Lady Gaga Talks Target, Grammys And Madonna For ‘Billboard’

Becky Bain | February 18, 2011 11:10 am

Billboard sat down with 1000th Hot 100 chart-topper Lady Gaga — well, the Billboard interviewer sat, while Gaga probably hovered in her ridiculous footwear — to discuss a multitude of subjects, from her Grammy performance to the Madonna comparisons in regards to her single “Born This Way”, which she calls “the marijuana to the heroins of the album.” Jump below to hear the singer explain the conscious decision to make her single sound like the Material Girl, and discuss what she considers to be “the most dangerous thing that has happened” to the music industry. (And no, it’s not all of you little monsters who found less than legal ways of procuring “Born This Way”.)

In case you thought Gaga’s Grammy performance comprised of creepy pointed shoulder pads and just happy-go-lucky dancing, you are so off. Says Gaga: “The Grammy performance was about many things but ultimately the song ‘Born This Way’… is visually and thematically and lyrically about birthing a new race, birthing a race within the race of already existing cultures of humanity – that bears no prejudice and no judgment. The whole performance was a Gregorian Albin Ailey, had Martha Graham energy to it, and that was a statement in itself.”

Lady Gaga 1

She also gives some insight into why she was okay to team up with Target to release a special edition of her album, complete with three bonus studio cuts and remixes. (Many of her fans have raised eyebrows at this partnership, since Target had recently made headlines when they used corporate funds to support Tom Emmer, who ran for governor of Minnesota with an anti-gay campaign.)

“Part of my deal with Target is that they above to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past… our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistake they’ve made supporting those groups.”

Gaga’s real beef isn’t with Target — it’s with music producers. “I think in the music industry, something has happened where the producers have begun to think or believe – or the industry has begun to think or believe – that the producer makes the hits. This is the most dangerous thing that has happened to this business. Because it takes the credibility away from the singer and from the artist. It’s unfair to the artist.”

Regarding the critique that her single sounds curiously like Madonna’s “Express Yourself”, Gaga explains, “I think what people are hearing, to be precise, is the spirit of the early ’90s. It’s not just Madonna, it’s Whitney Houston, it’s En Vogue, it’s TLC. It was a ’90s-dance-early-gospel-fusion-with-pop-music, and that’s precisely what I intended for it to sound like.”

As far as the rest of the album, the “heroin”, there’s a song called “Marry The Night”, produced by Gaga and Fernando Garibay. Lyrics include, “I’m gonna marry the night, I won’t give up on my life. I’m a warrior queen… I’m gonna make love to the stars… I’m a soldier in my own emptiness. I’m a winner.”

Gaga was less forthcoming when asked about the “Born This Way” music video. “It looks completely different than everything I’ve ever done… it is the birth of a new race. Really deep stuff.”

As deep as paint shooting out of one’s fingertips? Let’s  hope so!