(3)”Influence and Evolution: How Lana Del Rey Shaped Halsey’s Early Artistry and Beyond”

Lana Del Rey and Halsey are two of the most prominent female artists in mainstream pop music today. While their styles have evolved over the years to include different influences, Lana Del Rey’s signature brand of melancholic pop was hugely influential in the early development of Halsey’s sound and persona. Halsey has openly credited Lana as one of her biggest inspirations, and it’s clear to see how Lana’s music helped shape Halsey’s journey in the industry.

Musical Style Inspiration

One of the most noticeable ways Lana impacted Halsey’s early style was through her pioneering of “melancholic pop.” Lana brought darker, more subversive themes into the mainstream with her signature blend of vintage aesthetics and modern pop production. This helped pave the way for other female artists like Halsey to explore similar styles. Songs like “Video Games” and “Born to Die” demonstrated how Lana could craft emotionally resonan

Halsey’s debut album Badlands, released in 2015, showed clear signs of this influence. Songs like “Castle” and “Control” had a similar dreamy, atmospheric quality to many of Lana’s hits. Lyrical themes of toxic relationships, loss of innocence, and inner turmoil also echoed themes Lana had explored. Halsey’s vocals were often layered and treated similar to Lana’s signature sound. Even the album’s title and artwork seemed to pay homage to Lana’s moody, Americana-inspired style she helped popularize.

Storytelling Through Lyrics

Another major area where Lana clearly shaped Halsey was in her approach to lyrics and storytelling. A hallmark of Lana’s music is her ability to craft rich narratives and scenes through evocative lyrics. Songs paint pictures of places, emotions, relationships, and more. This focus on using lyrics to tell stories, as opposed to just catchy hooks, resonated strongly with Halsey.

Across her early EPs and albums, Halsey showed a knack for immersive storytelling through lyrics similar to Lana. Songs paint detailed portraits of relationships (“Ghost”), inner turmoil (“Control”), and coming of age (“Castle”). Even more upbeat pop songs weave lyrical tales that keep the listener engaged. This focus helped establish Halsey as more than just a pop singer – she was an artist using music as a means to explore complex themes and emotions. Lana blazed this trail for confessional, narrative-driven songwriting in mainstream pop, paving the way.

Dreamy Soundscapes

In addition to lyrical themes and styles, Lana also left a notable influence through her atmospheric, dreamlike production approach. Many of her most iconic songs – “Video Games,” “Summertime Sadness,” “Born to Die” – create lush, layered soundscapes that transport the listener. Halsey adopted a similar sensibility on early works.

Songs like “Hurricane,” “Castle,” and “Gasoline” featured layered vocals, hip-hop influences, and ambient textures that crafted immersive listening experiences. Rather than strict pop formulas, these works felt more like journeys into feelings and moods. Lana proved mainstream audiences would engage with pop songs that took on more experimental, atmospheric qualities rather than strict formulas. This expanded the possibilities for artists like Halsey and allowed her music additional depth and resonance. Lana opened the door for pop songs as sensory experiences rather than just singles.

Visual Identity Inspiration

In addition to musical styles, Lana also left a notable mark on Halsey’s early visual identity and persona. A major part of Lana’s appeal was her Old Hollywood-inspired aesthetic. Glamorous yet melancholy, her fashion, music videos, and overall image tapped into nostalgia while feeling subversively modern.

In her earliest years, Halsey clearly took cues from this Lana-inspired vintage glamour. Music videos for songs like “Ghost” and “Castle” featured retro-inspired fashion, makeup styles, and sets that echoed Lana’s signature visual language. Interviews and photoshoots also played with nostalgic yet darkly romantic imagery popularized by Lana.

However, both artists found ways to subvert expectations of traditional femininity within these vintage contexts. Lana sang openly about sexuality, heartbreak, and disillusionment in a way that challenged norms. Halsey similarly explored taboo topics like bisexuality, mental health struggles, and toxic relationships even as she embraced pin-up aesthetics. Both proved mainstream audiences would engage with female artists pushing boundaries rather than conforming. Lana opened the door for Halsey and others to challenge expectations through nostalgic yet subversive personas.

Halsey’s Evolution Beyond Influences

While Lana Del Rey was hugely influential in Halsey’s early development, it’s also clear how the younger artist eventually evolved well beyond these roots. With each new release, Halsey incorporated wider influences and explored new creative directions that distanced herself from being seen as merely derivative of Lana.

2015’s Badlands showed Lana’s impact most prominently, but 2017’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom began expanding Halsey’s sound with elements of rock, industrial, and R&B. Songs like “Bad at Love” and “Alone” demonstrated a willingness to experiment more boldly with sonic palettes. Lyrical themes also evolved beyond intimate relationships to touch on current events and social issues.

2019’s Manic, her most sonically adventurous project to date, took even bolder strides away from any singular influence. Incorporating genres like rock, pop-punk, and hip-hop into sprawling concept album form, it showed Halsey’s willingness to continually push creative boundaries and avoid being pigeonholed. Lyrically, songs touched on everything from bipolar disorder to sexual assault with nuanced storytelling.

In addition to expanding musically, Halsey also evolved her visual persona. While nostalgic aesthetics remained part of her image, she incorporated edgier styles like punk fashion. Music videos, too, took on more experimental qualities moving beyond retro tropes. Halsey also began openly discussing her fluid sexuality and gender expression more directly.

All of these evolutions demonstrated Halsey had outgrown her early roots strongly tied to Lana Del Rey’s influence. She established herself as a unique artist capable of versatile performances adopting different personas to match a song’s vibe or theme. Lana may have provided early inspiration, but Halsey proved herself a restless creative force unwilling to rest on any single influence for long.


In conclusion, it’s undeniable that Lana Del Rey played a hugely formative role in shaping Halsey’s early artistic development and success. Through her pioneering of melancholic pop styles, immersive lyrics, dreamy atmospheres, and vintage visual language, Lana blazed trails that Halsey was able to follow into the mainstream. Many elements of Halsey’s debut works strongly echoed Lana’s signature sensibilities.

However, it’s also clear that Halsey was never content to rest on any single influence for long. With each new release, she evolved her sound and image to incorporate wider influences and carve out her own unique space as a versatile artist. Lana may have provided an early template, but Halsey proved herself an restless creative force willing to continually challenge expectations and push boundaries. While Lana Del Rey undoubtedly left her mark, Halsey has emerged as an influential artist in her own right.

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