If Freddie Mercury were alive today, he would lovingly embrace Lady GaGa, who bears the name of one of Queen's greatest hits, "Radio GaGa." Like Queen, Lady GaGa has a knack for theatrical performance, and at the age of 17, her talents gained her early admission to the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Five years later, after gaining notoriety on New York's club circuit, Lady GaGa has burst onto the international scene, with her provocative debut: The Fame.
The Fame's innovative blend of rock, electronica, disco, and pop is a refreshing alternative in the current musical landscape, and Lady GaGa's presence assuredly guarantees that pop performance art will never be the same.
Upon review of The Fame, Lady GaGa managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry— reflecting on Andy Warhol, the paparazzi, and her "trash-sophisticated" style.
You have a very unique sense of style. Along with Donatella Versace, you also list Peggy Bundy as one of your fashion icons. How would you define your style, and what inspiration do you draw from those particular women?
I would say that it is trash-sophisticated. I would say that it's futuristic, but still classic. I take a lot of my references from the '70s and from European fashion mostly because they're ahead of us. I try to stay in tune with what's going on over there. So, my style is fashion-forward.
What led you to incorporate the theatrical part of your performance instead of just being a singer?
It just kind of happened. I did theater in high school and I did theater in college. I went to the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Whenever I would do pop performances, people would say I should do theater. When I would audition for musicals, they'd tell me I was too pop. I dropped out of college and got frustrated. I said, "F**k it. I will do whatever I want to do". I started playing at the Lower East Side, then all over New York, really.
It's funny: when I started playing in New York, when I was 14, it was more folk, songwriter-y kind of show – just me and the piano. Then when I got downtown, there were so many f**king songwriters. Everybody did the same s**t, super-boring. I wanted to do something that was original and fresh. Well, there's nothing more provocative than doing pop music in the underground, instead of doing underground music that would pass as pop. I'm talking about real pop music that would pass in the underground – the reverse. So I did that.