In a new interview with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe on Thursday (Oct. 20), Lady Gaga discussed the song “Angel Down,” from her upcoming album Joanne, which she revealed she wrote about Trayvon Martin — the unarmed Florida teen who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman.
She then shared some of the chilling lyrics: “Doesn’t everyone belong/ In the arms of the sacred/ Why do we pretend we’re wrong?/ Has our young courage faded?/ Shots were fired down the street/ By the church where we used to meet.
“Angel down, angel down,” she said with her hands raised to signify “don’t shoot.” “Why do people just stand around?”
“I was overwhelmed by the fact that people just stood around and didn’t do anything about it and that the justice system continues to over and over again not seek justice for these families,” Gaga told Lowe.
She said she has had young African-American fans tell her their fears about their safety. “They tell me they drive in their cars and if they hear a siren there is a paranoia that rushes through their body that they freeze up, that they can’t think,” said Gaga. “This is a tremendous anxiety; this is something that I care about. This is something that has to stop, something that we all need to heal from.”
Lowe brought up the fact that she might get negative attention for addressing the situation since she’s not black. “My voice and the lyrics will reach people,” she said. “It’s also a complicated thing. I’m not an African-American woman. How do you speak about [these] things?”
At this point in her career, Gaga feels that she needs to make music with a purpose. “I absolutely cannot write anything that does not have a voice and a purpose in the universe. Why would I have this voice? Why would I have this platform?”
She premiered the song “Angel Down” live Wednesday night at the New York Times/T Gala, where she was honored for her contribution to the world of fashion.
Joanne hits shelves Friday.
You can watch the full interview below: