My Open Letter for Lady Gaga

In light of her interview with Parade magazine, talking about her friendship with Tony Bennett, their new album and how he “saved her life.”

I remember her being in this mindset before: when she was laid up after hip surgery, talking about how she felt dead because she couldn’t give herself to her fans as she wanted.

Tony Bennett is one of those guys where you wonder if they’re still alive and when that proves to be true, you ask how it’s possible. I couldn’t be happier that he is because who knows where Gaga would be without him.

One thing that caught my attention was her disappointment about ARTPOP not doing well. So I want to start by posting the line for my discussion of it:

Dear Lady Gaga,

I hope that this letter brings you joy whenever you go through dark times.

I’d been a Little Monster since 2010. I enjoyed listening to JUST DANCE, PAPARAZZI and POKER FACE on the radio and took a chance on your album. I loved so much of it and even the hip-hop tracks I was unsure about, I came around to enjoy. My favorite is probably “Paper Gangsta” because it has an amazing message, not wanting to deal with people who aren’t up front about their intentions. Plus, your piano playing is so cool, I could almost picture you playing it live.
To this day, I still have those songs on heavy rotation.

“The Fame Monster,” I got some time after seeing your FAME MONSTER BALL on HBO [the first time I heard most of those songs and enjoyed nearly all of them]. That’s when I truly went from being someone who enjoyed your music to someone I wanted to stand behind and support.
For as long as I could remember, I’ve never really fit in anywhere. I was lucky enough to find a couple friends along the way, but I still felt very much like an outsider. I suffer from some social anxiety. It’s hard for me to start up conversation because I often don’t know what to say and I don’t want to come off as awkward for saying the wrong thing. This is true even when I’m with family and people in our neighborhood when we meet for happy hour every Friday.
Seeing your HBO special gave me strength, seeing that you’re just as human as any of us and still have trouble with confidence. It’s also so admirable that you’re willing to stand for everyone crippled by their doubts and being strong to make them strong.

BORN THIS WAY is still my favorite album of yours. Firstly because the music is so amazing and dynamic. You show so many sides of yours. “Judas” has been my favorite since you premiered it on Ellen’s Show and I learned the choreography. I hadn’t done it in ages, so I might be a little rusty and I’m not entirely confident about recording it to show people. 😛
Close behind is “Heavy Metal Lover,” though I can’t quite explain why. I find it so addicting that it’s probably the track from the album I’d heard the most.

Well, there is another reason.
Using your music, Nelly Furtado, Britney Spears and Karmin among others as inspiration, I’m working on a story about female empowerment. My girls dance for a bar in a run-down neighborhood (somewhere in Brazil, I think). Mostly Latin dance numbers like cha-cha, samba and salsa. But all of them grew up in horrific circumstances and this is their way of escaping and moving past that. With my protagonist, however, it’s not so easy. The result of her childhood is that she’s under the assumption she isn’t good for anything else but dancing and sleeping with strangers for money.
The crux of the story is a man falls in love with her and she needs to learn to be open to love and there’s more to live for than the life he’s been living.

But often times when I listen to my playlists, the songs come to life like I see this as a movie or a Broadway show more than a novel.
“Heavy Metal Lover” and “Lovegame” I see as big production numbers. “Dance in the Dark” fits in line with my protagonist as does “Paper Gangsta” (learning the truth about her relationship with her stepfather instilled in her the belief she can never trust a man again because the opposite sex has never been 100% honest with her).
“Telephone,” her two best friends use to make her feel better, which works for a while until it fails.

This is just bits and pieces, but I love that your music visually allows me to get these ideas.

I listen to your work for inspiration, but ultimately it’s for my own enjoyment.
ARTPOP has been great fun, but also because the empowerment of “Venus” and “G.U.Y.” is a great adrenaline rush.

I hope you’re doing well and I look forward to hearing your new music.


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