As announced previously, Lana Del Rey was the guest host all day today on Radio 1, the biggest and most influential radio station in the UK. The star took control of the biggest station in the country, boasting millions of listeners, from 9am-5pm, the hours with most listeners on a weekend. Of course, Lana was not sat behind the microphone for all eight hours, and took regular breaks for BBC’s news programme, Newsbeat, and also welcomed a host of Radio 1’s most popular DJs to join her on air throughout the day.
The music all day was chosen by Lana herself, consisting of some of her own music, tracks that directly inspired her current album Silver, and songs by other current artists that she admires. The programming was carefully scheduled and constructed throughout the day, featuring two interview segments with Glass Animals and Rihanna, artists handpicked by Lana to appear on the station, with Glass Animals joining Lana live in-studio, and the Rihanna segment being pre-recorded back in the US.
The rough schedule for each hour of programming is as followed:
Lana arrives sharply at 9am and gives a brief welcome to her listeners, after her current single Love Me Where I Lay is played as the first song, which has also been chosen by Radio 1 as Track of the Day to coincide with Lana’s hosting. “Good morning everyone, this is Lana Del Rey and I’m taking over Radio 1 all day today. I’m really excited to be here and to have the chance to share some of my favourite records with you, both new and old, and have a great day. I’m also going to be joined by some of your favourite Radio 1 DJs, as well as exclusive interviews with Glass Animals and Rihanna. So stay tuned for all of that.”
During this hour she discusses that Radio 1 have chosen for Love Me Where I Lay to be Track of the Day, which means it will be played once every hour. “I want to thank Radio 1 for picking my record Love Me Where I Lay as Track of the Day for today when I’m here, just like every song from my album Silver, it’s very important to me. It was also a great honour to have Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac play a killer guitar solo on this track as well, and I hope everyone that hears it today for the first time loves it as much as I do.”
Throughout the hour, Lana plays more music (listed below) and briefly talks about what she likes about each of them. She informs the audience that each hour she will play one song each hour that inspired her album Silver in someway. She uses the talk about Lindsey Buckingham’s solo to segue into playing Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. “I’ve spoken a lot about how Fleetwood Mac inspired me and this record, and that’s why it’s been such a career highlight for me to work with Lindsey and Stevie Nicks on this album. I really could’ve picked so many songs by them to play today but I’ve chosen this one because Stevie’s delicate songwriting and vocal performance is so pure, touching and heartfelt. And that’s a level that I aspire to reach in my career. This is Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.”
During her second hour, Lana is joined on air by Greg James, one of the most popular DJs at Radio 1. He stays with her for a couple of songs, talking about the choices and engaging in funny banter. “Am I doing a good job?” Lana asks Greg, laughing. “Actually, you are - I’m impressed!” he replies, to which Lana laughs again. “Well now I don’t know whether to be complimented or not, you thought I’d do a bad job?” “Not at all,” he replies. “I was just hoping you would - now I’m scared that I’ll be replaced and out of a job in radio.”
Having another DJ on air is also used as an opportunity to pose some interview-style questions at Lana in order to promote her music, framing it as a casual conversation. When asked about her current tour and returning to the UK, for example, Lana responds; “It’s just amazing to be back under the circumstances of a sold-out tour,” she says, with sincerity. “Playing live and touring is amazing, and to prepare for each show knowing that there’s gonna be like 20,000 people out there waiting for you, it’s just… indescribable. I’ve always had a really special bond with the UK and my fans here, so that’s just the icing on the cake of it all for me.”
Lana choses Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell as her inspiration track for the hour, as she explains to the audience: “Joni Mitchell, to me, is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. I own all of her records and this song is probably one of her most recognisable hits which is why I chose it. To me, it shows how you can write a great, catchy song about something important and meaningful to you based on real life experiences. I really am always trying to work towards attaining that quality in my own work, and Joni is a shining beacon of an example of it for me.”
