After only a couple singles, Lana Del Rey is already one of the most exciting new stars.
This feature appears in Complex's December 2011 / January 2012 issue.
There’s nothing like a good ol’ YouTube sensation to get members of the ultra-critical indiesphere to take sides, but Lana Del Rey ain’t no Rebecca Black. The 25-year-old “Video Games” singer moved to NYC from upstate New York at 18 in pursuit of a career in music and a more eventful life. Check, on both accounts. Now, with a record deal from Interscope under her belt and a full-length album on the way, know this: The self-proclaimed “gangster Nancy Sinatra” is the real deal. She’s just a little moody.
There’s a lot of speculation about your lips….
I can tell that’s going to be a fucking problem. I didn’t sign up to be famous, I just wanted to sing. It’s so annoying, but what am I going to do?
I haven't had any plastic surgery done at all. I'm quite pouty. That's just how I look when I sing.
So…are your lips real?
I haven’t had anything done at all. Anyone who’s known me will tell you that. I’m sorry, but I was living in a trailer park for a few years. I didn’t even have enough money to buy Cocoa Puffs. It’s not like I crawled out from under the bridge and got surgery. I’m quite pouty. [Laughs.] I’m a pouty person. That’s just how I look when I sing.
It seems like you play up your retro sex appeal intentionally.
Most of the songs are about heartbreak, but maybe the videos and the pictures have added to that perception. They are quite vamped up, aren’t they? [Laughs.] I have fun with it all, but music and taking pictures are not my be-all-end-all. They’re fun, but they’re not important to me. The most important thing, obviously, is the record. I just hope I can create that sonic world that I have in mind.
People have high expectations for your album. Are you feeling the pressure?
I don’t feel pressure, but I do feel nervous. I’m not used to having a lot of people hear my music. When you don’t have a lot of people listening to your music, you start making it for yourself and it takes the pressure off. I like the record. Of course I hope people like it, because I don’t want to deal with any drama.
Who was it that broke your heart?
The songs are about two people that I couldn’t hang on to because they got in trouble and had to leave. When you’re an introvert like me and you’ve been lonely for awhile, and then you find someone who understands you, you become attached to them. It’s a real release.
If you ever need a release, you know where to find us.
Click here to read Complex's full, uncut Q&A with Lana Del Rey!
(STYLING) Johnny BlueEyes/ OB Represents. (HAIR) Marc Ramos. (MAKEUP) Pamela Cochrane/ OB Represents. (CLOTHING) Stylist's Own.