In a candid conversation with MiD DAY, the fiercely flamboyant and original artist spoke of her plans to weave Eastern elements into Sunday's performance, her love for her 'monsters,' the varied sources of her creative inspiration, and her dream of organising a free concert in India
There is nothing rebellious about Lady Gaga, not when you meet this generation's hottest pop star in person. Dressed in a simple jacket and baggy trousers, the only thing that strikes you when she greets you are her crooked black talons. She has been giving interviews one after the other since afternoon -- but remarkably, there is no sign of fatigue.
History interests her. Lady Gaga is upset that she won't be able to visit Agra or the numerous other historical monuments that dot Delhi. "Not this time," she says. Instead, she plans to go visit "a nearby orphanage."
MiD DAY caught up with Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, in the Capital. The singer spoke about her dream to organise a 'free concert' in India, the album Born This Way: the remix, which she created specially for her Indian fans, her performance at LAP at the Jaypee Sports Complex in Greater Noida on Sunday, and more.
Here are excerpts:
What do you have in mind for India? Do you plan to perform your hit 'Born This Way' in Hindi, like you had promised earlier?
Yes, I will definitely sing 'Born This Way'. My 'Indian' is not very good. But I have help from incredible DJs who collaborated with me on remixes for the album. I am excited to incorporate elements of Indian culture into the performance, in my very own avant-garde style.
Keeping in mind that this is India, do you plan to tone down your flamboyant ways and adopt a more conservative stance for your performance? Will you be wearing something created by an Indian designer?
I don't want to ruin any surprises, but I'm definitely not changing my style of performance, to be more or less conservative. It is going to be 100 per cent Gaga.
India's greatest superstar, Shah Rukh Khan, has declared that he finds inspiration from you. Who inspires you?
My mom. She really inspires me. I love young designers, young artists, young inventors. I am inspired by the little monsters -- my fans. I will never forget my experiences here in India, and meeting so many Indian fans. This is my first trip to the country, and every one has been so warm. Today is a very special day for me. I will be back soon.
'Judas' and 'Born This Way' were remixed to incorporate Eastern beats and influences. Are you targeting the Indian market now?
I want it to be organic and real. I want to generate music that I know my young Indian fans will love. I gauge and understand the choices of audiences through social media. I am hoping that the remixes and my performance on Sunday will help.
Will we see you singing or acting in Bollywood flicks soon?
I don't know. If they ask me, I will.
What does India mean for you?
A new adventure. I love it. I feel like I am experiencing what I did when I first broke as a new artist, all over again. It is like a rebirth.
Your favourite Indian music director, if any?
Ravishankar. I don't listen to him regularly, but over the years, I've heard quite a bit. I have always admired his collaboration with the Beatles.
Behind all that the masses see, what is Lady Gaga, the person like?
Just like the one in front of you. Just like this, all the time.
You recently told a fashion magazine that 'if you serve your own wine, you will bring bad luck'. Do you believe in superstitions?
I am Italian, and I sometimes believe in bad luck: so yes.
Will you call yourself an exhibitionist?
Sure I am. I am an exhibition in my own museum. My whole life is performance art, and I hope to be rebelliously creative until my last breath.
How do you unwind?
I love to have wine and whisky with friends. I love to write music and plan DJ performances. I don't own a house. I am like a gypsy in a way. I just travel the world with my clothes, and create shows. In all my free time, I am thinking of my future home -- my next work.
From where do you draw inspiration for your music? Do you ever feel drained out?
Rainbows...unicorns...motorcycles...friends...cars...politics... Creativity is such a beautiful and rebellious force. I really believe that is my rebellion - through my creativity, and nothing else. After I write a song I feel drained out. Then I sort of fill up my gasoline and write another one. Now that I am in India, I want my listeners to know that I am the sole songwriter for every album, every concert - everything's done by me. It has been my dream since I can remember.
Is 'Born This Way: The Remix' targeted at Asian markets? What led you to come up with the album?
No, it was more for fun. I know how well my first two albums had done in India, and as I hadn't come visiting yet, I wanted to create a real connection with my fans before I arrived. From talking to the DJs who work in India, I can tell that they are very popular, and that makes me happy. It is my way of saying, 'even though I haven't come there yet, I know you are listening'.
What are you working on next?
Tours. I will be going to the UK next and then Japan. Next year, I go on my world tour. I am also working on my next album. I have a dream - to organise a free show in India in a huge space.