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About Me

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  1. Exactly 10 years ago on March 15, 2010, Lady Gaga released one of the most iconic and ambitious music videos of our generation: Telephone featuring Beyonce. The music video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, a Swedish director who has previously worked with Gaga on Paparazzi, and later on John Wayne. Variety interviewed Åkerlund on his best memories from the day of the shoot and working with Gaga. You can read excerpts from the interview below: “Telephone” was a direct sequel to “Paparazzi.” When you were working on “Paparazzi,” did you have an idea of where it would go? Not really, to be honest. It wasn’t really meant to be a series. I kind of like the idea of putting “to be continued” at the end [laughs], just to make it more exciting. And then that kind of became like, “Oh, wait a minute. Let’s continue.” And then we ended “Telephone” with “to be continued” as well. It’s kind of fun, and it would be cool to have a third one coming. And the internet has certainly been clamoring for that. Have you ever discussed doing a “Telephone” part 2? Not really, not really – [pause] yeah, we have actually. I don’t remember what song it was – we started to write it, but then we ended up doing something else. The “Telephone” shoot was so ambitious, so big-budget. How many days did you spend on set? We shot the whole thing in two days, which is pretty incredible. It had everything that’s kind of like a production nightmare, with wardrobe changes and car stuff and different locations. So we did one day around that jail, and then we did one day out in the desert. So it was a two-day shoot, and I remember clearly, while running out of time, when Beyonce showed up, and Beyonce and Gaga were practicing, like, literally there on the spot, figuring out the choreography while we were waiting. It was crazy. We were actually meant to shoot Beyonce’s performance part out in the desert, but then we lost daylight, so we improvised and put it in that little weird motel room. It was part of the location, where we were. We shot that whole part, like her speaking on the phone, all that stuff, in that motel room. What was the casting process like for the actors in the opening prison sequence? It’s so long ago, but I remember I wanted some bodybuilder girls in there, so we had some of those – you know, just like, rough. And the styling and all that, that’s the fun part with Gaga, because you can do stuff with her that you can’t necessarily do with other artists. She allows you to go fully all the way with stuff, that’s kind of the fun part of it. Gaga said to me, “I was right on the edge of getting bored with making music videos. MTV was never really good for me. They didn’t like me at MTV, I was always censored, and my ideas were always too ambitious or too big or too long, and they censored me and they cut my stuff.” There was even a point where MTV, like, approved treatments for us. They really controlled what to show in a really horrible way. So Gaga was, like, the first artist that came to me and said, “F— MTV, we can do this, we don’t need them. We can do this all online, on YouTube.” So that kind of made me excited again and realized what music videos could really be about, and the reason why I started music videos – all those things came back to me with her amazing attitude and her ideas and everything. The video did feel like a rebellion in a lot of ways – the “I told you she didn’t have a d—” line comes to mind, in particular. Whose idea was that? That was my idea. It wasn’t part of the treatment, I added that as a voiceover in the edit. Right around that time, there was speculation and rumors that, you know, Gaga was not a woman for some reason. And those were just, like, stupid rumors, obviously. And I wanted to make a thing out of it. We did it in the post-production. After that prison sequence, you have the scene where Gaga and Beyonce officially join forces – Beyonce’s feeding Gaga, and they’re swapping these crazy lines. What were you trying to convey with that scene? To be honest, I think that we improvised the dialogue. I think we had a few ideas written down, but I think we improvised the dialogue. I’m pretty sure that’s what we did. You know, there’s the whole thing with like, “you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger” and all that stuff. That just came from Gaga. She just made that s— up. I remember we shot a lot more dialogue than we ended up using in the actual video. But we wanted to have dialogue in the beginning, middle, end, to make it more like a short film, I guess, than a music video. Do you remember how you got the actual Pussy Wagon from “Kill Bill”? I know exactly how we got that, because we had another car, and then Gaga had a meeting at Quentin’s house, and she sent me a picture and said, “This is in Quentin’s driveway. Do we want it?” And I was like, “Yeah! We want it.” And I think it didn’t run or something, so we had to fix it up. And we fixed it up, and that’s why we ended up using it. And Quentin was fully okay with it? Yeah, I mean, thanks to Gaga being at his house, I guess. I would’ve never thought about it, because I remember we already had another car. This was literally, like, a day before the shoot or something. She takes everything to the next level. I don’t even think she thinks it is the next level. I think it’s just the way she thinks, the way she sees the world, and that’s what I love about her. For me, making music videos and trying to make an impact and trying to touch people or move people or whatever it is, making memorable images that are supposed to be attached to music, you know, she’s like a dream client. She works harder than most people I work with, and she encourages you to become a little better than you think you are. So that’s, to me, everything I need. It really takes two to tango – I can never make great videos without an artist who wants it, or believes in it, and pushes you. You worked with Gaga before “Telephone,” and you’ve worked with her since on “John Wayne.” Do you have plans to work with her again as she releases new music? I don’t know. We have a good thing going, and I show up and do my thing. If I had it my way, for sure. I love her to death. I’ve said it from day one: the first time I saw her play the piano on YouTube, I said, “This is, like, one of the most talented artists I’ve ever seen.” She can do anything she puts her head to, and that’s what she’s doing now. Again, for me as a director, she’s a dream person to work with. You can read the full interview on Variety here.
