Lana del Rey’s music is catchy and has the very unique sound of baroque and dream pop, but does the singer write her own songs?
Lana Del Rey writes all of her own songs. However, she has collaborated with other writers and also performed cover songs like the one she did of Sublime’s famous song Doin’ Time. On top of writing all of her own lyrics, she has released one book of poetry titled Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass.
Scroll down to read more about Lana Del Rey’s music writing process, her other writing ventures, and who she has collaborated with in the past.
Lana Del Rey’s Writing Process
Del Rey’s music was refreshing when it came onto the pop scene back in 2010. It had a sound that was slower, reminiscent of a 1950s and 1960s America, and her lyrics often focused on sadness and tragic love stories.
With such a focus on tragedy, glamour, and melancholy, it makes you wonder what her writing process is and if her life was the subject of a tragic love story.
While Lana Del Rey doesn’t appear to play a role in a tragic love story, there is something darker that followed her around from a young age. This was an obsession with death.
In an interview with The Telegraph, she recalled that “When I was very young I was sort of floored by the fact that my mother and my father and everyone I knew was going to die one day, and myself too. I had a sort of a philosophical crisis.”
Her obsession and years spent in this cycle of fear influenced her writing style. More recently she has talked about a writing process that is more in line with famous authors like John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) and Ernest Hemmingway (The Old Man and the Sea).
In an interview with Billboard, Del Rey said that “I’ve got a more eccentric side when it comes to the muse of writing, but I feel very much that writing is not my thing: I’m writing’s thing. When the writing has got me, I’m on its schedule.”
You can listen to an interview that 91X FM Radio San Diego did with Lana Del Rey about her writing process by following the YouTube link below.
Her Book Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass
Lana Del Rey has written and sang on over one hundred different songs, but did you know that she has also written a book? She released her first book, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, on September 29, 2020.
This book is a poetry collection featuring over thirty poems and photographs by Del Rey. The book is also accompanied by a spoken word audiobook that features music from Del Rey’s producer, Jack Antanoff.
If you’re a Del Rey fan, then it should come as no surprise that she wrote a book of poems. As this Vogue article puts it “Though Del Rey scatters Walt Whitman and Sylvia Plath references into her songs (a track from Honeymoon plays like a gauzy, haunting recitation of T.S. Eliot’s Burnt Norton), this is indeed the first time she has classified her own work as poetry.”
Not only did she write Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, but Del Rey is also donating half of the proceeds from the book to the Navajo Water Project. The Navajo Water Project “is a community-managed utility alternative that brings hot and cold running water to homes without access to water or sewer lines.”
Del Rey’s Writing Collaborations
On her debut studio album, Lana Del Rey, only one other writer is credited, David Kahne, Del Rey’s producer. On this and some subsequent albums, Del Rey is credited as Elizabeth Grant, which is her legal name.
On most of her other albums, Lana Del Rey has worked with Rick Nowels. Nowels is a songwriter and producer who had worked with other massively successful singers like Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Adele, and Dua Lipa.
Del Rey has also worked with songwriters like the famous producer Greg Kurstin, Benny Blanco, A$AP Rocky, and the Weeeknd.
Finally, on her album Norman F*****g Rockwell, Lana Del Rey had the chance to work with Jack Antonoff, frontman of the band’s Bleachers and Fun. Del Rey told Billboard that she originally wasn’t interested in writing a new album until she met with Antanoff.
Del Rey said that she came out of their meeting with the idea “A folk record with a little surf twist.” That was how Antonoff ended up producing Del Rey’s sixth studio album, Norman F*****g Rockwell.