When Lana Del Rey released her major label debut single “Video Games” in 2011, the world of pop music shifted on its axis. The dreamy baroque ballad was unlike anything else on the charts, and its homemade music video, featuring webcam footage of a melancholy-looking Del Rey and grainy vintage clips, seemed out of place on MTV.
In the UK, the song peaked at number nine on the singles chart, a sure sign of Del Rey’s growing popularity. There was something unique about the singer’s mysterious and cinematic sound that left people wanting more, and her follow-up album Born to Die, turned out to be extremely successful. The record has a distinct aesthetic that combines vintage iconography with a modern twist. Sonically, hip-hop beats are as prevalent as classical strings, and Del Rey’s lyrics paint a vivid picture of a toxic relationship with startling honesty.
Del Rey continues to enjoy top acclaim with new albums like the rock-inspired album. Ultraviolencesunlit Norman fucking Rockwell and her latest work, Eclectic Did you know there is a tunnel under Ocean Boulevard? The singer is without a doubt one of the most important figures of the 21st century, not only musically but also culturally, with her presence constantly shaping a generation of teenagers and young adults through her dominance in online spaces such as YouTube, Tumblr and now TikTok.
While Del Rey’s influence has been acknowledged by artists from Lorde to Father John Misty, few have spoken as loudly about the singer’s influence as Billie Eilish. The young musician presented her tender track “Ocean Eyes,” officially released in 2016, when Eilish was only 14 years old. Her debut EP: Don’t smile at mewith its distinctive red and yellow cover, brought Eilish even greater fame, and like Del Rey, websites like Tumblr helped boost her popularity.
For Del Rey Interview On the magazine’s cover, Eilish spoke about the singer’s influence on her, explaining: “You really paved the way for everyone. People have been trying to look and sound like you since you first started. I’m talking to Finneas about this. You changed the way the music industry hears and sees music, and you changed the way people sing.”
In response, Del Rey exclaimed, “It’s amazing because you’re doing this,” to which Eilish responded, “It’s because of you, man.”
Eilish explained how Del Rey’s songwriting has significantly inspired her own approach to making music. She said: “That was one of the biggest inspirations for me – your storytelling abilities and your ability to write from a character’s point of view. It’s much easier for me to write a song if it’s not about my life and if it’s not true.”
Del Rey’s influence on Eilish is clear, allowing the 21-year-old singer to become one of the most successful alt-pop stars of all time. With Del Rey demonstrating that honing a unique and unconventional aesthetic can help you achieve success, Eilish has been able to do the same, with a distinctive style that has captured the attention of millions of fans around the world.
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