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While establishing herself as an artist and working her way up through the New York underground club scene, Gaga met with producer Rob Fusari. Together, they wrote music which landed to a short lived record deal with Island Def Jam. After being dropped, Gaga was then signed by Vincent Herbert to Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records in late 2007. Gaga became a songwriters for artists at Interscope Records while she was also completing her debut album.
Overall, the writing of the album took around two years and a half from 2006 to 2008. The first songs written for the album were recorded in 2006 with producer Rob Fusari at his own studio, 150 Studios in Parsippany, New Jersey. During that time, the duo recorded in total more than 20 songs, 7 of them were released.
In 2007, Rob Fusari suggested to Gaga that she needed to expand her sound by working with other producers. From there, she met with producers duo KNS Productions ("Summerboy"), Noize Trip and with RedOne. The first songs written with RedOne include "Boys Boys Boys" and "Paper Gangsta".
Lady Gaga with Colby O'Donis at the Record Plant, a recording studio in Los Angeles in January of 2008.
Later that year, Gaga signed with Streamline Records and shortly after, Interscope Records which allowed her to work with Martin Kierszenbaum of Cherrytree Records. Together they wrote "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", "I Like It Rough" and "The Fame" which became also the title of the album.
For a while, Gaga became a songwriter for Interscope and one of these songs is "Money Honey". Producer RedOne encouraged Gaga to keep the song as it's a "Gaga's record".
By January of 2008, Gaga was relocated to Los Angeles in order to work extensively with her record label to complete her debut album. In a week, Gaga wrote with producer RedOne: "Just Dance", "LoveGame" and "Poker Face".
The last song to be recorded for the album was "Starstruck" featuring Space Cowboy and Flo-Rida in 2008.
By the time she finished working with Fernando Garibay, Gaga was unable to include new songs as her record label already "closed" the album and sent it for mastering.
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1589013/lady-gaga-revives-art-pop-music.jhtml Gaga explained to MTV UK in the 2009 the ideas behind The Fame, and her inspirations and visions for the album:
- "I just feel like this record is really different- you[']ve got club bangers to more 70s glam to more singer-songwriter records to rock music. [...] The Fame is not about who you are—it's about how everybody wants to know who you are! Buy it and listen to it before you go out or in the car. [...] I think you've really got to allow artists' creativity to marinate. It took me a while but really delving into myself I finally got it. I couldn't be more proud of it. It's not just a record[,] it's a whole pop art movement[.] It's not just about one song."
From 2006 to 2007, Gaga and Rob Fusari, under the nickname Team Love Child, recorded songs that drew influence from the late 1970s glam rock artists such David Bowie and Queen while incorporing catchy pop melodies and hook to create what Gaga has dubbed, "theatrical pop".
The lyrics were inspired by Gaga's relationships ("Brown Eyes", "Again Again", "Paparazzi"), her drug use ("Beautiful, Dirty, Rich") and the Disco parties ("Vanity", "Disco Heaven") she attended and the lifestyle ("Retro, Dance, Freak") she decided to follow. Recurrent ideas and themes include a "rockstar's girlfriend", vanity, parties and the early concept of "The Fame".
After writing the title song in 2007, "The Fame" with Martin Kierszenbaum, Gaga came up with the concept for the album.
- "The Fame is about how anyone can feel famous. Pop culture is art. It doesn't make you cool to hate pop culture, so I embraced it and you hear it all over The Fame. But, it's a sharable fame. I want to invite you all to the party. I want people to feel a part of this lifestyle." (Official biography)
- "This idea of 'The Fame' runs through and through. Basically, if you have nothing—no money, no fame—you can still feel beautiful and dirty rich. It's about making choices, and having references—things you pull from your life that you believe in. It's about self-discovery and being creative. The record is slightly focused, but it's also eclectic. The music is intended to inspire people to feel a certain way about themselves, so they'll be able to encompass, in their own lives, a sense of inner fame that they can project to the world, and the carefree nature of the album is a reflection of that aura. I like to funnel interesting ideas to the rest of the world through a pop lens." (MTV UK)