- 09:11 AM, Jan 20
Lana Del Ray was born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant on June 21, 1986 in New York City but grew up in Lake Placid, New York. She would hit bars in Lake Placid to showcase her talent in singing but always felt that she had to go bigger. So she moved back to NYC and got signed by an indie label at the age of 19. Unfortunately, the recording house went out of business.
"The way I experienced New York, for a long time after I moved, was alone and at night, walking the streets. I mean, there are thousands of streets in New York and I know them all. I'd go down to the tip of Manhattan, or even down to Coney Island, then travel all the way back up. Because I come from a place that, geographically, isn't that stimulating. But New York's architecture alone is enough to inspire a whole album. In fact, that's what happened at first - my early stuff was mostly just interpretations of landscapes," she said in an interview on how the big city inspired her.
Del Rey was so determined that she went to record labels in London to show them a piece of her music but none of them was interested in her style. She released an EP called "Kill Kill" in 2008 under the name Lizzy Grant and then a full-length studio album in January 2010 as Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant. It was with her father Robert Grant's help that the album reached the market.
Del Rey wrote "Video Games" with a composer called Justin Parker and uploaded her performance of the song on YouTube in July 2011. "To be honest, it wasn't going to be the single but people have really responded to it. I get very sad when I play that song. I still cry sometimes when I sing it," she said.
The response was indeed amazing and she signed a deal with Interscope in October 2011 to release the song for wider market. "Video Games" won a Q Award that month and was featured on a TV series called "Ringer". She began the promotional period with appearances and performances on several TV shows. She also started mulling over the idea of making another full-length album, which would be her first wide release.
"Born to Die" was released in January 2012 although a few days before that, she