Soon after 11am and the third play of Love Me Where I Lay, Lana introduces the band Glass Animals, one of the opening acts on her Silver Tour, for a live interview. “So now we’re ready to introduce my first guests, and they’re here in the studio with me live, the amazing Glass Animals.”
GLASS ANIMALS INTERVIEW
Lana: Hey boys! It’s great to have you here. It feels kind of strange to almost stage this as though it’s a professional interview when we were hanging out pretty much everyday on the tour, but we’ll just have to do our best (laughs).
Joe: Hey, Lana! It's great to be here as well. And yeah, we'll try to keep it professional. (laughs)
Lana: I’m watching you! (Laughs) So obviously we were on the road together and you guys seemed to be really into the performances, which is so awesome to see. You were probably my first choice to open on this tour so I was over the moon when you said yes. Were you sceptical at all about opening up for what is, I guess, a big pop show?
Dave: Well, to start, we'd like to thank you again for inviting us along on tour with you. We've always been big fans, so touring with you is a dream come true. And, to answer your question, we don't really have a problem with opening up for a big pop show. In fact, it's great. Seeing so many people in the crowds singing along while we perform is so uplifting. It's really motivational. We're glad that we're putting ourselves up there and opening up our exposure. We just want to share our music with others, and opening for a big pop show is the perfect way to do that.
Lana: And how were the shows for you? I mean, the fans seem to love you guys as much as I do from what I can see.
Drew: The shows were tons of fun. We really like the setlist we've put together, and it seems that the audience does as well. We open with "Black Mambo," which is one of our earliest songs, but then we get into some of our newer material like "Giddy" and "Wonderland." And, of course, to get the crowd extremely excited, we play a cover of "Born to Die" as our last song. Performing our music for so many people is so surreal. And to see the people having a good time is even crazier. We're really happy that the audience is enjoying our performance.
Lana: The cover was a really unexpected treat. I don’t know if you guys saw me lurking in the wings during your set at our first show together in London, but I was totally blown away by what you did up there, so thank you. You’ve been around for a fair couple of years, but to me it really feels like you’re on the brink of a mainstream breakthrough. Giddy was big for you and it feels like the attention you’re getting is mounting up - deservedly so. What does it feel like to have that spotlight growing? Especially in such a competitive industry.
Edmund: It's really strange to me. "Giddy" peaked at #9 worldwide, so that was definitely shocking. Even the song going top 20 was a weird experience. It just feels weird, you know? We just aren't used to it. The crazier part is that our sound isn't something you would hear too often in the mainstream. We're just kind of doing our own unique, alt-rock kind of thing, and then our song started gaining traction. And now, here we are, with "Giddy" being our most successful song to date. Being in the spotlight is a great feeling, to be honest. You put in all this hard work and get recognized for it, and it truly lifts your spirits. However, it's not like a necessity of ours to have mainstream success. We just want people to enjoy our music. If we continue getting recognition for it, then that's even better!
Lana: Totally. I’ve noticed that the pop world seems to be moving into a pretty diverse place musically, which feels very encouraging. And with all that in mind, I have to ask about your record. I know you guys have been working really hard, can we expect the full LP anytime?
Dave: We haven't done this in a while, but we're probably going to be releasing an EP before we put out a full album. We just want a little change of pace, you know? We haven't released an EP since before we released our debut album, and we just want to revisit that concept a bit. The EP, if we release it, will probably have around five or six songs on it. We're most likely going to release a full album this year as well. "Giddy" and "Wonderland" will be on both the EP and the album, probably. The releasing of an EP gives us an even longer amount of time to perfect our work, because as you may know, we are perfectionists. So, after the EP is released and everyone has enough music to hold them over, we can get back into the studio to record some more songs. Don't hold me to this, but the full album, if it does come this year, which it probably will, is going to come in the second half of 2017.
Lana: I mentioned all the attention you’re getting, which includes from a lot of big stars. I know Rih covered Giddy and I heard Belinda offered you a spot in her would-be Super Bowl show, amongst praise from other artists - like me, I guess! (Laughs) Are there any collaborations in the pipeline for you?
