I just had to throw in an Afrikaans title for a change. Love her or hate her, Stefani Germanotta has done wonders with her music career over the past few years. A native New Yorker, she was privileged to grow up in an environment where her parents encouraged hard work and discipline, and she was surrounded by like-minded talents when she attended Tisch School of the Arts, and other artsy institutions that would have helped her hone her craft.
A few years before her breakthrough success (yes, even Gaga had to pay her dues, and she has a past), she played in Miami at a music festival. She was sporting mousybrown short hair, and was standing behind the keyboard like a bit of a wallflower.
So it took some major theatrics to bring her to the front of the stage. Some people say that this is all hype and no substance, that unlike other truly gifted artists she has to rely on flash and weird to make her mark in the world. Be that as it may, the world has responded in kind, and has taken notice of the woman. The wigs, the theatrical make-up, the costumes, the props on set – these have all created a strong music brand – or at least one that people cannot ignore.
And it’s brought out the nasty in others – Christina Aguilera once asked if ‘it’ was a man or a woman – and it seems as if that is just a case of sour grapes, because Gaga’s career has been a much more illustrious one of late. Admittedly, her last album seemed to be a bit of a disappointment to the world at large, and maybe some of her fans, but it’s hard work churning out song after song, hoping and praying that they will become hits.
Let’s see what she does 50 years from now, because the true test of an artist is their longevity.