Lady Gaga's 'Joanne': Get to Know the Collaborators, From Beck to BloodPop
Lady Gaga has finally shared the name and release date of her fifth studio album. It’s called Joanne, and it’s due Oct. 21. Steadily dropping its details via social media and in radio interviews, Gaga continues to tack on names to a seemingly endless list of confirmed collaborators, which have rolled out by the numbers lately.
Mother Monster’s latest effort, a follow-up to 2013’s Artpop, will be executive produced by Mark Ronson, who Gaga has said is a “wonderful, amazing, talented producer” and has “totally embraced” her. As we creep closer to Joanne’s release, we find out more and more about who’s involved, what they’re up to, and how the collabs came to be. Here’s what we’ve pieced together so far about album five’s fellow monsters.
Mark Ronson: The English DJ, musician, singer, songwriter and record producer -- best known for his hit song “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars -- is executive producing Joanne. Calling Gaga’s first single “Perfect Illusion” one of his “favorite records to work on,” the two have spent months together in studio sessions with other fellow collaborators. We can expect this album to carry elements of groove, thanks to Ronson’s soul-fused style of funk.
Kevin Parker: In a somewhat surprising twist, Kevin Parker -- lead vocalist and chief music writer of Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala -- has teamed up with Mother Monster to co-produce and play music on “Perfect Illusion.” Parker said the collaboration began “sort of like a career move” that showed him a different, passionate side of corporate pop. Calling Parker a “real musical genius,” Gaga enlisted the multi-instrumentalist and engineer/producer for synths, drums and guitar duties.
Josh Homme: Further on the rock tip, Joanne will feature contributions from hard-rocking’ Queens of the Stone Age/Eagles of Death Metal member Josh Homme. Queen and David Bowie are among her key influences, so it makes sense Gaga would double-down on rockers in the studio and invite this old pal of Dave Grohl’s.
BloodPop: Behind the rhythm synthesis of “Perfect Illusion” is producer BloodPop, who worked on Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” just last year. Alongside Gaga, Parker and Ronson, the quartet joined forces at Malibu’s Shangri-La Studios and “hashed out the lyrics for hours and hours.” BloodPop, who often leans synthpop, has also collaborated with Charli XCX, Madonna and Grimes.
Beck: Beck is onboard for an appearance in a “great dance song” (title still unknown) from the new album. A lifelong Beck fan, Gaga was spotted sharing memories with the Grammy-winning singer and multi-instrumentalist at a Saint Laurent fashion show earlier this year, recalling when a young pre-Gaga watched him perform from the front of the crowd at Bonnaroo. Perhaps this meeting jogged the idea of a collaboration?
Florence Welch: The Florence + the Machine mastermind will be found on a new Gaga track called “Hey Girl.” Hence the title, this number will see Welch and Gaga bounce verses off one another. And they might be best friends now, considering they laughed, hugged and cried all throughout the studio sessions, according to Gaga.
RedOne: Gaga and RedOne’s major breakthrough was 2008’s “Just Dance,” the debut single that helped launch Gaga into superstardom. Also responsible for singles “Poker Face,” “Judas” and “Bad Romance,” the Moroccan-Swedish producer, singer-songwriter and record executive has collaborated on a whopping eight new songs for Joanne, which was nicknamed “LG5” before the official name was released. Recognized for his high-profile work with major artists like Michael Jackson, U2 and Pitbull, the three-time Grammy winner also runs his own label RedOne Records, which distributes under Capitol Music Group.
Father John Misty: After appearing together in an Instagram post earlier this year, Gaga has confirmed that indie-rock crooner Father John Misty is a collaborator on Joanne. He will join Gaga on a song entitled "Sinner's Prayer" which is about "singing to a man" and telling him "I just don’t want to break the heart of anyone but you but I know that I’m a sinner.”
Giorgio Moroder: Disco don Giorgio Moroder, responsible for Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” Blondie’s “Call Me” and countless other classics, confirmed in early 2015 that he had plans to work on Gaga’s new album. He also hinted that Gaga’s previous collaborator Fernando Garibay, whom she worked with on almost every song from her sophomore album Born This Way, has re-entered her creative circle; DJ White Shadow, who produced the song “Born This Way,” has noted studio time with Gaga too, though still unconfirmed. And while details are hazy, Gaga has been spotted in the studio with Nile Rodgers of Chic as well -- fingers crossed that we’re about to get hit with a Moroder-Rodgers-Gaga disco bomb.
--With additional reporting by Dominique Redfearn in Los Angeles.