Joe: Getting recognition from other artists in the industry is always so great. We're such big fans of all the big names, you know, like you, Belinda, Rihanna, and countless others. To think that they admire our work as well is mind-boggling. In fact, Rihanna even referred to us as "her favorite band at the moment" or something along those lines when she released her cover of "Giddy." That came as such a shock to us all. But, of course, we're extremely grateful for her covering "Giddy," because without Rihanna, it wouldn't have had the success that it did. As for collaborations, there probably won't be any on the album. However, like we did with "Giddy," we're probably going to release a collaboration version of the song on a remix EP. As for the identity of the artist, we have some ideas, but we're not going to reveal them yet. You'll have to wait and see (laughs).
Lana: Awesome! Well thank you guys for coming by today, it was nice to talk about your work and I hope it leads more people to your incredible music.
Drew: Thanks for having us, Lana! It's been a pleasure! And, once again, thank you for having us as the opening act on your tour. We really appreciate it!
Following the interview, Lana makes a plug for Glass Animals. “I really love those guys, and their music is awesome too. Check out that track, Wonderland, and their last single Giddy if you get the chance. I can’t wait to hear what they’re working on.”
“I think that Jeff Buckley is one of the greatest artists that we’ve ever seen, and his death was probably one of the most tragic losses for music,” Lana says, introducing her Silver Inspiration track for the hour. “His record Grace is a timeless classic, and I could’ve picked any of the songs from it to play here today because they all had a profound effect on me, in different ways. An outstanding vocalist, writer and guitar player. This is one of my personal favourites."
In this hour, Lana is joined by Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine, who is a staple of the station’s weekend line-ups. Just like when she was joined by Greg James, the pair engage in banter and casual chit-chat where Alice asked Lana about her work.
“So I am personally a massive fan of Fleetwood Mac, as you obviously are too. So when I heard that you had worked with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham on this album I was so excited to hear the results - and of course it’s phenomenal. What was it like working with idols of yours?” Alice asked. “You know, I’m always nervous when I meet people that I idolise because they say never meet your heroes - let alone work with them, I guess (laughs). But the process of organising the collaboration with each of them couldn’t have been smoother or more organic on either end. Stevie and I just hung out as fans of each other, we didn’t plan to write Particles together. And she put me onto Lindsey to perform on Love Me Where I Lay, and I’m so glad that she did. I don’t work with big artists a lot, so it meant a lot to me to have that experience be so fruitful and rewarding.”
For this hour, Lana choses Heroes by David Bowie as her ‘Silver Inspiration’, and explains why to Alice. “With someone like David Bowie, it’s more like his entire aura and catalogue as an artist that inspires me - choosing one song in particular is really difficult, especially when he has such an extensive and diverse range of material. But Heroes is of course a classic, and it’s marked by incredible songwriting and what I consider to be an all-time classic vocal performance that just grabs me every time I hear it. So here’s Heroes by David Bowie.”
After the track plays, it’s time for one of two lengthier Newsbeat segments, hosted by the news team at Radio 1. Lasting for fifteen minutes, Lana takes a brief break from presenting.
For this hour, Lana chose You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King as her track of inspiration. “Musically, I guess I don’t share a lot in common with Carole King. But as a younger it was so inspiring to see a woman write such compelling and beautiful songs that had such an impact on music. Traditionally the music industry has always been a man’s game, and that seems to be changing a little now. Most of the artists that I am inspired by, and playing tracks by today, are known for their songwriting skills. And I think that Carole is one of the best ever.”
