You asked… she answered! Lady Gaga took time out of her busy schedule to answer ten questions from fans at Gaga Daily. Read them below!
What is the one thing that you would like monsters to take away from the Cheek to Cheek experience?
I would love simply to just introduce you to jazz, if you've not experienced it before. I fell in love with Jazz at a young age, and monsters and I are so similar; our life stories, outlook on the world, view of love and community. I thought perhaps you would have the same feeling that I felt when I first heard Billie Holiday as my mom played her in the kitchen. I want you to feel fearless to take any approach in life, and be yourself no matter what happens. That's what I like about Jazz, although the recordings are forever, its different everytime Tony and Me sing together with our players. Improvisation is key to being great at jazz. I think also to be great at life. Anyway that was a long answer, but you know how I ramble on!
How has working with Tony on Cheek to Cheek influenced how you will write/record/produce your future albums?
I think so. Which will only be a positive thing. Jazz is the most complicated musically to master, very unlike classical music or rock 'n' roll, it requires broad understanding of how to paint with the colors of music, and quickly. For example if Tony sings a note differently during a performance, I have to then move around him to compliment his choice, same for the instruments, they are constantly speaking to each other, and just like human conversation is never the same. I think now that I'm studying jazz again, that sense of freedom, joy, and spontaneity will work its way into my growth as an artist. Also, the composers on this album, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin etc. they are in my opinion the greatest of all American song writers. Like with "Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye," I hope to write lyrics as meaningful and beautiful as these in the future. I stand by all the music I've made, but I'm growing up and with Bobby (my manager). I have more time to creatively grow up. I think this is all a perfect storm.
What can we expect from the Cheek to Cheek tour? Will it be in theaters or arenas?
Tony loves to play theatres, and to be honest after singing with him I understand why. While theatres are not as great for perhaps for big parties like our monster artRave, the sound quality in theatres is just exquisite, and you can then hear all the subtle nuances in the music. I also sing much quieter on many of these songs and it helps to be able to hear myself over your wild monster screams! But I know we are planning to play a mixture of different sized venues, to accommodate demand and spread Jazz as far and wide as possible. Just wanted to give you my opinion on what rooms Jazz music sounds best in acoustically.
What happened to "Paradise"... will we get to hear it?
I hope so! It’s almost finished, Its my first jazz composition so I was nervous to put it on the album although Tony loves it so much. I just didn't want to rush it, wanted to spend some more time and keep sinking back into my jazz roots so it can be the best it can be. I will tell you, it's inspired by my father's sister and him, and the phrases as they are traded, are meant to be their words to each other right before she died. She died very young, but she wrote a poem about Heaven right before it happened. That's why the song is called "Paradise."
Did Cheek to Cheek really heal your soul? If so, can you explain more about it?
Cheek to Cheek and Tony both did. I used to lay sad listening to music, jazz and pop like Whitney Houston. I didn't know why I was so sad. But I realized then that my life had become a money making machine, and I knew I had the talent within me to evolve more, show more of my abilities. I have studied many different genres of music for a very long time. My schedule was too hard, I became too tired, and then your talent suffers and you stop growing. Tony helped me to me make some important life decisions and so did the music. It reminded me why I started to begin with. So now, everyone around me has the same goal. To make great records, foster and nourish my raw talent, keep me healthy so I can push myself to become greater, and of course to spread that music as far and wide as possible. We’re a team again. Together, hand in hand supporting each other.
Was there anything you’ve wanted to prove with Cheek to Cheek?
No actually, I think Tony was more concerned people knew I could sing than I was! He said that to me everyday, "With this album I want the world to hear how natural and beautiful you sing." For me, I was just so happy to be singing like that again. Every song you hear on the album is me in a state of utter bliss, even when the songs were sad and I was emotional. I love deeply all my previous albums, and don't think they are unauthentic because they were auto-tuned and electronic. That was the point of them: to make art of artifice. I just didn't like when I started to get treated like a brand, like there was nothing more I can do when there is so much more I can do. The only thing that was important for me to "prove" I guess, I prefer the word "show," is that I'm an honest Jazz singer, not a pop singer doing jazz for a one-off. Especially since I've been singing Jazz longer than I've been singing pop. I wanted to do proper justice to the records. I was more worried what Tony thought of how I sounded more than anyone else.
If you could stand on stage with any other jazz icon, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Ella all the way! I'm obsessed with her. Her voice is just so interesting and beautiful, and tragic, she was a fortress! And her scatting is the best in the business. Also Duke Ellington, or Louis Armstrong, they are my favorites too.
What is the number one piece of advice Tony Bennett gave to you that you will take with you throughout your career as you embark on new albums and other projects? Has working with such a legend in the jazz realm impacted your life in a certain way? Is there a particular instrument of jazz that you are especially drawn to when you hear it?
He passed on some advice to me that his best friend Duke Ellington gave him. #1 Don't Quit. #2 Listen to #1. I'm drawn to jazz instrumentation in general. I don't know if I can choose because its when they all play together that the music become more complex. But I do love the trumpet and piano. With Brian solo's on "Bang Bang" and he laments the loss of our friend, my ex, as I lament the loss as well. We haven't heard from him in years. That trumpet solo is so honest and painful. He is a magnificent trumpeter.
How does it make you feel to have Cher’s seal of approval over your mind-blowing rendition of Bang Bang? And how did you feel when you received that standing ovation?
It really means a lot to me that Cher supported me, as that has not always been the case. I believe in artists supporting one another, that is how you keep music and art alive. Once we start tearing each other down we become like clowns to the public, and the meaning behind our work fades into a noisy cloud. It's not to say an artist isn't in the right to defend their work, or have opinions about other artists, I just think Cher is a true example of someone to look up to. She has it all, had it all, will continue to and is satisfied with the blessings of her life. That is how I wish to be. Grateful. Tony and I have been overwhelmed with the rave reviews and standing ovations over this project. Especially after the last year, for me, I sort of assumed the worst. But the music really spoke for itself. It's been really nice, and I'm happy to see you all happy. I hated when I saw you being bullied for being a fans of mine at that time, thanks for sticking by me. At the artRave I see the success of the album, in your eyes, and that's where the truth is. People just like to tear you down when you have a lot, but I can always sew that couture dress back together, with the help of all my monsters. Love you.
How easy has it been balancing Cheek to Cheek and ARTPOP recently and can we expect any more Jazz albums?
I love balancing the two, I basically have multiple personalities anyway (Haha! Shocking reveal!) so that rebellious and extreme side of me loves to go back and forth, I never get bored. I'm always doing what I love and I get to have both. Somedays I feel quiet, others I need to rage. Those parts of me will always be there its my two-toned soul.
This will not be my last jazz album, and ARTPOP was not my last pop album. I have many years ahead of me to make music and I feel stronger than ever, like I did when I first moved to Hollywood to make it. I'm a fighter again. Put me in the ring. Ring the bell, I'm ready life!