Metro International is a Swedish media company based in Luxembourg that publishes the Metro newspapers. Metro is the largest international newspaper in the world. Metro is published in over 100 major cities in 20 countries across Europe, North & South America and Asia. Metro has a unique global reach -- attracting a young, active, well-educated Metropolitan audience of 17 million daily readers.
Metro World News is Metro's central content resource, comprised of 9 full-time writers, editors and designers who create original material, and harness the talents and access of our more than 400 local journalists across four continents. The resulting stories, posted daily, cover a world's worth of news, entertainment, style, health and motoring, with each piece written for the same reader: a youthful, engaged professional seeking to understand what's happening right now.
On April 7, 2011, Metro international released a press release stating that Lady Gaga would become the Guest Global Editor-in-Chief on May 17, 2011. In her role as Global Guest Editor-in-Chief, Lady Gaga will highlight issues surrounding equality and individuality, select stories and provide her comments on the breaking news of the day. Lady Gaga will edit Metro's editions in 20 countries from the London office of Metro World News, Metro's central news desk.
We're thrilled to have Lady Gaga take the helm of our newspapers for the day! Together with Lady Gaga, Metro World News and our local teams will produce a one-of-a-kind newspaper on May 17. Lady Gaga is an extraordinary artistic force, so I'm confident that the edition will reflect her personality: creative, inspiring -- and surprising!
—said Maggie Samways Executive Vice President and Global Editor-in-Chief of Metro International
As part of the Global Guest Editorship, Metro will also run a competition where one lucky reader will be chosen to serve as Lady Gaga's editorial assistant in London. The contest is open to all Metro readers and Gaga fans, and will challenge readers to share what makes them "Born This Way," and to identify what issues of equality affect them.
Let's see how fans would define what 'Born This Way' is for them. I say I was born to be brave. That's part of my mission in life. I was born to follow my artistic visions. Look into yourself. Are you born to be brave?
A collaboration between the world's biggest pop star today and the largest newspaper is a dynamic way to together engage shared group of young monsters -- sorry, readers -- on important issues. This cooperation is unparalleled, and to be sure our readers are aware and engaged, Metro will roll out a promotional advertising campaign that will reach over 37 million readers around the globe.
—Christian Quarles Vice President and Global Marketing Director of Metro International
So I’m from your old neighborhood in New York. My mother teaches musical theater there.
Have you seen my show? Because I was a theater kid. I was always perceived as a theater nerd and that is very much a part of all the bullying I talk about during the show. It stemmed from that.
Theater geeks are taking over the world now, culturally.
Yeah. And a lot of theater lovers are super music librarians and super fashion librarians and know everything about composers, designers and directors. They’ve so much to be in love with.
Let’s start with the new album, “Born This Way.” Is there a theme to it? Are we wrong to expect a statement from dance music?
No, in fact, thank goodness everyone expects something from me at this point. “Born This Way” is my answer to many questions over the years: Who are you? What are you about?… The most paramount theme on the record is me struggling to understand how I can exist as myself as someone who lives halfway between fantasy and reality all the time.
What’s it like to live between two people?
It’s not two people. It’s two worlds. Two aesthetics. For example, the religious themes I explore on the album are not necessarily religious in an institutional way but are about being fascinated with characters. I was taught my whole life about Judas and Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene fascinates me because she was, in my belief, both wholly human and wholly divine. So how can I be fully magical and fully human?
You’re going to get a lot of autobiographical questions because you’re selling your personality on “Born This Way.”
Isn’t that interesting, that you have to sell your personality? That in itself is kind of what “Born This Way” is all about. I don’t want to sell my personality. My personality is mine and yours is yours.
But the difference is, you’re asking me to pay for yours. Are you a real person or part of a marketing machine?
