Eccentric, over the top, controversial; these are a few of the words people usually use to describe Lady Gaga. It seems that when it comes to the Italian-American pop-star, the world is rifted between lovers and haters. The ones who “get” her constantly transmogrifying image, say she’s a genius – a true artist. On the other hand, others are incongruous to her peculiarity, and don’t quite get the significance of walking the red carpet inside an egg. Whereas I completely respect and accept differing opinions, and it is not my aim, by any means, to try and force Gaga into you, I have the urge to express my personal opinion on the Gaga phenomenon.
If something can epitomize the term hybridity, then this must be music. The cultures of the world are rampant with all kinds of music styles, which keep growing, expanding and hybridizing with each other to create new genres of music. In many ways, music responds to changes in culture, and culture responds to new nuances of music. In this way, music and culture are co-creative partners in crime, having an inveterate role in the expansion of our socio-cultural reality. In the same way that no human being is an exact copy of another, and we are all different and authentic in our own way, so is music an ever-expanding form of culture, that combines and recombines to create something new.
The word ‘new’ is the operative word here, for it depicts, in my opinion the purpose of, not just music, but life on earth. Every thought, action or experience we have is new, and because of that, it contributes to the expansion of consciousness that life is all about. In terms of music, the world’s greatest artists and musicians, from all musical styles, have been people who dared to think and act outside the box. They were the underdogs and the outcasts that were brave enough to sidetrack from mainstream thought, and bring their different, authentic vision into life. Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Mozart, Madonna, they all reinvented music by expanding their chosen genre, and sometimes creating a new one.
In my opinion, Lady Gaga is one such artist. With all her so-called eccentricities and weirdness, she is constantly pushing the envelope of art, fashion and music, to create something new. A quick look at her most recent video and song, Applause, portrays how her coming album, ARTPOP, attempts to do just that. “Pop culture was in art, now art’s in pop culture in me,” sings the Born This Way singer, emphasizing how she is consciously attempting to formulate a new hybrid genre of music that combines art and pop.
Of course, not everyone likes art, pop music, or the combination of the two, and not everyone will enjoy Lady Gaga’s music. In other words, my purpose is not so much to be an advocate for Lady Gaga’s work, or pop music in general, as much as to be an advocate of life. I am an advocate of respecting all forms of music and, no matter our music tastes, to appreciate the fact that they all have a common purpose, to express, expand and extend human consciousness, through their unique perspectives.