By Yetunde Keme |Staff Writer|
Up-and-coming pop singer Lana Del Rey is making her debut in the music spotlight with a new album, but not everyone is impressed.
Although Del Rey is known for her unique creativity in her music, the 25-year-old New York native, whose real name is Elizabeth Grant, was recently criticized for her not-so-enlightening performance on Saturday Night Live.
Actress Juliette Lewis made a statement on Twitter that her SNL performance, “. . . was like watching a 12-year-old in their bedroom when they’re pretending to sing and perform.”
Another critic, Nick Denton of Gawker Media, also described the singer’s performance as, “one of the worst outings in SNL history.”
In Del Rey’s defense, this was her first major televised performance. Though what she lacks in performance ability, she makes up for in originality.
Del Rey had an interview with FaceCulture, a Dutch entertainment news column, back in 2011. One of the topics discussed in the interview was her creative influences.
“I personally find a lot of inspiration being at home in New York and Brooklyn; it’s where my friends are and I just feel inspired by the city,” Del Rey said.
Del Rey also said that the recurring themes of her album and songwriting includes honoring love when it’s lost, staying strong in the midst of true love being lost, and staying hopeful and soft even when things become difficult.
Although Del Rey is busy touring, she has some optimistic feelings about the preparation and release of her upcoming new album, Born to Die, which will be released Jan. 31.
“I’m ready because I’ve written the album and I knew exactly what I wanted for this album,” Del Rey said, “I need time to work on the production for last quarter of the album and then to go through the mixes of everything which is sort of tedious.”
Del Rey favors vintage imagery in most of her music videos, including the video for her popular hit single, “Blue Jeans.”
“I think a lot of the reasons why I chose the clips from the era of the 50s and 60s is mainly because I actually disliked the quality of the film that the directors used during that time,” Del Rey said.
Her views of vintage imagery seem to contradict her unique, creative style.
Although her voice may need some serious work for better performance in the future, the song “Blue Jeans” has a lively and edgy lyrical tone. In the song, she sings, “Big dreams, gangster/Said you had to leave to start your life over/I was like, ‘no please, stay here,’/We don’t need no money we can make it all work.”
The SNL performance will be a lesson to Del Rey, as she continues to practice her performance techniques for future shows. She has the potential to shine in the spotlight, but more work on her performance ability will get her further in the music industry.