The Sunday Times
So this is Lady Gaga laid bare.
Gone are the meat dress, the diamond-encrusted lobster hat and the Kermit the Frog coat. It's true that the outrageous outfits that once set her apart from her peers are no longer necessary. But, according to the 30-year-old singer herself, it was never about that, anyway. "To be frank, I would just prefer to go through this album cycle and talk about my music. That'd be great. It becomes about everything else, and that was what I [once] wanted," Gaga said in The London Times' Culture magazine. "But if I wear a black T-shirt and black pants every day, [people] might listen to what I write. All the outfits, fashion and art pieces over the years made sense to me. They didn't make sense to other people. But I always got it. It was an expression, not a hiding."
With her new album Joanne available Oct. 21, Gaga is going back to her grungy New York City roots. In a way, her stripped down look is both an evolution and a tribute to her younger self. "This time, my style just stayed naturally at how I've been in the studio. I started vehemently saying, 'Get these clothes out! I'm not wearing this! I'm not wearing heels!' And some of that, too, is because I've been in the studio with boys. You can't make music with a bunch of boys who are staring at a lobster on your head," the singer joked. "They are going to get distracted."
Joanne, featuring the lead single "Perfect Illusion," is an intentional departure from 2013's ARTPOP. Gaga had a specific audience in mind for the album: "This woman in middle America with hair pulled back, no makeup...[in] a sweatshirt you'd buy at the drugstore, [with] a kid in one hand, pinot grigio in the other, two kids running around. You don't know if she's married," she shared. "But she's at my show, crying her eyes out because she feels I'm speaking for her."
The listener isn't perfect, and neither is Gaga. This, of course, was the inspiration for "Perfect Illusion." As Gaga explained, "In this world, we're all trying to keep up, put a perfect image out of who we are. But the most happy and authentic I ever feel is when I am who I was as a child."