage of cartoons, flowers, and Hollywood scenery. Within a couple of clicks, it was uploaded onto Youtube, and Lana Del Rey found her spotlight. Since uploaded in August, “Video Games” has received well over 500,000 views.

Sure, the viral Youtube clip of the week doesn’t always mean success, but Del Rey is proving to be more than a fading flavor. With only releasing her one song online, Lana sold out a London show in a half hour. She later sold out her other shows in New York, Los Angeles, and Berlin. Ticket sales aside, Lana was also invited to attend Prabal Gurung’s spring fashion show during New York Fashion Week where attendees heard “Video Games” playing on the runway. More and more, Lana is expanding her audience, letting her voice linger in people’s minds. It makes you wonder, what about her music makes her special?

The moment Lana’s voice comes on in “Video Games” it just breaks your heart. Singing about a love who would rather play his video games than spend time with her, her voice carries on with tragic beauty. There’s a vulnerability in her sound that makes her music feel honest. On her B-side, Lana does her best to channel her inner Chris Isaak with “Blue Jeans”, a country styled rock ballad. More uptempo than “Video Games”, here her voice is more sultry as she professes her love for a man who fits her better than her favorite sweater.
Drawing her influences from the likes of Nancy Sinatra, and Elvis Presley, Del Rey’s musical inspiration also carries on to her style. Her carefully crafted image looks like a cross between a glamorous 60′s actress, and a free spirited hippie love child.

In a music culture today saturated with manufactured pop and auto-tuned vocals, it’s very refreshing to hear an authentic singer. That’s why people are so welcoming to Del Rey’s presence. Even without her 60′s glamorized look, she still is a powerhouse voice singing songs about love. With plans to release a full album by next year, the Video Games EP will come out on October 11 via Stranger Records.

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