Lady Gaga was interviewed by a select group of global media gathered at a press conference in Vegas’s Waldorf Astoria hotel one June afternoon. The pop icon discussed everything from her recent achievements, her Vegas residency, the Born This Way Foundation and her legacy. Read below!
On her Enigma Vegas residency:
“I wanted to sort of eliminate this idea that Vegas is where pop stars go to die, I didn’t want to show up in Las Vegas and just do what I’ve done before. I really always want to push and push the limits. I speak to ‘myself’ throughout the show … and that was scripted. I went off-script a couple times when we were doing the motion capture of my body, and it enhanced the show, but that was all scripted out and designed very particularly for Las Vegas,”
On her Jazz residency:
“I came to Vegas, and I sort of said to myself, why only offer one part of what I do when there’s this other thing that I’ve been doing since I was a little girl, which is jazz music? And why wouldn’t I bring all of the weapons in my arsenal with me to tackle this town?
As a white woman singing jazz, I have tremendous respect for the genre of music, as it is a genre that was birthed by the African-American community, and out of New Orleans specifically from the rhythm-and-blues and ragtime movement, and I was very nervous about it because I wanted to make sure that the show is really a true representation of jazz and not a spin on it in a contrived way or in a way that took away from the real, true cry for freedom that is in jazz music.”
On getting nervous:
“Oh, yeah, I get nervous. Well, you know, I was inventing Enigma during award season, so that was a challenge. But I have the Haus of Gaga, which is my collective creative artistic team, and we’re quite an interesting machine. I’d like to think I’ve achieved my dreams of being a bit of an Andy Warhol in my life. There’s a lot of blackboards all around us with mood inspiration, everything from fashion to choreography to stage design to feeling, storytelling.”
On her accomplishments:
“I haven’t quite digested it all yet. I’ve been doing so much that I don’t have a lot of time to really let it sink in. But I have my nine Grammys and my Oscar and my other awards that you just mentioned, I have them sort of in the kitchen area and also on a shelf that leads to the bathroom. So, when I wake up, and I go into the kitchen, I once in a while will just glance up at those awards, and I go, hm, wow, okay, you did that.”
“But the truth is that the reward is in the creative process, for me. And those were things I always dreamed of, but I’ve grown, and I’ve become the artist I always wanted to become, and that is an artist that loves to create and loves the process, and that’s also something that Tudor loves.”
On her partnership with Tudor:
“They were like, ‘we want you to be who you are’. In this industry, sometimes people just want to use your face and use your fame to sell a product, and that is not at all what this is. I’m working with people that celebrate who I am and don’t try to change me to sell their company. As someone who’s been in this business for a while now, it’s a rarity, and it’s a diamond.”
“”I was talking with my friends the other day, and I sort of had this breakthrough. I never ever was trying to make it, thinking, ‘won’t it be great if I make it and become really rich and live in a mansion and have all these perks and luxury’.
“And here I am in Vegas, and I’m sitting next to an Italian fountain with people serving me, and I’m looking at my best friend going, ‘how the f-hell did we get here?’ Because, you know, we used to sit on street corners, on stoops of somebody else’s house, talking with our friends and just hanging out, and that’s really who I truly am.”
“The truth is that I felt famous before I was ever famous, and that was because I, within myself, was like, ‘I’ve got this like musical talent and I can sing and perform’, and I was famous on the inside. And it was like a collective fame. Me and my friends on the Lower East Side, we all performed different arts in different mediums. But the truth is that we really loved what we did, and it had a purpose.”
On what she wants to do next with the Born This Way Foundation:
“You get to this point, and then you go, okay, I’ve made it, I look at my Oscar, and then I go, what am I going to do now to help people? Because that’s really what we should be doing.”
“We’re bringing teen mental health first aid to the United States for the first time. We’re in eight schools now. We will expand and add 20 more. We’ve already saved eight lives,”
On what legacy she wants to leave behind:
“Sure, I’d love people to remember my music, my art. But I think I would prefer to be remembered as brave and unafraid to speak my mind. I don’t think that God gave me this voice to be famous, I think he gave me artistry and my voice and music as a vehicle to change the world, and that’s what I really want to do.
“I want to be someone that’s breaking rules for good reasons. So maybe that’s part of being daring, is breaking some rules, but breaking rules for the right reasons.”