Lana was joined during this hour by another popular Radio 1 host, Scott Mills. The pair engaged in fun conversation again, but briefly turned slightly serious to talk about how music is so important in times that are so delicate socially and politically. “You’ve obviously had a personal run-in with President Trump recently who called you out on Twitter. How do you look at all of that, as an artist?” Scott asked her. Lana sighed before replying; “Well, it’s a sad time for a lot of people. And I said what I had to when I posted my response to Trump on Twitter. I think it’s concerning that he has the time to make jabs at celebrities online when there are so many more pressing issues. We are artists but also ultimately entertainers. I think we have something of a responsibility to let people have a break from all of that stuff for brief moments, and that’s what I hope to do with this show.”
After her conversation with Scott and the play of a few songs, it was time for Lana to introduce her pre-recorded interview with fellow superstar Rihanna. “So now I’m excited to share with you all a conversation stroke interview that I had with my good friend Rihanna earlier this week, straight off the back of the announcement that she’s going to be playing the Super Bowl halftime show in a few weeks time. We hung out back in America and this is what happened…”
Lana: Rih! It’s so good to see you again, girl. How are you?
Rihanna: I’m doing great, Lana. It’s so good to finally get out of the rehearsal studio and see a face that doesn’t belong to my dancers or production crew. (laughs) But you’ve been here before, I don’t need to tell you what that feels like.
Lana: I was so excited when I heard that you got the performance - you know how badly I wanted to see you take it. Paint the picture for us of when you heard the news - where were you, who were you with, how did you react and celebrate?
Rihanna: I was actually in Los Angeles doing some last minute touchups on a couple videos I was working on. The NFL had announced that results would be revealed at like 9pm, so the plan was to wrap up the production to give me enough time to fly out of LAX and get to JFK about two hours before the performer was revealed. But ofcourse once we had boarded and everything, there was an issue with the takeoff so we ended up sitting around for about an hour and a half. And ofcourse things didn’t just stop there. Even when we finally got in the air, the pilot revealed that something had gone wrong with the Wi-FI system and so I couldn’t even try and watch the livestream since I knew I wouldn’t make it back to NYC in time. So, I just sat there drinking my tall glass of red wine. My mind was literally everywhere; I can’t even remember what I was thinking off. At one point, by best friend, Melissa, sitting across from me, was like “Girl, you alright?” Because I clearly was out of it. I was talking to myself… (laughs) I was a mess and half. The flight eventually landed five hours later—though it felt like we were on there for like ten—and that was when I was re-connected to the internet and started the swarm of messages and…(sighs happily) It was all so much. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in my life. Like I said on Twitter, being chosen for this, is the greatest honor of my career.
Lana: I have to say I felt a little bit emotional to see in your NFL interview that you were such a big fan of my halftime show in 2015 and took inspiration from it. I’m curious to know what about it that struck you so much, and also if and how you plan to inspire other artists with your show?
Rihanna: The most inspiring thing about your performance was your confidence. I didn’t know you well back then, but I could just feel your drive and motivation as you sang your heart out. Being there, performing in front of all those people, you were nothing but yourself and that kind of confidence in oneself is what I strive for each and everyday. That, and ofcourse the fireworks during ‘Young and Beautiful’ left me in tears. Over the years, prior to yours, people got to the Superbowl stage and put on interesting, but for the most part, basic shows. You changed that. You brought theatrics, energy, and so much more. You set a high standard and it’s one people will continue to strive for, for many years to come.
Lana: You've said already that you're gonna go all out for this thing, and I'm sure you'll deliver. Have you already started getting the rehearsals in motion?
Rihanna: Yup! We’ve actually almost wrapped with the basic rehearsals, and we should be moving to dress rehearsals in a couple days. I still have to decide between three different couture pieces by some of my favorite designers, but it’s such a tough decision honestly. This may sound odd, but I actually started to reach out to some creative designers before I was even confirmed to be performing. I didn’t want to take the chance of getting the Halftime show, but not having enough time to get the exact look I want made.
Lana: Part of your campaign to secure the performance included this exciting partnership with Pepsi. Was that just for the campaign or can we expect more from this collaboration?
Rihanna: They planned a big part in the Superbowl campaign, but I’m glad to say there’s more coming. I can’t really say much, but I’m very excited for the big rollout in the coming months.
