Zane Lowe: How are you?
Lady Gaga: Whoa, it's-- I'm good. How are you?
Zane Lowe: I'm good. It's nice to see you. I mean, this is weird, but it's still lovely to see you.
Lady Gaga: You too, man. I know. It's not the same. But, you know, we're lucky.
Zane Lowe: First of all, it would be kind of strange not to--
Lady Gaga: I'm happy to see you.
Zane Lowe: Aw, you too. You too.
Lady Gaga: Like really, it's like, it's so nice to see you. I love you, Zane. Like, I just--
Zane Lowe: Aw, I love you too.
Lady Gaga: I'm happy that we're doing this, and... I, I think music is powerful, and I know you feel that way. And I'm, I'm just super excited to talk to you.
Zane Lowe: Aw, me too. I've been waiting for this moment, because I think the world wants to hear this album. I think the delay only increased the anticipation, and I know that wasn't by design, but it's funny how life works that way. And um, and also, because I haven't done anything like this yet, and this feels like a kind of new frontier in terms of this, because we've been doing it via FaceTime the whole time. But it just feels like this is a major step forward for some reason, I don't know why. It must feel kind of nice just to go into the studio and actually be doing something resembling work, you know what I mean?
Lady Gaga: It's a super, uh, interesting time. Uh, it's been a very difficult time for a lot of people. And we stopped the, uh, the drop of the record, and everything that we were doing, because I really wanted to be more specific at one point. Like, I wanted to do something to help the world, uh, that was very focused. And working with the World Health Organization and Global Citizen was a way for me to talk about kindness, and the things that I believe in, in a very focused way, um, a-- as opposed to a more ab-- abstract way, which for me, is what Chromatica is. It's this, it's this, uh, beautiful abstraction of my perception of the world. And I just wanted to wait for a second and do something specific. And then when it felt appropriate, I was like, "Okay, we can get abstract."
Zane Lowe: What's funny as well, because it feels weird to be promoting anything, and it just feels like it should be a selfless time, and we should all be outward looking, and not inward looking, and find a way to kind of be more connected to people as a whole. And I feel that that is very much the statement you made too.
Lady Gaga: I do think it's important to, uh, to look inside at all times as well. You know, self-care, and taking care of your, you know, mental health, I think helps you to take care of other people.
Zane Lowe: For sure.
Lady Gaga: And actually, like, I'm not really promoting. I, I, I view this conversation as something that I would want to do anyway. I mean, you know how I feel about, about your, uh, perception of music, and how it affects people in the world. I-- what I think is most effective right now, for what it's worth, is simple messaging. That is either kind in nature, or thought provoking in nature, that speaks to where we are as a society, and as a culture. Where, you know, I really believe that we're operating with a very rudimentary system, and, you know, in the "Stupid Love" video red and blue are fighting, you know, could decidedly, if you wish it to be, a, you know, a political commentary. And it, it's very divisive. I-- the way that I see the world is that we are divided, and that, uh, it, it crates for a very tense environment that is very extremist. And it's, it's, it's part of my vision of Chromatica, which is to say that this is not dystopian, and it's not utopian. This is just how I, how I make sense of things, is Chromatica. And I wish for-- that to be a message that... I can translate to other people.
Zane Lowe: It is a world, though. I mean, it, like you say, it kind of straddles both sides, and it stands in the middle, and it's observ-- it's observant. Like, you know, Chromatica is an ob-- is an observation. Um--
Lady Gaga: Yeah.
Zane Lowe: But I feel like, with, with the video, and when you're drawn into the world, your world, but it's also a very uni-- It's like a sharing experience as well as a caring experience, for you it's both. And, and I wonder, you know, what you're hoping we get out of that? Because we're going to talk about what you've gotten out of it. But what do you want people to get out of listening to this album right now?
