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Posted : 2009-03-08 17:21
Updated : 2009-03-08 17:21

Lady Gaga Burning Up Album Charts


Lady Gaga talks about her debut album "The Fame."
/ Courtesy of
Universal Music Korea
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Staff Reporter

New pop sensation Lady Gaga is burning up the charts around the world with pumping dance tracks like ``Just Dance'' and ``Poker Face,'' and attracting lots of attention for her eclectic fashion sense.

Her debut album ``The Fame'' is all about today's celebrity-obsessed world, with songs about the paparazzi, star struck fans and instant wealth. With her sudden rise to fame, Lady Gaga has experienced ``fame'' and its pitfalls firsthand.

``I feel that people treat me differently now because I've become famous. In the past, people gave me weird looks at the clubs because I was dressed differently and acted differently from other clubbers. Now they look at me just because I'm a celebrity, but really, I'm still the same person,'' Lady Gaga said in an email interview with The Korea Times.

Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Lady Gaga grew up in Manhattan, New York. She studied at private Catholic school Convent of the Sacred Heart with Paris and Nicky Hilton.

A few years later, she attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she honed her songwriting and composing skills. By the age of 20, she was writing songs for the Pussycat Dolls.

``Although writing songs for big names like the Pussycat Dolls might affect your self-esteem, I was actually able to gain a lot of confidence working with them. They had a huge influence on me as a songwriter,'' she said.

Lady Gaga soon found herself working with R&B star Akon, who initially hired her as a songwriter. While working together, he liked her songs and wanted to produce an album with her and she considers herself fortunate to have had a chance to work with him.

While recording her debut album, one of the producers, Rob Fusari, started calling her ``Gaga,'' taken from Queen's song ``Radio Gaga.'' The name stuck, and Lady Gaga was born.

The 22-year-old singer admitted she always wanted to be famous. ``I always told my friends that I wanted to become famous, but I think this needs a little explaining. I don't mean fame like being a target of gossip like Paris Hilton, but as a respectable artist,'' she said.

Her debut album has received praise for its unique blend of pop, hip-hop, glam rock and electronica, plus a dash of 70s disco. ``Just Dance'' toped the charts in the U.S. and was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the recent Grammy Awards.

One of the catchier tracks from her album is ``Paparazzi,'' with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about an insatiable hunger for attention.

``Part of me wrote the song thirsting for paparazzi's attention while a part of me is satirizing them. Also, I expressed my love for the camera and but it's also a song about love and popularity. Can a person have both at the same time, or can he only have one?'' Lady Gaga asked.

Fashion is a big part of Lady Gaga's image, and she handles her own creative production team, Haus of Gaga. ``Fashion and creativity is my middle name,'' she says.

Now that she's a rising star with a hectic schedule, she often performs one or two shows a night. Lady Gaga barely has time for fun, but she doesn't miss the club scene much.

``Even if I go to clubs now, I should always look `lady-like','' she laughed. ``The old me would have violent drunken bouts at clubs, screaming and shouting. I would literally pass out from too much drinking. In the last ten months, I only had, like, four wild nights. But I'm not sad about it.''

cathy@koreatimes.co.kr

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