Is it too early to call magazine cover of the decade yet? I don’t care. I’m OBSESSED with Lady Gaga’s photos for the cover story in Paper Magazine. I tried to pick my favourite but it was impossible. Gaga is always one to push the envelope when it comes to fashion and aesthetic, but this time she has outdone herself. She’s truly blessed us in this time of crisis.
The photos are a collaboration with Belgian artist Frederik Heyman who 3D-scanned Gaga’s body in order to place her in various computer generated environments. And the effect is stunning, especially as a digitally rendered camera pan.
The vibe is futuristic meets natural, a larger theme from Gaga’s upcoming sixth album, Chromatica. It’s also similar to the aesthetic we saw in the video for “Stupid Love”, and I dig it so much.
While Gaga’s photos already blow this piece out of the water, the interview is the real gem, an honest and moving piece that delves into Gaga’s musical past and how it has led up to this current era. We’re entering Chromatica, an era of music and thought designed to celebrate life, nature, and happiness while acknowledging that they can exist alongside pain, sadness, and darkness. It’s what we see represented in this photoshoot: the tension, but also beauty, of two opposing forces.
Throughout this piece, it’s obvious the attention to detail, both in the construction of the images and in the work, that Gaga has put into making this album. As she says, "I think Chromatica is the most honest thing I could've ever created, and I'll never forget making this record. It's been one of the most special and hard times in my life."
I’ve been focusing a lot on growth recently and finding out what the best version of myself looks like. And it’s been hard. Which seems to be a current theme for Gaga too. In fact, it’s through the creation of this album that Gaga has been able to work and live through the pain and trauma of her past, from the PTSD of her sexual assault to the continuous pain she from fibromyalgia.
"I want my legacy to be the most beautiful diary that I ever could've made. And diaries are meant to be true. I think when we start lying to ourselves in our diaries, we start to create secrets within ourselves that don't help us. I like to look myself squarely in the eye now."
I love this article because it gives us a glimpse into the mind of Gaga – the creative process, the vision, the perspective, and the hurt. Although it’s a glimpse, it feels raw and emotional, and there’s something in Gaga’s experiences that can resonate with everyone. It’s why I’m so excited for Chromatica.
According to the author of the piece, Justin Moran, Chromatica is “perhaps Gaga’s most focused, consistent album to date.” To me that reads, “if you loved “Stupid Love”, you’ll love the rest of this album too.” I’ve been listening to “Stupid Love” non-stop since it first came out, and it’s become part of my daily playlist as I walk to work (or I guess, walked to work). I don’t know what you feel when you listen to the song, but for me, I go from sluggish and tired to upbeat and energetic. It’s like the whole street becomes my runway while I strut past an adoring audience of construction workers and commuters.
That’s probably why Moran says that the songs on the album are almost like an antidepressant for Lady Gaga. And she’s offering it as an antidepressant for all of us. As Gaga says, "I will do whatever it takes to make the world dance and smile. I want to put out a record that forces people to rejoice even in their saddest moments.”
The article also hints at a song that features a female pop star who “has similarly experienced immense trauma while in the public eye.” I’m dying to know who it is. My first thought is Ariana Grande, especially after the 2017 Manchester bombings. Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking this. There have also been rumours that Chromatica could feature a collaboration with BLACKPINK. Think of the combination of those two fandoms. The power! Chromatica comes out April 10.