It’s kind of like saying, ‘Are you honest? Do you have integrity? Are you full of shit?’ But listen, my social involvement for equality and gay rights, as well as my music, is completely genuine. But I don’t think I ever want everyone to ever know fully who or what I am. Part of what I’m doing is asking you to look inside yourself, to ask yourself questions. Have you been in therapy?No therapy yet. I probably should be. [Laughs] I have a close relationship with my family. I’m very close with my fans and I’m in tune with what they want. And I’m in tune with myself, too. At the end of the day, I have to look myself in the mirror and I’m proud of everything I stand for. I have no reason to do or say anything unless it comes from my soul. I work very hard. I don’t party very much. You don’t see me falling out of nightclubs and buying Range Rovers. Social justice and music are the two most paramount things in my life and I can’t put it more plainly.
Where does sexuality fit in to that? Do you use it consciously?
Because I’m sexy? [Laughs] Well, I’m a woman. Now, what specifically do you find sexy? I think this is funny. For the first two-and-a-half years of my career, I was considered to be the weird girl who dressed very crazy. I don’t think I’m perceived as sexy.
You never felt sexy, even when first performing?
I felt like any other 15-year-old girl who’s trying to figure it all out. I’m just like any other chick really. Did I view myself as a sexual being? I was very insecure for a very long time; I didn’t know that I would be very comfortable with it and it wasn’t until very recently that I actually enjoyed sex. I was talking with my sister about how it’s not until you really love yourself that you can give love to others.
Are you addicted to your fans?
Yeah, well, it’s… it’s very strange because there’s really no line anymore between where I begin and my fans begin. We are all one. I feel like I would die from a lack of inspiration if I didn’t have them. I never want them to feel like I abandoned their culture. It’s not about the money for me. I’d give all the money away if I had to choose between it and them.
That’s a strange answer from a multi-millionaire.
Look, people who make music and get famous and then start to slow down and get lazy – they weren’t in it for the music. I can’t put it out my music fast enough. I wanted to put this record out seven months ago. I’m not wallowing in some romanticized idea of what it means to be an “artiste.” I’m a musician but also a visionary who cares about social and human rights because it affects my fans and that’s my overarching life work now.
So, about human rights
You wanted to ask Metro readers why they were “Born This Way”…
Yes, I wanted to find the most connected monsters and ask them the question: ‘Why were you born this way?’ I laughed because before a foreign journalist sat down and asked me, “How queer are you?”
Was that a case of lost in translation?
I said, first of all, we don’t really use that word here. But what he was really asking me was ‘How gay are you?’ I’m off-the-charts gay! [Laughs] But that’s not quite the way to put it. As if you are or you’re not. It’s not mathematical. It’s this fucking completely subjective overarching aesthetic called life and you have this huge palate to paint from and you’re asking me ‘How queer are you?’ That’s just one palate. It’s like I say so many things in that song [“Born This Way”]. But the first thing everyone comes back with is, gaygaygaygaygaygaygay. Are you gay? Is the song gay? And you’re missing what life is offering you because you’re hinged on one word. Look into yourself. Are you born to be brave? To rebuke all of these labels?
Well, you’re expecting the world to be where you are.
It’s generational. And it’s me reminding myself, as an artist, “Dear Lady Gaga, you are not a trend.”
Wait — do you address yourself as Lady Gaga when you talk to yourself in your head?
I do. Not as Stefani. It’s Gaga. Stefani is who I am, too, but I’m Gaga all the time. [Pauses] Wait, I lost my train of thought talking about the four different people that I am.
You were talking about not being a trend.
Yeah, it’s scary when you go into the recording studio and you know the world has a perception of what you create. I have to write myself a freaking letter: “Dear You, nobody can tell you who you are. You are who you decide to be.” And then I can create music.
Notes from the interviewer
When you tell people you’ve sat down with Lady Gaga for an interview, their first question is, “What was she wearing?” — as if she might have appeared in a meat dress, carried in an egg. In fact, when we met at the Beverly Hills Hotel, alone in a banquet hall, she was wearing a sheer black top with black pasties underneath. It was almost elegant.
Their second question is, “What was she like?” After reading this story, you’d probably agree: She’s intelligent. Earnest. Aware of her power.
Refreshingly, Gaga is also mindful of the fact that she’s only recently become a star. Her experiment with fame paid off. Now 25, she aims to share herself via the album (“This who who the fuck I am,” she says), challenge her fans musically (with “big huge beats”) and, oh, one more thing: change the world. The fun part will be seeing what she wears while trying.