After being asked what it was like to have artists such as Grande, 26, and Billie Eilish look up to her, Del Rey’s response was simple: “It’s awesome.”
The 34-year-old further spoke about her “Don’t Call Me Angel” collaborator — and her undeniably vivid energy.
“She’s very good at not thinking twice,” she said. “Maybe I’m wrong and she questions herself, but I’m very much in my head. She’s very much in her body. You can see it in that baseline physicality.”
“She’s just super fast and on fire all the time,” she continued.
Alongside Jack Antonoff, Del Rey opened up about writing and putting together her latest album.
“He’s as easy as I am,” said Del Rey about working with Antonoff. “I don’t really care if we talk all day and nothing happens. I just feel like if we’re there, we’re supposed to be there. Sometimes we just talk s— all day. It’s easy in that way. He never comes in and is like, ‘Let’s write a hit!’ Because I hate that.”
Both agreed that through the process they were always on the same wavelength.
“I think that first day when we were together that might have been like the most prolific musical day of my life,” said Antonoff, 35. “Sometimes when you’re collaborating with someone, you’re thinking of a jumping-off point. You’re like, ‘Well, I have this idea.’ And she was like, ‘I have this idea;’ and then just did that … To hear it come out of thin air was a really profound experience.”
While working with Antonoff, the “Cinnamon Girl” singer confessed that she sometimes gets “impatient with myself” and explained that she came across Justin Timberlake on her day off. And she realized that other artists, too, had similar frustrations in the studio.
“I know how good certain things can be so if I can’t get it, I’m like, ‘Oh my god!’ but it was interesting watching a couple of other people in with Jack when I had some days off,” she said. “Randomly, Justin Timberlake was doing something with Jack and he would do a take and be like, ‘f— this s—’ and then he’d do another take and be like ‘God damn it!’ And I was like, Oh my god, that’s everybody!”
Del Rey also said her writing process has changed over the years, even though she admits that the vast majority of her tracks are born from self-reflection and journaling. With NFR, what she chronicled changed how she approached her music.
“I used to write about what I did. And then I started writing about what I was doing. And now I only write what I’m going to do,” Del Rey said. “So it’s new for me. And I like to let the process reveal things to me. I have quite an L.A.-eclectic take on writing. I really believe it’s magical.”
To conclude the night, Del Rey sang five tracks from her album, including the title track, “Bartender,” “How to Disappear,” “Venice B----” and “Mariners Apartment Complex.” Del Rey also welcomed Zella Day and Weyes Blood onstage for a powerful rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free.”
Lana Del Rey’s latest album Norman F-----g Rockwell is out now.