Lady Gaga has attributed “all music” to the black community in a wide-ranging interview that sees her discuss race, music, depression and rebirth.
The pop star, who released her sixth album ‘Chromatica‘ in May, said the influence of black artists on all areas of music cannot be understated.
Speaking to Billboard, Gaga said that she is “learning and unlearning things I’ve been taught my whole life” as a white woman growing up in America. “When you’re born in this country, we all drink the poison that is white supremacy,” she added.
“Social justice is not just a literacy, it’s a lifestyle,” the singer continued, pulling up the Black Lives Matter movement. “What do I think about [posting] a black square?” she asked, referencing a BLM social media blackout campaign that was criticised for virtue signalling instead of serving legitimate action.
“I think everybody has a different feeling about a black square,” she added. “Do I think there’s such a thing as performative activism? Yes. Do I think there’s been true activism that’s been very important and needed? Yes. Do I believe Black Lives Matter? Yes. Do I believe this is going to get louder? Yes. Do I believe it should? Yes.”
She then declared that “all music is Black music – that’s just a fact”, revealing to the interviewer that her producers – BloodPop and BURNS – made a “Welcome to Chromatica” playlist of songs that inspired the sound of the album, including tracks by black, queer house innovators including Frankie Knuckles.
Elsewhere in the interview, Gaga spoke about feeling depressed about the constant pressures of fame. The ‘Rain on Me’ refrain of, ‘I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive’, she has said, is about using alcohol to numb herself. “My existence in and of itself was a threat to me,” [Gaga] explains. “I thought about really dark shit every single day.”
The singer said forcing herself to create a new album eventually pulled her out of a dark period in which she was constantly asking: “why does everybody have to notice?” who she is. But every time she wrote a new song, she claims she came closer to healing. “I would cry and go, ‘There it is — hi! How’s it going? Why do you got to hide?'”