The Mystery Of Lana Del Rey: ‘Sad Is Happy To Me’

Lana Del Rey fits the very definition of unique, especially when it comes to the public’s perception of her, both as an individual and as a musician.

Her signature somber croon was widely dismissed on her 2012 debut, Born To Die, until platinum sales gave way to critical acclaim on her followup record, Ultraviolence. Even James Franco attempted to solve the mystery that is Lana Del Rey, as reported by Inquisitr, when he openly solicited her in an essay for V Magazine.

“[She] isn’t made for this Earth,” Franco wrote of Del Rey.

“I wanted to interview Lana for a book and she said, ‘Just write around me, it’s better if it’s not my own words. It’s almost better if you don’t get me exactly, but try.'”

It’s quotes like that that beckon her fans to try to “get” her even more. That makes a recent interview that she did with the L.A. Times that much more enlightening. In it, Lana offers the simplest explanation as to why her songs carry such enormous power despite the fact that there’s an eternal sadness to her voice.

“Sad is happy to me,” she says. “When I write something bittersweet, I smile.” Lana continues as follows.

“Making a record — it’s where all the fun is. When I’m done, it’s like, oh, God. I kind of go into mourning.”

And just like that, it’s easy to understand her hold over pop music in an age when every female empowered singer is bursting at the top of their lungs with oversexed getups screaming for attention. Lana’s joy comes from the low key, from the somber, from the sad, while at the same time inspiring the sound that actually stems from her inner joy. In many ways, Del Rey is a contradiction, a fact that Hyperallergic expands upon in an essay about the Golden Globe-nominated star.

“Within the great big world of superstardom, she’s an anomaly, fitting into absolutely zero current musical genres or trends. And because she luxuriates in a passive, regressive, female-identified submission that seems not just removed from but deliberately antithetical to the display of autonomous self-assertion that unifies all corporate auteurs across market shares and genre lines, her name never gets listed in the pantheon of current major pop artists. She occupies her own cultural space.”

And Lana Del Rey will continue to do so as long as she still finds joy in the melancholy of life and transplants that into her music.

[Lana Del Rey image via Consequence of Sound]