Between 2005 and 2006 the album Sirens was recorded under the name "May Jailer" and leaked in May 2012.On April 25, 2005, a seven track compact disc was registered under Elizabeth Woolridge Grant with the United States Copyright Office. The application title was "Rock Me Stable" with another title "Young Like Me" also listed.The track titles are currently unknown.
When she was twenty years old, Del Rey signed a record contract for $10,000 and moved into a trailer park outside of the city.Her album, however, was shelved, causing her to shift her focus. Instead, she began to work in community service. "Homeless outreach, drug and alcohol rehabilitation - that's been my life for the past five years," she told Vogue in 2012.Felicia Sullivan of The Huffington Post spoke with Del Rey after the release of Kill Kill about her life in the trailer park.Del Rey said:
"I didn't feel trapped in a trailer park. I felt trapped before I got to the trailer park because I had nowhere to live. When I got my trailer, everyone there had the same taste as I did. We all liked giant, lush, fake flower gardens and liked to decorate the walls with streamers even if it wasn't our birthday. I couldn't have been happier there. Before that, I did dream of escaping. I always just figured it was gonna be a man who would take me away. I don't know if I deserve a good man, but I think about it sometimes
A few years later, Del Rey got signed to 5 Point Records, an independent label of producer David Kahne, with whom she released her first three-track EP titled Kill Kill in October 2008 and a full-length album in 2010, titled Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant.She explained that "David asked to work with me only a day after he got my demo. He is known as a producer with a lot of integrity and who had an interest in making music that wasn't just pop."
Del Rey later released her first full-length studio album titled Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant [sic] in January 2010.It was the singer's first professionally produced album, released under Lizzy Grant on an independent label with producer David Kahne. Her father, Robert Grant, helped with the marketing of the album,which was available for purchase on iTunes for a brief period before being withdrawn.
David Kahne, who produced Grant and previous label owner David Nichtern have both stated that Grant bought the rights back from her label, 5 Points, as she wanted it out of circulation to "…stifle future opportunities to distribute it – an echo of rumors that the action was part of a calculated strategy."About choosing her stage name she has said: "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."
On September 1, 2010, Del Rey was featured by Mando Diao in their MTV Unplugged concert at Union Film-Studios in Berlin.
2011–present: Born to Die and Paradise
Main articles: Born to Die (Lana Del Rey album) and Paradise (EP)
Del Rey performing on 5 December 2011
After uploading a few of her tracks to her YouTube channel, Del Rey was discovered and was signed by Stranger Records to release her debut single "Video Games". She told The Observer, "I just put that song online a few months ago because it was my favourite. To be honest, it wasn't going to be the single but people have really responded to it." The song earned her a Q award for "Next Big Thing" in October 2011 and an Ivor Novello for "Best Contemporary Song" in 2012.The same month, she signed a joint deal with Interscope Records and Polydor to work on her second studio album Born to Die.Del Rey built anticipation to the album by doing a number of live appearances, such as promotional concerts at the Bowery Ballroom and at the Chateau Marmont, and with performances at television shows such as De Wereld Draait Door, and Later... with Jools Holland.
On January 4, 2012, it was reported she had signed a deal with NEXT Model Management agency. Del Rey also performed two songs from the album on Saturday Night Live on January 14, 2012 and received a negative response from critics and the general public. Del Rey's performance was defended by the evening's program guest host, actor Daniel Radcliffe, despite not having seen her performance.She had earlier defended her spot on the program, saying: "I'm a good musician [...] I have been singing for a long time, and I think that [SNL creator] Lorne Michaels knows that [...] it's not a fluke decision."