Lady Gaga's producer DJ White Shadow, who worked with Mother Monster on her hits such as "Applause," "Do What U Want," "Born This Way," as well as many fan favorites, including "Bloody Mary" and "ARTPOP," sat down with A Drink With for an awesome interview where they talked about his career as a DJ, making music, and, of course, Lady Gaga. Read the excerpt below and head over to ADrinkWith.com for the full interview.
On the best party that happened because of his career:
I was in London when Chris Martin and Jay Z performed for the closing ceremony at the Paralympics in London. Afterwards they had a party at The Arts Club, so I went with Gaga. First of all, I love Jay Z as an artist and as a human being. He's a fantastic individual. I was so excited to go, I very rarely get excited about stuff, and I was super excited to go to this particular thing. Gaga is an incredible accommodator for when I get excited about things. She was like, "I'm going to sit here, you sit there, and Jay you sit there." So I'm sitting right next to Jay Z and he's pouring drinks for people. I'm sitting there and it's me, Gaga, Chris Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rihanna, Rick Ross maybe and then Jay. I'm sitting there at the table with 80 people and I'm thinking, "This is the best day!" They're all drinking and I'm just trying to talk to Jay Z the whole time. We're talking about cool stuff, super cool, and we're just having drinks.
The music was stale. It was terrible. Gaga says to me, like a d--k, "Give them your phone, let them play a mixtape." I said, "I don't have any mixtapes." And then Jay said, "You're a DJ dude, you don't have any mixtapes?" So I went to my SoundCloud and I had some trap mix on my phone and I gave it to the security guard who plugged it in. It was like Chief Keef, dirty, Soulja Boy and gutter ass hip-hop. It changed the whole vibe of the party. Everybody put up trap hands and was turning up. I was like, "This is the best day of my whole entire life. Jay Z's getting turnt up to my mixtape; I'm fucking drinking whiskey and hanging out with Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow," and Gaga turns and says, "We gotta go." We ended up leaving because she was on tour, but that was the best 45 minutes of my life.
On his special relationship with Lady Gaga:
I think the reason why it went well at first was because I was prepared for it to go terribly. I expected it to go terribly and it didn't. When we met I really genuinely liked her as a person. The last couple experiences I had with female artists weren't good for me. I didn't click with the person necessarily. I'm usually not a negative thinker like that. I think I had a couple of punches right before I got there and then it turned out great. I loved her work ethic and I didn't know she was talented when I met her … I was super shocked in a great way and as things continued it wasn't so much about making money or making a product it was just about hanging out, having fun and being creative. It was a really real environment for me. We didn't force a friendship. A lot of Hollywood shit is forced friendships. You might have a TV show together and say you're buddies, but you don't care about that person. I genuinely care about her, she's like my sister. I love her very much. She's an awesome person, we've known each other for a long time. Getting a call to work with her now, I feel the exact same thing I felt the first time working with her. She's a great, super talented and awesome human being.
On making music with Lady Gaga:
There are so many stories. Some of those records, I have 100 different versions. I have things that were ideas for singles that turned out to be stuff that we didn't use. I think that every song has an interesting history to it. Every song we've ever made together we've been on the road together. She's at her best writing when she's doing shows, interacting with people every day, writing backstage, writing in the hotel and writing on the bus. Some of the stuff comes from literal conversations. We'll be drinking and somebody says something and she'll be like, "Oh, shit!" and write it down and then it becomes part of a great song.
On creating "Do What U Want" with R. Kelly:
"Do What U Want" is the weirdest song creation of all history. It's my very favorite song that I've ever done. Gaga did the whole thing by herself and then it was right before we were closing the record up– we literally had to turn it in in two weeks– and I heard the song and I heard something that R. Kelly had recently done. I thought I should call him and see if he would do a feature on it, just see what it would sound like. I asked her and said, "If I called Rob [R. Kelly] and asked him if he would do this, would you be interested in that happening?" She said, "Yeah." I called him, he didn't answer. I called his manager, his manager answered and I was like, "Can you get Rob on the phone?" He said, "He's asleep." I said, "I got something good, wake his ass up." Literally 10 minutes later he called me back and I told him we had Gaga in the studio and had a song I really wanted to send him. I said he could do whatever he wanted. He said "Okay," and I sent it to him. We finished a bunch of work in the studio. I went back to my hotel, woke up in the morning and I had it in my email. He had sent it in the morning with all the ad-libs. They were on a tour bus so I have no idea how they did it. I listened to that motherfucker like 25 times in the morning. I didn't even call her in the morning. I listened to it by myself at the Andaz in L.A. and you could see all of Hollywood through that thing.
On partying with Eminem and Jay Z in Detroit:
I saw [Eminem] and Jay Z in Detroit. I did tequila shots with him, Jay Z and Gaga backstage. It was pretty solid. Actually, he didn't do the tequila shot. Jay Z, Gaga and I did the tequila shots. I think he was sober at that point.