  2. Lady Gaga called NRJ France and two lucky fans to talk about her upcoming album and The Chromatica World Tour. Read below the interview translated by us. How Her Fans Changed Her Life "I will say the one thing I remember the most and that is the most important to me is that I saw something very special in my fans when I was younger. A lot of my fans were different in many ways, they felt different as persons. They were part of the LGBTQ+ community. They suffered a lot. I wanted to help them. During the last decades, I was a witness of these changes. I am so honored to be loved by this community and loved by persons who feel different. I have been that person as well. Watching this change in our culture was very beautiful. Even with my song ‘Stupid Love’ all I ever wanted for my fans was that they felt loved. Songs and music are always there for them. At the end of the day, my little monsters are always number one in my heart". Chromatica Will Be Funny And With Exciting Duets "This album has very exciting duets. I do not want to give away too much but I am excited for you to hear it. Chromatica is about kindness towards everyone but also to yourself. [...] The time spent in the studio was a celebration. I wanted people to understand that there is a way to change perspective about life. Everyone needs to believe in themselves. This is what “Chromatica” represents. The album is a way to dance through my sorrows. In a certain manner it was also a way to believe in myself everyday in the studio, with my producers who accompanied me in the songwriting. Even though I was sad, it felt great when I was listening again to my songs. It was very joyful.” The Chromatica Ball & Her Comeback in France I love art and I love imagining shows. It will be a different show. It will be something I created, something in the spirit, in the heart and in the soul of my album “Chromatica”. It won’t be at all like ENIGMA, and completely different. Except I will be here. I love France so much. I love my fans here. I had a great moment creating this album because I knew I will be coming to France to sing it. I knew at what point my french fans would like this music because they want to dance with me. I am impatient. As a reminder, 1 euro of each ticket sold will be donated to the Born This Way foundation, founded by Lady Gaga and her mother Cynthia Germanotta in 2012. Tickets are on sale on the 13th of March. Translation by: LadyGagaNow
  3. Billboard talks with Lady Gaga’s hairstylist, Frederic Aspiras, who revealed some inspirations and methods he used to cultivate and attune Lady Gaga to every persona she portrayed for the last decade. Read and excerpt of the interview below. "You can change a person's attitude, mood, and day just by the way the way they feel through their hair." "I was really nervous because I hadn't done a lot of makeup at the time. The kind of generosity he had as an artist was something I really identified with," Aspiras recalls with Billboard. "I didn't really show off my work and style but I really wanted to merge the two. I'm my own role model because we all strive to do better. In no way have I become a master of hair and I'm learning all the time, but I also have a lot to give back and have a lot of responsibility. This journey had really taught me to become a better person and artist." Upon making the successful transition from San Francisco to Los Angeles as a celebrity hairstylist, Aspiras spent nearly four years working with Paris Hilton. He planned on taking a vacation after touring with Hilton -- until he received a call from agent Kent Belden of The Only Agency, who asked if he would like to work with Lady Gaga in 2009. "I had just seen her on stage during an award show, and she needed somebody for her tour," Aspiras continues. "I said, 'Sure, why not, I would love to play with new hair.' I remember working for her the first night and she was so respectful of my ideas. I created one look for the Monster Ball tour, and before you know it, we were bouncing ideas off each other, creating every single look from there." The duo has seen many wins during their career trajectories over the past decade. "With Gaga and I, we respect each other's creative voices," he says. "And with that kind of respect coming from somebody you live for, you create that special bond, you never want to let that go. It brings out something really good in you. That's what friends do for each other." Tell us about the collaboration process between you and Lady Gaga. I look to her as an artist. So how we approach