ØH: Lady Gaga has become a phenomenon in herself. What’s her secret, and how has she managed to be seen as an light pop artist to artistic superstar in so short time?
LOB: Lady Gaga is quite a complicated phenomenon. She is like a latter-day Madonna, making spectacular use of visuals and marketing and modern pop sounds. I wouldn’t say her music is beautiful or particularly moving, but it demands to be heard. It’s experimental, and innovative and… muscular. Very ‘now’!
She’s definitely intelligent and has a clear performance art aesthetic, but sometimes, like Madonna, it gets muddled with her ambition and desire for fame. And her costume changes and videos are at times over-self conscious, trying too hard. I don’t think good music comes out of the desire for fame – fame is a byproduct of great music. Sometimes people confuse the two!
I think Gaga has longevity, and after this initial rush of superstardom, she’ll probably settle down and write more considered, heartfelt music. Like Madonna, too, she’s a fantastic live performer, and subversive. I like the monster motif for her current tour. She identifies with misfits everywhere, and that’s what makes her so popular.