Lady Gaga may have gotten her name from the Queen song “Radio Gaga,” but just two years ago, the 22-year-old singer wasn’t receiving the royal treatment.
“I was signed to Def Jam when I was 19 years old. It was this whole romantic story: L.A. Reid heard me singing down the hallway from his office, and he said that I was a star and signed me right then and there,” said the musically trained artist of her original major label deal. “But after he signed me, he never met with me. I used to wait outside his office for hours, hoping he’d take meetings with me about my songs, but it never happened. He eventually dropped me after three months. I was pretty devastated. I know what it’s like being on a label when they don’t quite get it.”
But she didn’t let premature disappointment overthrow her. Gaga, who had been writing music since the age of 13 and performing in her native New York since 14, started performing local shows and building her fan base, eventually sparking the interest of Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine early last year. He offered her a label deal via Streamline/Interscope and partnered her with singer/songwriter Akon, who later hired Gaga as a songwriter.
“When we were working, Akon would say, ‘Get in the booth and cut these vocals,’ and he’d always tell me I could really sing. So he decided he wanted to be a part of my music,” Gaga said about working with Akon, who ultimately convinced Jimmy to sign her to a joint deal with Konlive. “He spoke to Jimmy, and we decided to become a big family.”
Now, Gaga is prepping the October 7th release of her debut album, “The Fame.” “I marry a lot of different genres, from Def Leppard drums and handclaps to metal drums on urban tracks,” said Gaga about the project. “It’s very 70’s, with early 80’s Prince-like guitars and 80’s synths. It’s a bit retro, a bit glamorous, and you can dance to it. It’s very futuristic, very fresh, and very dramatic, sort of like theatrical pop.”
Red One and Akon are among the producers, while Gaga takes all writing credit on the set. There are no guest features thus far.
The album’s first single, “Just Dance,” featuring Colby O’Donis, is currently No. 1 on the Canadian Hot 100. A second single hasn’t been chosen yet, but potential tracks include the metaphorical “Paparazzi,” the Red One-produced “Poker Face,” the Swedish pop record “AA,” and “Beautiful Dirty Rich.”
Gaga is currently on a promotional tour and wrapping up “The Fame Part I,” a short film compilation in the format of a musical mixtape. She also manages House of Gaga, her production team.
Today, Gaga has reclaimed her throne. “God has a plan for everyone. What happened to me just made me stronger and made me write the greatest pop record ever,” she said. “Now, my goal as an artist is to write and make pop music that has something artistic and interesting to say. If I can get a four-year-old girl and a twenty-five-year-old art student to appreciate my album, then I’ve done a good job.”