that is usually during meetings for a project. It's so important to listen to an artist, as she brings the inspiration out of you for her vision. I would need to create styles throughout [her shows] that contributed to her story. Sometimes I would recreate hairstyles on wigs so she can try out different hairstyles with different outfits. So I'm constantly [thinking of] new ideas I want to do with her in my studio. What would you choose as the most memorable hairstyles you've created for Gaga over the years? The most memorable moment was for the Venice Film Festival for A Star Is Born [last August]. I saw her step out of the hotel in her feathered dress and cried because it was so beautiful. There was a thunderstorm, I don't know what happened, but it was like a [Federico] Fellini movie scene! The next would have to be the [2017 Super Bowl halftime show] because it was monumental. It was such an important moment in her career so it had to be perfect! And her hair changed halfway. To watch it on playback was beautiful. Another one was the [2012] Born This Way world tour. We became family on that tour, spending day and night together. I created so many styles for it. I never got bored while we toured around the world three times. When we did American Horror Story: Hotel [in 2015], [makeup artist] Kim Ayers and I had to come up with something like 70-90 different hairstyles [for the singer's Countess character]. We were on set sometimes from five in the morning to three in the morning. It was really, really hard but rewarding. How would you describe her current hair aesthetic? She is such a beautiful human being. Her aesthetic so far this year is something that reflects who we are now as artists. I can't speak for her, but I can say I'm a more comfortable stylist now because of her. How do you decide when to use a wig versus her natural hair? We don't decide. It depends based on the looks, style and color. And with things like hair extensions, people have realized they don't need to bleach their hair. If there is a time where I feel like it might damage her hair, I would suggest a wig, which looks just like her hair. So how many wigs do you think you two have amassed together? She has some, but I have all the wigs. I had archived them through the years. I would say there are about 5,000. There's also a collection you can see in Las Vegas, and a lot of them are in New York. What does Lady Gaga like to listen to while getting ready? When she first walks in, I would probably play some Don Henley because you're sitting for so long. I would also bring in some Ace of Base. I would love to play ARTPOP -- it’s my favorite album. I would also play jazz like Tony Bennett, of course. She actually played for me when I went to receive my [Hairstylist of the Year honor at the Daily Front Row Awards in March], and I cried. We have a great time in the trailer talking to each other. It really is like a family. You can read the full interview here.
  4. Lady Gaga will grace the cover of ELLE US Magazine’s December issue. It’ll include an interview to the star by the one and only Oprah Winfrey, to whom she opened up about her career and mental health. The news broke when Elle editor-in-chief Nina Garcia shared a fashion film from the cover photoshoot set on Instagram. Gaga stuns in a variety of different outfits and accessories by a myriad of brands, including Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Balmain, Armani, Givenchy, Tiffany & Co and more. LISTEN THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW: When asked about how she has become more of herself over the past 10 years, Gaga said: “I consider myself to be a kindness punk. I look back at everything I’ve done, and I look at what I’m doing now, and punks, you know, have a sort of reputation for being rebellious, right? So for me, I really view my career, and even what I’m doing now, as a rebellion against all the things in the world that I see to be unkind. Kindness heals the world.” She also dishes out on letting go of her character as Ally: “Well, actually, the character of Ally stayed with me for a long time. I had to relive a lot of my career doing that role. I don’t know how you feel when you’ve acted, but for me, I don’t view it as filming a movie. I film it as living the character, and it’s a moment in my life, so I relived it all again, and it took a long time for it to go away.” Read the full interview here and grab your copy of ELLE US Magazine when it hits the shelves.
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