The Fame Thing: Lady Gaga and Her Journey to Superstardom
2008-2009 is an integral year in my life. I just graduated from college and I was about to embark on a journey to the corporate world. The sudden need to commute to work on a rush hour can be daunting that’s why having my iPod mini as a companion in train and jeepney rides kind of helped. I tend to stick to my old favorites, but during that time, I got interested with a newbie pop singer named Lady Gaga. She is a protégé of RedOne whose songs were all over the place that year. When I saw her music videos on TV and the sort-of brand new YouTube, I just thought that well, she has it. But I never thought that she will be THAT big. Let’s be honest here: Most of the female singers who were big those days where either band members embarking on a solo route (Gwen Stefani and Fergie) or those who took a while before they scored that big hit (Rihanna and Katy Perry). When you go to the dance-pop route with no public history, you really need to exert a lot of effort to be noticed and to gain loyal followers. Ladies and gentlemen, Lady Gaga is one of the few brave artists who chased fame by singing about it.
Just Dance: Starting it Simple
Lady Gaga is just a year older than me. I guess that’s the reason why the lyrics of her songs were relatable to me since I aspired those things back then. While I am making baby steps in achieving my goals, I can simply just party with my friends on Friday nights and weekends singing and dancing to “Just Dance.” The music video encourages one to organize house parties or to simply have fun with friends. It is fun to play with the idea of going out and partying in a luxurious way when you know you deserve it.
The Breakthrough Song: Poker Face
Mum-mum-mum-muh. I knew it. I heard those from the Boney M song “Ma Baker!”. The robotic effect, catchy sample from the 70’s Europop song, good use of synthesizers (which was very evident in the 80’s), fun to sing lyrics (whether you realize the sexual metaphors or you find bluffin’ with my muffin ‘cute’) and outrageous yet classy music video, I can say that “Poker Face” is Lady Gaga’s breakthrough song. Or at least that’s the single that really introduced Lady Gaga to a wider market. The fans loved her looks and dance sequence in the music video and the critics praised her lyrical content and LSS-worthy music. The fact that she is once again expressing how determined she is in reaching her luxury-related goals, she also plays with the usage of he/she in the chorus. That is indirectly revealing her bisexuality which the fans appreciate. Needlessly to say, Lady Gaga captured the attention of the LGBT community with this song.
Cherry, Cherry, Boom, Boom: Some Bubblegum Pop for You!
I’m sure some listeners were confused when Lady Gaga released “Eh, Eh (There’s Nothing Else I Can Say)”, which is very much in contrast with her previously released singles. Maybe that’s the reason why this song was not as successful in the charts. Honestly, this is one of my top favorites in the album. When my blogger friends and I flew to Singapore together on an all-expenses paid trip to attend an awards night, we found ourselves singing this song while we were heading towards Tiong Bahru for lunch. By the time we were preparing to get glammed up on our own, we were also playing the rest of Lady Gaga’s songs from The Fame album to put us in the mood for upscale party time, which we were not used to. If you want to turn down a guy you’re hanging out with because you met someone new, well, there’s nothing else I can say but tell him to listen to this song! He-he-he!
LoveGame: On Disco Sticks and Being a Fame Monster
By the time Lady Gaga released “LoveGame”, it is already clear that she is so determined to shock people not only with her music but with her visuals. The controversial music video of “LoveGame” is inspired by the underground New York lifestyle scene with sick choreography, hot dancers and lots of sex. I think she is the only singer that time who made out with both men and women. Surely, she gained the fame she wanted with this move. She’s not a one or two hit wonder. The “I want to take a ride in your disco stick” might be one of the best metaphors in pop music ever. Lady Gaga also shows how bad her sexual attraction is with someone she met on the dancefloor. Might as well have some fun and action while the beat is sick!
Paparazzi – How Far Will You Go for Fame?
“I’m your biggest fan I’ll follow you until you love me….”. Is this the ultimate anthem of celebrity stalkers? “Paparazzi” is one of Lady Gaga’s critically-acclaimed songs. She explores on the challenges of having a romantic relationship once you reach a certain level of fame. In her rather wicked music video, she is seen having an intimate moment with her boyfriend and while they’re making out in the balcony, she notices a number of paparazzi taking stolen shots of her private moment. She falls – literally. The Fall of Lady Gaga is all over the papers. Despite of the leg amputation, she still makes sure that she is ready for the cameras. I remember that some bashers were insinuating that Lady Gaga is encouraging amputation for the sake of ‘art’. I’m sure that’s just a rubbish rumor. You cannot deny that Lady Gaga is doing whatever it takes to reach a certain level of fame and popularity. Well, she succeeded! Other songs in The Fame album that I love include “Money Honey”, “Summer Boy” and “The Fame.”