Lady Gaga is the next rock/pop/electro superstar – or maybe she is the first. Mix one part Blondie with one part Madonna, swirl it in a bath of the Scissor Sisters and Junior Senior, throw in some glitch and sprinkle with glitter and you come close the recipe. Winter Music Conference was her launching pad and the industry took note of her. Working with Akon and Red One, the Lady Gaga has crafted a debut CD full of beats and melodies set for release later this summer. Until then, watch for her music video "Just Dance" and live performances as she tours the US.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Listening to your music, I don't want to do a traditional Q&A
interview. I'm going to say a bunch of names and you tell me what
impact they've had on your life. Let's start with the Pussycat Dolls.
Lady Gaga: Well you know, I love a girl in her underwear, first of all. Secondly, I've been writing for them, so Nicole Scherzinger has been in my head for probably the past three months. There's something that's very humbling about being able to write for a powerhouse group like that. Probably the biggest influence that they've had on me is making me want to be a better writer for them.
RS: That's awesome. How about Akon?
Lady Gaga: Akon is a very talented songwriter to work with. His melodies, they're just insane. It's funny, I think about him a lot when I'm doing my melodies because he's so simple, and he's just been great. He keeps me on my feet, very grounded, but he also puts me on a silver platter, which is always very nice. So it's been an incredible influence. It's like every time you work with somebody that's better that you are, you become greater.
RS: Really cool. How about the Scissor Sisters?
Lady Gaga: Oh, I love them, I can't breathe. I remember the first time I heard them, it was on the radio, and I was like, 'who the heck is that?' They are a big influence. I love the disco, their outfits, and they really care about their performance. Conceptually I just think they're very smart in their approach. I'm also a big Elton John fan, and you can hear the influence on every record, so I love them. They were big – I really thought about them when I did "Dirty Rich."
RS: You can definitely hear that. How about Red One?
Lady Gaga: Red One is like the heart and soul of my universe. I met him and he completely, one hundred and fifty thousand percent wrapped his arms around my talent, and it was like we needed to work together. He has been a pioneer for the House of Gaga and his influence on me has been tremendous. I really couldn't have done it without him. He taught me in this own way – even though he's not a writer, he's a producer – he taught me how to be a better writer, because I started to think about melodies in a different way.
RS: So where does the name Lady Gaga come from?
Lady Gaga: Queen's song "Radio Ga-Ga."
RS: You are coining all kinds of great words. Tell us about retrosexual.
Lady Gaga: Retrosexual – I came out with that a long time ago. Me and my buddy Tom were hanging out one day in the studio and we were talking about metrosexuals, because he had bought a pair of boots and I said 'Those are very metrosexual.' And he was like 'I don't know, I think they're kind of retro.' And I said 'So you're retrosexual.' It was kind of a joke. The more I thought about it – I'm so obsessed with all things retro, the 70s and 80s. I don't know, that word just kind of flew out of my mouth one day, and it stuck with me. I often do that – if I coin terms, they'll become like the centerfold of my entire project or an entire record.
RS: Very cool. What was it like filming the video for "Just Dance?"
Lady Gaga: Oh it was so fun, it was amazing. For me it was like being on a Martin Scorsese set. I've been so low budget for so long, and to have this incredibly amazing video was really very humbling. It was really fun, but you'll see if you ever come to a video shoot of mine one day – I'm very private about those things, I don't really talk to everybody. I'm not like the party girl running around. I might even seem to be a bit of a diva. I'm sort of with myself, in my work head space worrying about costumes, and if extras look right, and placement. I don't just show up for things, you know. That video was a vision of mine. It was Molina the director who wanted to do something, to have a performance art aspect that was so pop but it was still commercial, but that felt like lifestyle. It was all those things, I love it.