Lady Gaga Talks ARTPOP, Depression, 'I Cue Culture'

“I refuse to do what I don’t want to do,” Lady Gaga declared during her “Town Hall” discussion at Sirius XM on Nov. 8. “I am the artist and culture doesn’t cue me. I cue culture.”

Therefore, consider the singer’s fourth studio album ARTPOP her latest alert to culture at large. With a mobile app, space debut and secret – but stream-able – album release party on Sunday, Gaga reveals details about the many tricks up her sleeve, and the depressing but delicious journey that they entail:

1. ARTPOP has a pet. Gaga treated fans to a first look of PETGA, her free app with a pet-Gaga who guides fans into remixing and scratching her new tracks, creating animated GIFs and connecting to her Little Monsters social network, with options to live-deejay music with other fans in the future. Each user’s “aura,” or abstract avatar scanned via the device’s front camera, changes colors based on activity on the app. “We’ve been working on it for two years – I was in a wheelchair for six months, so I had a lot of time,” she said of the tech project that drops Sunday. She noted her app would’ve been released sooner, but “made the decision not to with Born This Way because I felt that the message [of that album] really needed to be paramount.”

4. Her space voyage in 2015 involves two performances. Gaga explained that she will perform on the spacecraft, simultaneously streamed at a concert at Ground Zero. Then she’ll return and perform on the Ground Zero stage in person. “Everyone that flies on Virgin Galactic is required to pay for their flight, and it’s a trip to space, but they asked me and I don’t have to pay for my flight, which is great, because it’s mostly for rich people ... I did not come this far to be afraid to go to space!”

5. Her depressions are part of her creative cycle. “It’s so much easier for me to just admit to that it happens, “she said of her “severely depressed” state after wrapping an album, adding that she’s never been a satisfied patient of psychiatry but always finds solace through the creative production of touring. “I love performing live so much, so that really saves me.”

6. More industry experience means less to her. “I find producers that have been in the industry for a long time to be very oppressive and very unsupportive of my natural talents because I’m blonde, female, and I have tits and an ass and I’m sexual onstage, so I must not know anything about music,” she said, then praising ARTPOP producers Madeon, Zedd, RedOne, DJ White Shadow and “These were experiences where they respect me as a musician, as an artist, as a songwriter, as a woman, and as a visionary. When I go in there, it’s equal standing.”

10. Watch for more of her startup-like initiatives. Consider her upcoming app and her artRave concert on Sunday – a festival of fashion, art, music and technology, to be held at a secret NYC location but also streaming live on VEVO – just the tip of the iceberg for Gaga. “I just feel like the corporate music industry is so oppressive – I’m told what I have to make and how I have to make it to get played on the radio, to be appropriate. This is not how music used to be. It was you were the artist, and what you had to say was gold…I will not allow these corporations to run me; I will not allow the music business to tell me what I can and cannot be to be a pop star. I am the artist. I tell you what I am.”

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