THE INTERVIEW: Lady Ga Ga
Her infectious music makes you want to get up and “Just Dance” whenever it is playing. The Fame, disco-electro pop idol, Lady Ga Ga ’s new album is filled with songs about fashion, fame, and our celebrity obsessed culture. Fortunately, I got to interview the pop idol herself and ask her about the album, working with Akon, and what she would ask Andy Warhol if given the chance to ask him anything.
Before we get started I have to say your album has been on repeat in my CD player. My gay friends and I have to dance every time we listen to it.
Thanks so much, that’s the image I like hear about.
Your CD, The Fame, is filled with songs reminiscent of ‘80s synth pop. Are acts like Madonna, Blondie and other eighties pop singers an influence on your music?
Most definitely Madonna, Blondie and Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons. All of those powerful blonde women from that era. There were not too many back then.
On your album you got to work with Akon. What was that experience like?
Dope, we met after he listened to a few of my songs. He was a fan. For him to take an interest in your work, for him to be into it is huge. He worked with me on six songs including “Just Dance” and I also worked with Red One. I wrote the lyrics and melodies and he mixed the songs. He is a hip hop pioneer who invented the ella-ella sound. It was an honor to work with him.
I saw your music video for “Just Dance” recently and it looks like it was a lot of fun to shoot. What was the concept behind the video?
I wanted it to look like a party I had gone to. I got to choose the clothing, where it was shot, and wanted to show what a New York party was like through a pop lens. A New York City party I would attend.
A few weeks ago I saw you perform at the New Now Next Awards in NYC and this weekend you are performing at San Francisco Pride. Are gay men a large part of your audience?
Oh yeah a lot. The gay community has been a huge support of mine. I have always had many gay men, gay women and transgender people as friends. I want to make music my friends would listen to. I have played at a lot of gay clubs. Performing at the main stage of Pride is a huge honor and very humbling.
What inspired the title of your album and songs like “Beautiful Dirty Rich”?
The album title is based on fame and the songs are about our celebrity obsessed culture. It is about putting these two ideas together on the album. I grew up in an environment with rich girls like Nicky Hilton who I went to school with. They didn’t do anything but were famous. I grew up and moved downtown. Me and my friends had no money in our pockets, did drugs, made demos and partied big. We totally felt famous for no reason. We were nobodies but felt like rockstars. It is funny how people define their own fame. Andy Warhol said, “I am famous for my parties”. It had nothing to do with who you are it was more of a choice or inner self realization. When I think of his work, I thought he was making a comment about our culture. Fame is an ideal and we can all get a piece of it for ourselves.
Your sound seems to defy any one genre. How would you describe your sound?
Thanks for saying that. Definitely pop, crunk, vogue. No one has been able to describe it right so I don’t want to give it away. (laughs)
How did living in New York City affect your sound?
Completely, the street fashions, coldness of the concrete, and traveling back and forth across the world. There is a sense of urgency in New York City and it takes a certain lifestyle to live there. In Europe they have it right. The wine and cheese, cool dance music and good afternoon creativity are amazing. I think New York City is trying to emulate the European lifestyle.
Some of your music reminds me of the vogueing craze that was popular in the late ‘70s club scene in NYC. Is that one of your influences?
Not so much in my music but in my performances. I am trying to interpret vogueing from old videos. I am trying to reinterpret it for the future and incorporate it into my performances. Trying to get it to reflect what you love.
Alright one last question: If you could go to Max’s Kansas City and ask Andy Warhol anything what would it be?
Um…Is it true you never had sex? I think it was a lie. Also where did he get his nerve? The idea of fame, where did it come from? I would die to be his muse. What kind of stuff do you have to do to be Edie Sedgwick?
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
Thanks. You ask thought provoking questions.