Lana Del Rey opens up, telling ‘The Guardian’ “I wish I was dead already” as she speaks of her musical idols who have already departed, Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain. With those words, the brilliant singer-songwriter reveals how painful her rise to fame has been.
The occasion for the interview is, as is quite typical, in promotion of a new album. In her case, Lana Del Rey’s much anticipated ‘Ultraviolence’ album is out. The title world is from the landmark novel by Anthony Burgess ‘A Clockwork Orange’ which Stanley Kubrick brought to the big screen.
After uttering those unforgettable words the The Guardian interviewer pressed her to take it back. But she did not back down in her insistence that she wanted to be dead. She said, “I do! I don’t want to have to keep doing this. But I am.”
Asked what she meant by “doing this,” she said, “Everything. That’s just how I feel. If it wasn’t that way, then I wouldn’t say it. I would be scared if I knew [death] was coming, but …”
The interview has gone viral and sparked much commentary online. While we are by now used headline making quotes, this is entirely different. It’s painfully, painfully sad. But Lana Del Rey speaks of what fame has meant to her and how it has affected her, saying, “Family members will come on the road with me and say: ‘Wow, your life is just like a movie!’…And I’m like: ‘Yeah, a really f–ked-up movie.'”
She rose to fame with the startling song and music video narrative ‘Video Games’ and when asked about how quickly she experienced first accolades and then backlash, she said, ‘I never felt any of the enjoyment. It was all bad, all of it.”
With such songs and music videos as ‘Summertime Sadness’ which documents the end of a lesbian love relationship to ‘Ride’ with its startling imagery and her innovative short film ‘Tropico,’ just to name a few, Lana Del Rey has stood apart as a true artist in the pop music world. Difficult to categorize or define while at the same time it is impossible to ignore or to deny her immense talent. She may be a relative newcomer but already an icon.
And, yes, she has traversed into the celebrity world, most recently performing at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding in Italy. While her music maintains its indie integrity she herself has been subjected to immense backlash, and who should be surprised that it has affected her so strongly.
The full interview is here and goes into more depth on the rise to fame and the public scrutiny. As her new album arrived, no doubt to critical acclaim, some of the song titles themselves — ‘Cruel World’ and ‘Sad Girl’ among them — seem to telescope an unsettling story of the artist Lana Del Rey herself.