Lana Del Rey trends after dropping a new single, “A&W” on Valentine’s Day, followed by an accompanying interview and photoshoot with Interview Magazine, where she conversed with singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. The magazine often sets interviews with musicians and actors conducted by someone with a similar career path.
Both Eilish and Del Rey began their careers as teenagers, though Del Rey initially performed under several names in New York City before adopting her official stage name and releasing her first professional album, Born to Die in 2012. Lana Del Rey tends to maintain some separation between her artistic persona and her personal life, and in her conversation with Billie Eilish, finally sheds light on some of the controversy surrounding her music early in her career.
Lana Del Rey gushes over Billie Eilish in new Instagram post:
“Can I talk about how much I love Billie Eilish? Literal love of my life.” pic.twitter.com/dfGwCGLeLP
— Buzzing Pop (@BuzzingPop) February 15, 2023
Lana Del Rey has proven herself to be very talented at connecting visual aesthetics to her music. Del Rey’s stage name comes from old Hollywood actress Lana Turner and the Ford Del Rey car model. Much of her music is lyrically focused on fictitious characters and the grittier side of old Hollywood and Americana tropes. While some of the experiences mentioned are loosely based in her battle with alcoholism at a young age, much of it is meant to call out the romanticization of relationship dynamics that would never be present in modern media.
Specifically, an incident in which Del Rey was at an outdoor cafe in San Fransisco mentioned in the interview has led to some confusion about the singer-songwriter. She spoke to Billie Eilish regarding the incident, saying that a woman once threw a book about feminism at her face.
Del Rey has a loyal fan base and has collaborated with the likes of Taylor Swift and singer-songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff (who’s fiancé, actress Margaret Qualley, will receive a heartfelt tribute on her upcoming album), but it took several years for listeners to really understand her songwriting style. She now maintains a massive Gen Z following on TikTok, who even popularized her unreleased music, and some who emulate her vintage aesthetic. Even with the admiration, many young fans recognize that the subject matter Del Rey covers should not necessarily always be taken as an example for young girls, but more so as a fictional story or cautionary tale.
Other singer-songwriters have covered the some of the more grim realities about American life–notably, 21-time Grammy winner Bruce Springsteen, who once referred to the singer as “simply one of the best songwriters in the country, as we speak. She just creates a world of her own and invites you in.”
The current departure from 2010s feminism has allowed for the music industry to take a more inclusive turn to include women who express femininity and sexuality in different ways, and often offer transparency regarding mental health. Hyper-femme artists like Chrissy Chlapecka have amassed massive followings on platforms like TikTok, and Ethel Cain’s 2022 Preacher’s Daughter, which tells a cautionary tale about religious trauma and abuse in the Deep South, have each found unique audiences and presented unique feminist arguments in their own right.
Del Rey’s interpretation of feminism has frequently come under scrutiny for its delivery, but this interview offers newfound further transparency regarding her thought process in making music that critics and fans can both take into consideration ahead of the release of her upcoming album.
Lana Del Rey is the only female alternative artist to have 5 albums with at least 1 million streams daily on Spotify. pic.twitter.com/YEkhscmq2t
— Pop Hive (@thepophive) February 15, 2023
The album will offer more of her personal perspective than usual, and is set to feature Grammy winner John Batiste, Father John Misty, Bleachers, Tommy Genesis, and Riopy. Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. is slated for a March 24 release.