Lana Del Rey sat down with Hollywood Reporter and discussed her shift in perception, becoming an inspiration for new songwriters, and even that (infamous?) viral appearance at Waffle House.
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In a new interview, Lana Del Rey said she believes there is “no middle ground” for those who love or hate her. The singer, songwriter and best-selling poetry author faced widespread criticism and rejection early in her career. Her focus on dark Hollywood, America and bad relationships was dismissed as an inauthentic attempt at “cool girl” or, at worst, misinterpreted as a romanticization of the callousness she wrote about. However, thanks to cultural changes and Lana’s commitment to honesty no matter the topic, the music world has changed its perception of her. “I don’t think people talk about others the same way they did in 2011,” Lana muses, although she adds that with her latest albums she felt “suddenly everything was different.” Norman F******** Rockwell, Blue railingsand 2023s Did you know there is a tunnel under Ocean Boulevard? were critically acclaimed as her best work, earning her a Grammy nomination and the title of “Great American Songwriter”. “I like the name. I’ll take it,” she chuckled in the interview.
Now that the music world is catching up with the artist, Lana explained that she thinks perhaps all of this happened for a reason. “Maybe they shouldn’t have (understood me) the day I thought they would,” she suggested. “I also feel, maybe spiritually, that I have something to learn when people are so adamantly and openly against it. Perhaps there was a more global reason for this. I wish it didn’t last 10 years. That would be helpful. But we’re in a good place now.”
“There are a lot of weirdos out there now, so we’re fine. We’re in good company,” she continued, cheekily joking. “I started at a time when things were very unidirectional. Gradually there are more opportunities to tell stories and say things. You’re also seeing a lot more good female songwriters. Well, who am I to say that? I like a lot of singers now.”
Singers like it Billy Eilis And Olivia Rodrigo, in particular. Both singers were not only influenced by her brutally honest writing style, but also considered her an industry trailblazer who opened up space for their own successes. “Lana raised an entire generation of music lovers and songwriters like me,” Rodrigo said at this year’s festival. Billboard Women In Music Awards“and taught them that there is beauty in their vulnerability and strength in their melancholy.” When asked what inspired Eilish and Rodrigo, Lana was clearly delighted. “Because Billy and Olivia are such good people, it’s pretty damn cool,” she said. HollywoodReporters. “I love them and their music. It doesn’t mean you have to be good to be good (at music). But if you’re a good person and a great singer, that makes me happy for the culture… I’ve always felt like a big sister to almost everyone I’ve ever met.”
Oh, and about those viral photos of her working at Waffle House? Lana says it was all quite innocent – not a career change or a PR stunt, as some have suggested. While visiting their siblings in Alabama, they stayed at a Waffle House so long that the restaurant manager offered them shirts and, as a joke, a job. “I would like my album to go viral. The next morning I woke up to about 10,000 messages—some from people I hadn’t heard from in 10 years.
“I saw your picture at Waffle House!” Lana said, laughing. “I was like, ‘Have you heard the new album?’
If you also saw these photos and didn’t listen to her latest Ocean Boulevard album, don’t worry – you can listen to free Lana del Rey radio from Audacy here!