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Lady Gaga

Emily Bruce


I remember very vividly when I first came into contact with Lady Gaga’s music. I saw her video for Just Dance in December 2008 – just before she made it big and became a household name – and my immediate reaction was: “Who is this? What the hell of a kind of name is ‘Lady Gaga’? Why is she dancing around in a mirrorball bra?” Needless to say, I wasn’t too impressed. Just Dance, however, against my better judgement, grew on me, until I caved and downloaded it, listening to it on repeat. Still, I was sure that was the best song she had up her sleeve, and she was set to be a bit of a one hit wonder.

When her next single, Poker Face, came out, it didn’t immediately appeal to me, but like its predecessor, it grew on me a lot – and her deadpan explanation of the song (fantasising about another woman while in bed with a man) on Jonathan Ross’ show made me chuckle; she was certainly an interesting character. Then Paparazzi came, and that was when I really started to take notice of this strange woman. The video was bizarrely brilliant, and the song her best yet. I was starting to really like this lady’s music, but I wasn’t sure how to feel about it – I was almost a little ashamed.

By the time LoveGame, the final single from her debut album The Fame, was released, however, I was hooked. Then, Bad Romance affirmed my love of Gaga once and for all – any embarrassment I’d previously had about liking her all but went out the window; this woman was epic. The absolutely mental video was so brave, but the song was truly killer, her best yet. I got The Fame Monster, the reissue of her debut with extra tracks, for Christmas that year and it remains one of my most played albums. I am not ashamed; it is a perfect pop record.

I’ve never felt guilty about my love of pop music; I can’t stand it when people refuse to listen to mainstream music simply because it’s not deemed fashionable. The fact is, there is some really good pop music out there, and Lady Gaga is one of the artists making it. Even if she isn’t your kind of thing, you cannot deny she is a pretty amazing woman. I have to respect anyone with the guts to wear the kind of outfits she does, to put on the kind of shows she does, to make the kind of videos she has, and to do all this without a care in the world what anyone else thinks about her. Add to that her political interventions (such as her rallying for the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”) and her encouragement of others’ embracing their individuality, I can’t help but admire the woman, as well as feel she is a bit of a feminist icon.

She reminds me of Madonna in many ways – sure, she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but she doesn’t give a damn; she’s going to do what she wants regardless, and she’s incredibly strong. I don’t think she’s necessarily a very nice person – in interviews, she always comes across as slightly cold – but I still respect her and what she has done to reinvent pop music and persuade people to be unique. She has made being different and weird okay, and done away with the dull norm, and for that I commend her; because, in my opinion, doing what you want, being who you are and not apologising for it is setting a very good example for other young people. Sure, Gaga’s music alone isn’t groundbreaking – although she sure knows how to make a really good pop song – but her attitude and overall image is, and I for one can’t wait to see what she does next.