2023 is turning out to be the year of the ‘Nepo Baby’, with stories about children who may or may not have been given a leg-up by their famous parents turning up on a daily basis. It works both ways, though: as he releases his debut piano album, Lana Del Rey’s father Rob Grant is happy to accept the label of ‘Nepo Daddy’.
“I leaned right into it, embraced it and really loved it,” he told People. “Then, of course, it blew up. Now, I'm the Nepo Daddy, and that's fine.”
Grant’s album, Lost At Sea, comprises 14 self-penned piano-led tracks, with just a couple of these featuring vocal contributions from Del Rey. He’s been playing for many years but has never had any formal training.
Of his approach to composition, Grant says: “I'll hear chords, I'll hear notes, and I'll begin to put the song together organically. I do it in a very intuitive way.”
Discussing the relationship between the ocean and his music, Grant explains: “When I play the piano, I'll often drift off into almost a hypnotic state. I can remember and envision many, many times when I was out on the ocean, and it all flows through me right into the music.”
69-year-old Grant has had a number of jobs down the years - ad copywriter, restaurateur, boat builder - but says that he started to take music a little more seriously when his daughter was working on her 2021 album Blue Banisters. Del Ray heard him improvising something on the piano and began to sing lyrics, and the resulting track - Sweet Carolina - was written in “30 or 40 minutes” and ended up being the last track on her record.
On Hollywood Bowl, the final track on Lost At Sea, Del Rey sings that “I’ve got a dad who plays like Billy Joel,” so does Grant think that this is a fair comparison? “She doesn’t necessarily think that I play as good as Billy Joel, but it rhymes with ‘Hollywood Bowl,’” he says. “We wanted to get that straight because poor Billy Joel, right? He's gonna read this and go, 'What the fuck?'”
Lost At Sea is out now on Decca Records.