Lady Gaga Talks ‘Joanne’ Inspiration, Previews ‘Just Another Day’
Lady Gaga has declared her forthcoming fifth album, Joanne, as her most personal release yet, and she detailed the greater meaning behind the music and its multi-genre sound during an On Air With Ryan Seacrest interview today (October 4).
Speaking to the various genres present throughout the release-- ranging from rock to country to pop -- the "Perfect Illusion" singer says her main aim in creating an album so diverse in sound was to unite music fans with the material.
"What I really want to do is, I want to bring people together that wouldn't normally talk to each other, or hang out, or maybe like each other, or understand each other. Like somebody that listens to country music might think that they wouldn't be able to be friends with somebody that's really into art and dance music and avant-garde underground sounds," she said.
"Or someone that's into rock music maybe wouldn't think that they would be into an artist like me or somebody that's into folk or funk. Pretty much any genre of music that I'm knowledgable about is present on the album.”
But, she insists, make no mistake -- Gaga is first and foremost a pop artist, and Joanne remains firmly planted in the genre.
"At the center of it all, it is a pop record. I will carve it into my chest...because the thing is, I don't know if people forget this about me, or if it's just the way I am, but I'm never aiming to make a pop record that is of the status quo of what's happening in music," the Artpop singer said. "My aim is to always be different and to push things further. Not necessarily forward or backwards, but just push them in a new direction and it always has a positive message behind it."
Gaga continued, saying her decision to name the album after her late aunt, Joanne -- she died of the autoimmune disease lupus when she was 19 -- fit with the deeply personal nature of the material.
"My dad lost [Joanne] very quickly and it changed his life so dramatically. It wiped him out. Like, I don't even know if I know my real dad. And that's what this record was about," she said. "Do I even know my real father? Because my father was traumatized and I didn't know him then. I'm just not sure if all the drinks I've seen him have and all the drinks he's seen me have -- I'm just not sure if after all these years that anybody has healed from this. It's just that we're all in a state of aftermath that we don't even realize."
Gaga says she even tried to embody the spirit of her late aunt while writing and recording the album.
"Joanne, for me, was about writing an album that is about something much bigger than myself. It's about my connection to my family, my connection to my friends, my self-awareness of who I am in this world and what I wish to be," the American Horror Story actress continued. "I went into the studio and I erased my fame to write, and I said, 'I'm going to become Joanne. I'm going to take on the sentiment of a woman that didn't live the rest of her life.'"
Gaga then performed an acoustic version of current single "Perfect Illusion," as well as a snippet of unreleased Joanne track "Just Another Day," which appears as the last song on the album.
"['Just Another Day' is] probably the most New York-glam-pop song on the album," she said of the song. "It's the one that airs from [David Bowie], Mark Bolan, and then maybe from some like obscure, London metal stuff, the Beatles. It also kind of airs from the electro-clash movement from New York and that's kind of when I started coming up, was right after that."
Check out the audio above to hear Lady Gaga's full discussion with Ryan Seacrest about Joanne, working with Mark Ronson and her forthcoming Super Bowl performance.
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