Football flop who gave Lana Del Rey a shot at stardom may score at last

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

British co-writer gets nod for Novello award

The haunting melancholy of "Video Games" catapulted Lana Del Rey to global stardom. But the singer couldn't have done it without the melody fashioned by a failed footballer from Lincoln who despaired of writing a hit.

Justin Parker's co-writing contribution to "Video Games" was yesterday recognised with a nomination for the prestigious Ivor Novello awards, judged by the songwriting community.

Next month's ceremony look set to be dominated by Adele, who has four nominations. However, the event provides a rare moment in the spotlight for the backroom writers and producers, such as Paul Epworth, who received four nominations for his work with Adele and Florence Welch.

Parker, 34, whose football career was ended by a knee injury, said: "I'm just in it to make a living as a songwriter. A year ago I was doing very little, just writing songs without a purpose."

His publishers, Sony/ATV Music, put him in a London studio with Elizabeth Grant, the New York singer who relaunched her career as Del Rey. "I wrote the chord sequence for the verse at home in Lincoln and thought 'that sounds like a Lana song to me'.

"She was amazing, she followed every chord. She wrote the lyrics and it was all written in three hours. There's a melancholic side to her and we've both had dark times so it was a natural progression for the song to feel that way."

Her record company, Interscope, wasn't convinced. "No one liked it," said Parker. "We thought it was really special but they didn't think it was a single." Del Rey fashioned her own video, featuring old movie clips, which she uploaded to YouTube. "It just took off. Then they had to release it then, they had no choice."

Despite repeating the co-writing trick on Del Rey's follow-up hit "Born To Die", the modest Parker won't be swapping Lincoln for LA. "It's probably downhill from here," he joked. "I've got more options but people aren't exactly knocking on the door." He has written with Ellie Goulding and Bat For Lashes and prefers to work with female artists because they have "less ego" than male rockers. Parker credits the huge success of Adele with opening the door for Del Rey and the return of "classic songwriting" in a musical era dominated by hip-hop and dance pop. He rejects accusations that Del Rey's employment of collaborators means that she is a manufactured artist. "She writes great melodies and lyrics, we both struggled for years to get people to notice us."

The Novellos recognised Jonny Greenwood, the Radiohead guitarist, nominating his work on We Need To Talk About Kevin for Best Original Film Score. Solo female artists dominate the list with Adele battling PJ Harvey and Kate Bush in the Best Album category.

Ivor Novellos: The nominated songs

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine

The A Team – Ed Sheeran

Best Contemporary Song

Promises – Nero

The Wilhelm Scream – James Blake

Video Games – Lana Del Rey

PRS for Music Most Performed Work

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Someone Like You – Adele

The Flood – Take That

Album Award

21 – Adele

50 Words For Snow – Kate Bush

Let England Shake – PJ Harvey

Best Original Film Score

Life In A Day – Harry Gregson-Williams and Matthew Herbert

The First Grader – Alex Heffes

We Need To Talk About Kevin – Jonny Greenwood

Best Television Soundtrack

Leonardo – Mark Russell

Page Eight – Paul Englishby

The Shadow Line – Martin Phipps

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits