Were you nervous about alienating some of your younger fans with this release?
No, I wasn’t. Little Monsters are very open-minded. They have a thirst for new things. I started singing jazz when I was 13 and I discovered it before then. My mom used to play Billie Holiday on Sundays, I found Ella Fitzgerald—who’s my absolute favorite jazz singer—and my father listened to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. So part of me knew in my heart that many of my fans would fall in love with jazz the same way I did, because we’re very similar. I’m also not afraid of anything. At the end of the day, it’s much more important to me to put out this great music into the world.
Where do you think pop music is headed right now?
It’s really hard to say where it will go, but I will say that I’m loving watching people gravitate toward the likes of Sam Smith and people who have these rich, beautiful organic voices. I’m excited that this album is coming out now because I think people are ready for an organic type of music. I feel that culture is excited to hear something more natural.
Where are you right now with your clothing? It seems like you’ve been channeling Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard and Cher with your hair. Did you have a particular muse in mind?
I’m always inspired by the greats. I look back at Ginger Rogers, and even though I might not be dressing like her, she’s been a big inspiration for me—as well as Ella Fitzgerald. Ella didn’t care how she looked. She wasn’t worried about anyone thinking she’s beautiful. She was worried about giving the most honest, authentic performance that she could.
When I was choosing what kind of hair I wanted to wear while singing this album, I remembered how I wore my hair when I was 13 when I sang standards for the first time. I’m an Italian girl, so when I get out of the shower, my hair curls up and I get out my diffuser and put spray in it. Because I’m returning to my roots with jazz, I thought I’d also return to my hair roots.
I feel very supportive and blessed that Cher has been so supportive of me borrowing her wigs. That shows the mark of a real artist.
What’s your off-duty Gaga style?
I’m usually naked with my face mask on, running around my hotel room on my cell phone, working my tits off and burning sage.
September 29th 2014: Introducing Tony Bennett on Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show”
@ladygaga: Off to Sweden on the bus! #artRaveStockholm what a great show tonight in Oslo! Haus party on the bus! #cheektocheek style !