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November 19, 2008Edit

You might not know her yet but you definitely will. Lady Gaga is a natural-born entertainer who has a quirky yet sophisticated style. By age 3 she learned how to play the piano by ear and by age 13, she wrote her first piano ballad.

Bay day at age 14 she was attending the Sacred Heart School (same school as Paris and Nicky Hilton) and by night she hit open mike nights at clubs around Manhattan. By age 17, she became one of 20 kids to gain admission to NYU. Now, at age 22, she has already traveled the world and back.

How did you get your start with singing?
I always sang, just always. I wasn't very good but around 13 I started to get really good and I was discovered in a boutique shop. A vocal coach discovered me and it turned out he was a coach for Christina Aguilera. The rest is history.

How did you come up with the name Lady Gaga?
From the Queen's song, "Radio Ga Ga". My producer Rob Fusari thought I was so theatrical and I played this song called "Again Again" on the piano and I was doing all these theatrical things. Since then I've been known as Lady Gaga.

How would you describe your style of music? Who are some of your influences?
My style is pop. My influences are David Bowie, Madonna, Talking Heads, Catch Out Boys, Duran Duran, Elvis, The Beatles and the list goes on.

I'm really the do it yourself (DIY) pop artist.
Most pop artists donít write their own music or execute their own vision but this is all me. I wrote all the music, I design the clothing, the stage. Its completely 150 thousand percent my vision. I'm the DIY pop artist.

How would you describe your fashion sense?
I'm very fashion forward, very future thinking. I'm always trying to do whatís next. My style is futuristic, Italian, couture meets the casino.

Favorite designers: Matt Williams, Armani, Gucci, Chanel.

Where are you originally from?
I'm from Manhattan, West Side and moved down to the Lower East Side to the East Village. I went to NYU for a few years where I was planning on majoring in theatre.

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to relax. I like to go to museums, the beach, I like to do stuff for myself like read books and watch.

What is a typical day in your life like?
I wake up at 8 and then I have a panic attack on what I'm going to be doing for the rest of the day. Then, I go to coffee to get some caffeine. After that there is nothing typical. I could be hopping on a plane, or performing somewhere.

Where are some of your favorite places to go to in LA?
I like putzing around LA, I like west Hollywood, the area that I live.

Restaurants: Katsuya, Mr. Chows, I also really love toast and earth café. I love the health food and sushi, Imai.

Nightclubs: I like Hyde, Opera & Goa.

How has your life changed since you were signed to Interscope?
Not much has changed but now more people know my music. I'm really in it for the music. Its not about money, its about creativity and inspiring people and myself and being new. The difference was I was playing for 40 people before and now its 40,000. Now I get to reach a lot of new people.

You really don't get recognition until you're ready. The work needs to be strong enough. We don't even have the resources anymore to shove stuff down people's throats. Not many people try to go out to shows anymore unless its Kanye.

I remember Dark Starwork; they did Grateful Dead covers. That kind of hunger to get tickets is gone. Where I am now is a result of hard work and the vision being ready and even though now I have a label, it can only get you so far.

Where is your favorite place to visit?
The South of France, I had a friend who lived there and I got to go for free and I took the opportunity to go and I went. Its calm and amazing. The food is clean and delicious, the culture is great. I love Italy too.

Would you like to say anything to your fans?
My first single is called "Just Dance" and its coming out right now. We haven't gone to radio yet but we started coming up on the charts and I'd encourage them to listen it. It's a total party record. Checkout the live show on YouTube.

What are you wearing?
Black Stella McCartney dress
Cummerbund by vintage
Chanel scarf
Glasses Versace 90s vintage
Marni shoes
Hat bought off the street

Photography and article by David C. Lee


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