Lana: Now with the Super Bowl aside, you’ve been busy as a mentor as well. Bella is now a friend of mine after she opened for me in America, and she’s also had some great success with her debut EP, which I love. More recently, her brand new single, Vibrations, has already received a great reception on radio and is set to outperform the singles from STARGIRL. How did she fall under your guidance?
Rihanna: We met at the Billboard Awards last year. You know, the one where it seemed like literally every award went to me. (laughs) She presented an award to me, and when we got backstage after my acceptance speech, I got a chance to talk with her. She was such a lovely person, and her charisma was so enthralling. I invited her out to dinner the night after, and the rest is history, right? (beams) We got to talking about her career, and what she say for herself in the future, and I was shocked to hear her mention that she someday hoped to make music. We met up a couple times after that, and I got a chance to hear some of the songs she’d written a couple years ago and I saw such insane potential; no way I could let such talent go to waste.
Lana: And what is planned for her next step? Where do you see her going next?
Rihanna: Well, that’s up to her actually. Since she signed, she’s been constantly surprising me with the next level shit she’s recording. That girl is going far and I’m just glad that I’ll be by her side as she goes on to do bigger and better things. Her new sound, which she introduced with ‘Vibrations’ is only the start, and I honestly feel for everyone because once she drops the rest of what she’s working on, it’s game over.
Lana: It’s been so amazing to talk to you, but we’re gonna end it on a fairly generic question - although I know a lot of your fans want to know the answer. What’s coming up for you this year? Beyond the Super Bowl, we still have the bulk of 2017 to look forward to, and I know you won’t be laying low for all of that (laughs).
Rihanna: Who said that? (smiles sheepishly) Y’all better dance to ‘True Colors’ because I already told y’all I’m retiring after the Superbowl. I’m moving on to something new; modeling. (Winks)
Lana: Why is everything such a secret with you? (laughs) Thank you so much for doing this, Rih. It’s great to see you as always! Best of luck with all of your projects!
Rihanna: Thanks for having me. We need to get dinner sometime, and catch up!
Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed serves as the Silver inspiration song for this hour. “Lou Reed, what can I say… One of my favourite artists of all time, period. I was even supposed to work with him literally the day after his passing, which was really heartbreaking for me. This song is really unconventional for it’s time - even now, actually. I can’t say enough good things about Lou and why he inspired me, so let’s just play the record.”
The hour was kicked off by a fifteen minute news report as Lana took another break. She then continued to play another series of tracks, including two of her previous tracks Ride and Black Rose.
Lana also took the opportunity to congratulate her friend Beyonce on her recently announced pregnancy, before playing Hold You In My Arms. “Obviously the whole world is currently buzzing for Beyonce after the announcement of her pregnancy, and I just want to take the chance to publicly congratulate her and her family on the news. She’s such a warm, caring person and I’m so happy and excited for her.”
For her final hour on the station, Lana Del Rey was briefly joined by popular Radio 1 host Nick Grimshaw after a couple of songs, where they spoke about her experience hosting Radio 1 for the day. “How’ve you found it? Potential career change in sight for you?” he asked jokingly, to which Lana giggled. “Perhaps not,” she said, “but it’s been a really awesome experience. I now have even more respect for radio DJs than I already did before - this is hard! But I really appreciate the opportunity today, I had a blast.”
Lana then rounded off her hosting duties by introducing All Apologies by Nirvana as one of her Silver inspiration tracks, telling of her love and admiration for Kurt Cobain before playing Angel, the closing track from Silver, to mark her exit for the day. Preceding the song playing, she addressed the audience; “I want to think everyone at Radio 1 and all of you listening today for bearing with me! I had a great time and really hope you enjoyed the music we brought to you today. I can’t wait to come back to the UK for shows in Glasgow and Manchester next month on my Silver Tour. To part with you now, here’s the closing track from my album Silver - Angel. Thank you!”