lady gaga residency

9 things we discovered about Lady Gaga on a weekend in Las Vegas

Including the real reason she’s always changing her look…

Las Vegas is world famous for it’s superstar music residencies, but when Lady Gaga hit the town, she rewrote all the rules. Marie Claire was invited for a weekend to see her two incredible shows, Engima and Jazz & Piano as well as a rare special interview with the star herself, thanks to Swiss watch brand, Tudor, who Gaga is an ambassador for. Our verdict on the shows at the MGM Park Theatre? Mind blowing!

First off Enigma: from the opening notes of Just Dance, with Gaga clad in sequins and suspended above the audience on a zip wire to the stage, the crowd went wild. The energy in the place was electric throughout the two-hour dance fest, with Gaga nailing every one of her pop hits from Paparazzi to Born This Way. Could she keep it up for the second night with her Jazz & Piano? Oh yes. In fact seeing Gaga belt out jazz classics like The Lady is a Tramp, and play beautiful piano renditions of her hits like Born This Way, it’s no surprise to learn that jazz was her first and greatest love. Add in stunning looks by Schiaparelli and a guest duet with her hero Tony Bennett (still going strong at 93), and this show has got to be up there with the all time Vegas greats. Surely she’d be too exhausted to chat to us mere mortals the next day – not a bit of it – she still had plenty to say in her charming, gracious, insightful way…

On reinventing the Las Vegas residency

‘I wanted to eliminate this idea that Vegas is where, you know, pop stars go to die. I didn’t want to show up in Las Vegas and just do what I’ve done before. I said to myself, why only offer one part of what I do when there’s this other thing that I’ve been doing since I was a little girl, which is jazz music? And why wouldn’t I bring all of the weapons in my arsenal with me to tackle this town!’

On calling the shots

‘I did approach the MGM executives, and I said, hey, guys, look what about we do two shows, pop and jazz? At first, they were like, I don’t know, I don’t know if this is going to work. And I said, please just trust me and give me this opportunity, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll pull the jazz show, and I’ll do the pop show, but let’s just try it. And it turned out the jazz show sold out faster!”

lady gaga residency

Lady Gaga during her Jazz & Piano residency at the MGM Park Theatre

She gets nervous singing jazz

‘This was so important to me because as a white woman singing jazz, I have tremendous respect for the genre of music, as it is a genre that was birthed by the African American community, and out of New Orleans specifically from the rhythm and blues and ragtime movement. And I was very nervous about it because I wanted to make sure that the show is really a true representation of jazz and not a spin on it in a contrived way or in a way that took away from the real, true cry for freedom that is in jazz music.’

Her rules for song writing…

‘Sometimes I have a thematic idea, sometimes I write poetry, and then that turns into lyrics, sometimes I have a life experience, and I run to the piano and write a song, which can be quite emotional for me and a bit scary. And other times, I work with producers who have creative ideas and beats and they’ll play them for me, and then – I always ask that they don’t play it for me until I have a microphone in front of me. And I have a rule, if I can’t remember it, it’s no good!’

What she’s done with all those Grammies, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars…

‘I have them sort of in the kitchen area and also on a shelf that leads to the bathroom. So, you know, when I wake up, and I go into the kitchen, I once in a while will just glance up at those awards, and I go, hmmm, wow, okay, you did that.’

A glimpse of what goes on during Gaga’s Enigma residency

The real reason she’s always changing her look…

‘My style is ever-changing – from day to day, I want to dress totally differently. I went through a period in my life where style, for me, was almost like shedding a skin. You know, if I didn’t feel in my power in a certain way, I would dye my hair that day or wear a wig or change my clothes completely, and my style would just be completely different because I wanted to feel different, like a different person. There’s a lot of pressure in the world to look a certain way, we sort of run on aestheticism, at this point, with social media. And I think people try to keep up with that aesthetic all the time, and I’m not really into that. When I’m zigging, I like to zag later.’

Being on time is essential…

‘I got to be on time! I usually have my best friend, going like this [points at watch] all day long. Tudor have been really kind and they gave me a wide variety of their watches for all sexual identities. So I actually experimented with stacking them and wearing multiple watches at once and found that to be really fun. At the moment I’m wearing Clair de Rose which I like because I’m a lyricist and a songwriter, so I write my own music, and it’s a play on words. So it would normally, in French, be clair de lune, which means moonlight. And then rose – you know, I love La Vie En Rose, I sing it, and I love that song. So it’s sort of a play on this moonlight and romanticism as well as the history of the Tudor rose watch.

lady gaga residency

The ‘Born This Way’ singer is a brand ambassador for Swiss watch brand Tudor

Why she can’t ever relax…

‘I ask myself, why do you always got to make something new? Why do you always have to have another dream? Why do you always have to push your creativity further? Why do you need to be innovative? Why? Why? Why? Why can’t you just relax? And the answer is, I don’t know. And I think that the universe or whatever you believe in, you know, for me, it’s God, God gave me a gift, and it’s really just me, I think, I have the nerve or the audacity, in some sense, to give that gift back to the world, and that’s what’s important to me.’

What she’d like to be remembered for

‘I actually would just like to be remembered as brave. And I know that that might sound strange, but, sure, I’d love people to remember my music, remember my art, that’s wonderful. You know, Picasso lived—lives on forever. Michelangelo, Da Vinci. But I think I would prefer to be remembered as brave and unafraid to speak my mind. I don’t think that God gave me this voice to be famous, I think he gave me artistry and my voice and music as a vehicle to change the world, and that’s what I really want to do. ‘

Lady Gaga is a brand ambassador for Swiss watch brand Tudor (tudorwatch.com). Her Las Vegas residency runs until 16th May 2020

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