When I got to New York City when I was 18, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn - I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point - and that was it.
I'm personally more struck by visual things more than musical.
Stylistically, I love make-up. I love doing my own make-up and stuff, but clothes-wise, I actually didn't ever really care. Initially the fashion world was more interested in me than the music world, which was strange when I first started singing.
I love to sing and I really love to write, but in terms of being onstage, I'm not that comfortable, which I think is sort of clear.
I have a personal ambition to live my life honestly and honor the true love that I've had and also the people I've had around me.
I believe nothing happens by mistake. You know, the universe has a divine plan. That sounds dramatic.
I don't know that much about who directs what movies, but I'm definitely inspired by the look of old movies; I find them to be really beautiful.
I have taken taking my music to labels for years, and everyone just thought it was creepy. They thought the images with the music were weird and verging on psychotic.
I have a personal ambition to live my life honestly and honor the true love that I've had and also the people I've had around me. I want to stay hopeful, even though I get scared about why we're even alive at all.
I knew I wanted to do something creative. I didn't think I'd have the luxury of doing something like that, because I didn't know anyone who had pursued anything they really adored, but I had dreams for singing or writing.
I've been writing since I was really young, so I considered myself a writer for a really long time.
I've been reading tabloids since I was nine. I love a good story.
Fashion is inspired by youth and nostalgia and draws inspiration from the best of the past.
I'm always just surprised when someone writes something about me.
When you’re an introvert like me and you’ve been lonely for a while, and then you find someone who understands you, you become really attached to them. It’s a real release.
Having a simple career as a musician who liked music was good enough for me.
I write my own songs. I made my own videos. I pick my producers. Nothing goes out without my permission. It's all authentic.
I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba - Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue.
I have kind of a funny relationship with movies. I don't have to see the whole movie to get an impression of it or to let it have an influence on me.
I don't really have any gimmicks. I don't actually do anything that's strange. I don't even wear weird things.
When I found somebody who I fell in love with, it made me feel different than I felt the rest of the day. It was electrifying. That's what inspired the 'Off to the Races' melodies. That's one of the times when you're feeling electrified by someone else and they make you happy to be alive.
If you are born an artist, you have no choice but to fight to stay an artist.
I'm a writer first and a singer second. And then I started editing my own videos when I was 17, so it's a process I've been doing since I was younger.
When I was young I felt really overwhelmed and confused by the desire not to end up in an office, doing something I didn't believe in.
I'm not a natural performer or exhibitionist. When I was younger, I hated the focus, and it made me feel strange.
My dancing is Hawaiian-inspired but I also get a little fresh when it comes to my faster songs.
I don't believe in the school of hard knocks, although I've had them. All that stuff about whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger is so not true. Do you know what makes you stronger? When people treat you and your art with dignity.
I was always singing but didn't plan on pursuing it seriously. When I got to New York City when I was 18, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn - I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point - and that was it.
I made that first record in 2008, alongside the EP, but my label at the time waited three years to release it. They thought maybe someone bigger would buy it, but they didn't, so in the end they just released it themselves.
Seeing myself on the screen makes me cringe. I understand that I am that way - pouty.
A lot of the time when I write about the person that I love, I feel like I'm writing about New York.
I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba - 'Lana Del Rey' reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue.
I used to wonder if it was God's plan that I should be alone for so much of my life. But I found peace. I found happiness within people and the world.
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. I couldn't believe that we were mortal.
People are really talkative in New York. Someone always comes up to me and says 'Hi' during the day.
I was impressed with what someone like Karl Lagerfeld built and did and the house that he made, but there was never really a female figure I wanted to emulate.
I used to like to set different film clips to classical music, not even my own songs, but make little movies.
If you consider the definition of authenticity, it's saying something and actually doing it. I write my own songs. I made my own videos. I pick my producers. Nothing goes out without my permission. It's all authentic.
I didn't live at school, I lived where I could and studied what I enjoyed studying. I took what I wanted from that education but was making my first record at the same time. I don't know anyone from school. I was just leading a different life. I was really interested in writing and other things.
Feeling like you're respected among the people who do the same thing you do is incredible and necessary.
In New York I pretty much live in diners - I order French Fries, Diet Coke floats and lots of coffee.
A lot of the reason my look is the way it is, is because it's really easy to put on a sundress every night if I have to perform - or just wear jeans every day and a flannel or something.
When I put out 'Video Games' in May 2011, it was a 5:25-minute love song; I was surprised when a lot of people said they were listening to it. I was surprised when it went to the radio, without me even knowing how something like that even happens!