Friday, June 6, 2014

The lady of expression - Gaga Art

Pre - fame Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta
 by Calmin Valentino

The star has made a space for herself where she can shine as brightly as her art allows her to, and all her little monsters (as she calls her fans) are following her lead.

This article does not reflect her flamboyant nature nor her outrageous tactics, but rather the beauty of how she gave birth to it all. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born in New York on March 28, 1986, which was also the birthplace of her persona Lady Gaga, an expression that would slash open hearts and push boundaries. It was no easy crawl to the top of the staircase, but she made it, singing bloody love and romance from old wounds that made her who she is. This piece reflects the inspiration,  the talent, the bravery, and it reflects Stefani, the girl who made Gaga.

The story of Stefani can clearly be seen through Lady Gaga's music and her videos; she used her stepping stones and near failures to sing her way into our world, because in the end we all can relate since in the beginning we all want success, but many give up when it becomes hard. That's exactly what Stefani experienced: her rise to success was no easy one.

She spent her young life in New York city where she would experience the stumblings that come with following your dreams. Stefani describes her high school years as very disciplined and dedicated, but also insecure at times. Ironically, she has stated that she didn't fit in and instead tried to tone down her personality in order to blend in, which you can feel and hear through the recording of her track "Hair". Her fingers would caress the musical black and white keys at the tender age of 4, and she would soon thereafter, at the age of thirteen, compose a piano ballad. After high school, at the age of seventeen, Stefani would be part of only a handful of students that gained early admission into CAP21, a musical training conservatory, following a suggestion by her mother that she should apply to study at the institution. Stefani would later withdraw from CAP21 in her second semester, wanting to focus on her music career and aspirations. The Lady then left her family home and found herself the cheapest apartment she could, and as she vividly recalls, "ate shit until someone would listen".

Stefani started a band with some friends from NYU who named themselves The Stefani Germanotta band. The band would later gather a group of followers while performing in bars and clubs across the city.  Eventually, the band would be dismembered due to Stefani being spotted by a talent scout for Rob Fusary at one of their performances. It was at this defining stage of her life where seedlings of her now famed persona would come into existence. Fusary claimed that he gave Stefani the "Lady Gaga" stage name as he would always sing the song by Queen, ‘Radio Gaga’, every time she entered the room, but in actual fact it would be the predictive text in one of Stefani's text messages that would hit the nail on the head, changing ‘radio’ to ‘lady’, which resulted in Lady Gaga and a wonderful light bulb moment that would paint a persona for the ages.

Although Fusary and (the now officially named) Lady Gaga's work relationship wasn't  successful, they would come to together for project Love Child one last time, producing electro pop tracks and distributing them to record company bosses.  This process would spark a light when Def Jam Records liked what Gaga and Fusary had produced for them, and later went on to sign the Lady and started working on material for her debut album. In a dramatic plot twist, Gaga was dropped from the label only three months after she had been signed.  The Lady had to put her persona and dreams in a suitcase and return with her tail between her legs to her family home, devastated and depressed. She indulged herself in the temptations of the lower east side and its nightlife, losing herself in an array of bright lights, drugs and alcohol; it would be her solace for months to come. She explained this stage in detail, "I was onstage in a thong, with a fringe hanging over my ass thinking that had covered it, lighting hairsprays on fire, go-go dancing to Black Sabbath and singing songs about oral sex. The kids would scream and cheer and then we'd all go grab a beer. It represented freedom to me. I went to a Catholic school but it was on the New York underground that I found myself."

This whole downward spiral she was sucked into would be the inspiration behind her track and music video "Marry the Night", which can only be described as a tasteful and "art-tastic" rendition of the songstress's beautiful scars, a true tale of a phoenix ascending out of ashes in a production that tells her story, her battles and her victory. The turnaround point in this devastating phase would be when Lady Gaga performed alongside Lady Starlight, and their joint venture of critically acclaimed on-stage performances would catch the eye of streamline records, an imprint of Interscope records, where she went on to write songs for top artists like the Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears, Fergie and New Kids on the Block.

As far as she had come, through all the disappointment and failures, this would be the time of Lady Gaga; Stefani would finally bring forth her persona as Lady Gaga to mainstream music.  Singer/ songwriter Akon soon went into an agreement with her label for a joint venture in signing the Lady herself, and they would soon after start production on her album "The Fame". She moved to Los Angeles to work on her debut album, and it was a sleeper hit as the album slowly entered mainstream music and won the hearts of many monsters and critics alike.

The rest, as they say, is history. After she delivered her very successful debut album the singer solidified her status in the music industry more and more after every hit track. Even though the singer had a secure record deal pre-debut, there were fears that she was too "racy", too dance-oriented and too underground for mainstream media, but the songstress replied in spectacular fashion - "My name is Lady Gaga, I've been on the music scene for years, and I'm telling you, this is what's next."

This would be the start of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta’s dream, and the rise of a star that would defy limits, shining brightly as Lady Gaga.