Lady Gaga: You know, I really, I wish to go on a journey that I've been on with the world before, which is when I know that I've opened my own creative portal to the other realm and made music out of my own personal experiences. That is also related to how much I love people and love the world, and what I want them to feel and experience. You know, I was just talking to my friends, and I was saying, "You know, I can't wait to dance with people to this music, I can't wait to just to go into, uh, you know, any space with a whole bunch of people and blast this as loud as possible to show them how much I love them." And until then, I hope that they listen to this record, and go on not only my personal journey with me and dance through all the pain, but also go through their own journey, and dance through all their pain. And maybe there will be some arc within that sign that aligns us both. And so from afar, how can we connect?
Zane Lowe: You know, you've danced before. And in fact, you made the world dance when you first came out and started to release music officially. And we've talked about this, and how important, you know, putting four-on-the-floor back on the radio, and how it felt like people used to come to your early tours and dance, and it was a release. And I felt like, until Chromatica and since ARTPOP, you haven't been dancing. I'm sure you have, but it hasn't felt like you have with us. And I wonder why that was.
Lady Gaga: I don't know that I was dancing in my brain, in my heart, uh, in my spirit. I think I felt, uh... very turned around in life. Um, and, you know, I'm always remiss to talk about, like, my personal experience with fame or my personal experience with, uh, being an artist that's, by proxy, because of pop culture, also a celebrity, right? But the truth is, I think that I was trying to make sense of my humanity within a system that is the music industry, that decidedly is also objectifying. I mean, that objectification makes me feel like a, a robot. And then, you start to act like one. And once you start to act like that robot, you lose a sense of your humanity. And through writing this album, I would be so sad, and then I would hear myself sound happy in a song, and I'd go, "Wait a second, this is completely incongruent, and yet it came from me." So, how did that just happen?
Zane Lowe: Which is so funny, because it's often the subconscious goes the other way in the artistic spirit. Often, you're feeling happy on the outside, surface distractions, all the things you've built for yourself, this world you created that tells you you're happy, and safe, and successful. And the music is coming out as subconsciously sad and depressed. It's very rare that I've spoken to an artist at this, at your level, that was having a subconscious joyful experience, or striving at least, to find joy, subconsciously--
Lady Gaga: Yeah!
Zane Lowe: And not forcing it.
Lady Gaga: You're dead on. I was subconsciously experiencing joy. And what I've learned about the brain is that, while that's happening, if you have extensive, uh, trauma, or, uh, any mental issues like the ones I have, your unconscious, as you are becoming joyful goes, "No. Stop. Stop what you're doing, come back to my-- me, I am your sadness. If you become happy, you are unsafe." And this goes back to this idea of objectification where, you know, it's like one of these weird things, Zane, like, I, I really do understand why people go like, "It's so annoying when artists complain about being mobbed at the grocery store," right? But I am also, like, just a person. And... what happened, I think, with me and this album is, on a subconscious level, I was experiencing joy, while consciously, I was experiencing an immense amount of depression as a result of this objectification, a lack of feeling like a human. And then unconsciously, my body was like, "Stop." Like, "You're making a mistake. If you don't brace yourself, you will get hurt." Because I, I've developed a fe-- like a fear of the public, but not a fear of people. I love people. So, this album is about like, how, how did I... ...how did I--
Zane Lowe: Get back to people.
Lady Gaga: Get, get back to people, and how do I connect with people, and go like, "Hey, I'm over here, I'm a person, I'm an artist. Like, I'm not a celebrity"? Whatever this thing is, this, uh, celebrity thing, it's like I, I wish to like, like, uh... ...I wish to era-- eradicate its existence.
Zane Lowe: Ah! And that's an amazing observation, because I think a lot of reason why we as fans get confused about the trade. Because the trade is, you want this. You put, you put so much effort, and so much attention and so much hyper focus into driving your narrative into a place where you become successful, because what you really dream for, and you focus on, you get. And then, we take your narrative away, and we tell you, "This is what you wanted, this is what you asked for."
Lady Gaga: Yeah, because when you were a little girl, and you were good at piano and writing songs, you decided you were going to trade your talent, uh, with the world in exchange for us telling you who you are.
Zane Lowe: Yeah!