The Island Def Jam music group is a record label group formed in 1999, when Universal Music Group merged two of its daughter companies, Island Records and Def Jam Recordings, to create a label group. Also, incorporated into the venture was the staff, roster, and back catalog of Mercury Records, which was dismantled for several years until it was revived as a new venture in 2007. Meanwhile, the imprints Island Records and Def Jam Recordings continue to operate as their own respective labels underneath the Island Def Jam umbrella.
Work with Lady Gaga
The new sound increased Lady Gaga's popularity with early song like "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" and "Shake Your Kitty". Gaga began to do her live performances with her keyboard and her MacBook playing her synthetic beats. Even with a new kind of music, getting recognition by the music industry was not easy for her. While trying to be discovered, Gaga revealed that "When [she] was playing the New York rock clubs, a lot of record labels thought [she] was too theatrical. Then, when [she] auditioned for stage musicals, the producers said [she] was too pop". Until one day, Rob Fusari met her.
- "I played it for Joshua Sarubin, who was [Vice-President of A&R] at Island Def Jam and he’s like, ‘I gotta get this girl in here next week.'"
Sarubin said that “There was something unusual about her.” “She sat down at the piano in a showcase room and the way she played and the lyrics and the way she acted and sang was just so different and in your face, and you couldn’t turn away. She was wearing these crazy white thigh-high boots and a black minidress and she had this presence like, ‘I’m sexy and I don’t care what anybody has to say about it.’"
During that meeting, charmain Antonio "L.A." Reid stopped in and said to her "I can hear you from my office, you're very loud!" He saw a born star inside that young women and signed her on the spot. On September 6 of 2006, Gaga said I Do to an artist development deal with and a first album scheduled for May 2007. "But after he signed me, he never met with me. I used to wait outside his office for hours, hoping he'd take meetings with me about my songs, but it never happened. He eventually dropped me after three months." "I was pretty devastated. I know what it's like being on a label when they don't quite get it," says Gaga of her original major label deal. That confidence was shaken when she got dropped from Island Def Jam after just a few months. The reason the company booted her remains a mystery, but word came down from Reid’s office that they were severing the contract.
The break up inspired the song, "Paper Gangsta" and inspired the music video for "Marry the Night".