The singer teases Chromatica with a wild photoshoot -- and reveals whether she really regrets ARTPOP.
A new era of Lady Gaga is upon us with the upcoming release of Chromatica, her sixth studio album. And to mark the occasion, she stripped down for Paper Magazine, while teasing her sound and reflecting on her past work.
For the cover, the "Stupid Love" singer got totally naked, before being digitally transformed into an android for the final product. "I consent to being nude with everyone in this room," she reportedly said before taking off her clothes. "I believe we're making art, this isn't pornography."
As for why she decided against posing in haute couture, Gaga said she was going in a "more f--ked-up" direction, where looks don't "need to go together" but "just [need] to be upsetting."
Of her new music, Gaga joked, "This isn't Joanne," referencing her country-tinged fifth album. "I want to put out a record that forces people to rejoice even in their saddest moments," she added of "Chromatica." "And by the way, I'm not standing over here with a flag going, 'I'm all healed, everything's perfect.' It's not; it's a fight all the time. I still work on myself constantly. I have bad days, I have good days."
The singer also explained how working with producer Bloodpop helped her find momentary relief from the crippling pain she feels due to her fibromyalgia, as well as from her depression.
"He'd be like, 'Come on, let's go. We're going to make music.' And I'd be maybe crying or venting about something that was happening in my life over some pain or depression I was feeling," she recalled. "I'd start out the day so down and I'd end up dancing, looking in the mirror, practicing my moves, singing along."
Of her fibromyalgia battle, she added, "Some days are way worse, some days aren't. But you know what I can do? I can go, 'Well, my hands work; my arms work; my legs work, even though they are sore; my back works; my brain works; my heart works; I'm taking breaths, my lungs work.' You can just be grateful for what you can do."
Before her lead single from "Chromatica" -- the upbeat "Stupid Love" -- officially dropped, it leaked online weeks ahead of schedule. Gaga admits there were conversations about possibly changing directions, even though they were about to film the music video.
"There was a minute where me and my manager, Bobby, were talking, 'Do we change the single?' We'd just spent months and months developing this video and choreography," she explained. "And I said, 'Nope!' You know why? Because the song, when it's mixed, mastered and finished with the visuals, and everything I have to say about it — when all those things come together at once, that will be the art piece I'm making. Not a leak."
Watch the final product below:
While working on her new album, she also seemed to throw some shade at one from her past: "ARTPOP."
Considered by some to be ahead of its time and others a disappointment, Gaga seemed to fall into the latter camp when she tweeted out, "I don't remember ARTPOP." Speaking with Paper, she confirmed it was just a joke.
"I think it's funny that I'm not allowed to have a sense of humor," she said. "The internet is essentially a big joke, but if I tell one everyone freaks out. I don't regret my art, and I wouldn't suggest anyone do. I look back at ARTPOP and look at music today, and I see a lot of things that were very... Futuristic. Or they were ahead of their time, and I'm okay with saying that."
She feels the same way about "Joanne," saying the album was "exactly what I wanted to do. The way I wanted to di it, the way I wanted it to sound."
"Every album has been exactly what I wanted to make at that time," she added. "It's just there was a period where I think I forgot about where I was, and maybe that's why it's been so important for me with Chromatica to reestablish where I am for myself. So that here can mean something very powerful."