Lana Del Rey course comes to Clive Davis

Some students believe the class will give them a unique look into the artist’s career and impact on the music industry.


A new NYU course about Lana Del Rey is being offered at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. (Andy Lee for WSN)

A look into Lana Del Rey’s career in pop music is coming to the Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music in a new two-credit course, “Topics in Recorded Music: Lana Del Rey.” Del Rey joins artists like Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and David Bowie in having an NYU course created in their honor. 

The class, which will be offered from Oct. 20 to Dec. 8, will cover Del Rey’s rise through the music industry and her musical contributions to the Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and Times Up movements. The class will be taught by author and journalist Kathy Iandoli, who has covered the work of other pop artists — including Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift and Frank Ocean — in her reporting. 

“I wouldn’t say that I’m in the top 1% of listeners compared to the really intense fans, but to analyze an artist, especially in a course, you have to be really interested in them to some degree,” Steinhardt senior Iliana Mendias said. “The course is being taught by this really impressive journalist who has a lot of experience when it comes to analyzing artists.”

Iandoli said that although some on Twitter and TikTok have said that any fan could teach the course, it will be about more than Del Rey’s music, taking a deep dive into her role in the music industry. She added that she will not host the course as an outlet for Del Rey worship. To her, the analysis of an impactful singer goes beyond what fans have to say about the artist.

“You can’t really break apart artists like Lana Del Rey, who has had such a massive impact on pop music,” she said. “You can’t single out her songs, or single out her aesthetic, or even single out her inspiration. These artists openly acknowledge that she’s the reason why they’re here today. I haven’t seen another instance of that kind of adoration for one artist in a very long time.” 

Iandoli said she will not host the course as an outlet for Del Rey worship. To her, the analysis of an impactful singer goes beyond what fans have to say about the artist.

Tisch first-year Sophia Glasgold said that because of how much the music industry has evolved over the past decade, it is important to learn about modern artists to understand the current music industry.

“I’m not a huge Lana Del Rey fan, but I think there’s a lot to learn from what’s going on currently,” Glasgold said. “If you’re going to go into that business, that’s what you’re going to be working with. There’s got to be some cool stuff that, if you really dig deep into it, is more than just internet fan knowledge to learn.”

Contact Veronica Shirokova at [email protected]

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