Lady Gaga discusses her battle with depression, the Black Lives Matter movement, and much more in a candid new interview with Billboard for the “2021 Grammy Preview” issue.
The singer, who scored her first Hot 100 hit with “Just Dance” over 11 years ago, says she fell into depression during the making of Chromatica, after her “Joanne” world tour.
“I used to wake up every day and remember I was Lady Gaga and then I would get depressed… I was peeling all the layers of the onion in therapy, so as you dig deeper, you get closer to the core, and the core of the onion stinks.”
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She says that she would spend hours outside chainsmoking and crying, wondering why she couldn’t flip the switch inside of her back on.
Gaga admits she was drinking a lot too, which is what the “Rain on Me” lyrics “I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive” were about.
“My existence in and of itself was a threat to me,” she explains. “I thought about really dark s**t every single day.”
The interview also sees Gaga talk about this year’s protests against police brutality and systemic racism: “When you’re born in this country, we all drink the poison that is white supremacy. I am in the process of learning and unlearning things I’ve been taught my whole life… Social justice is not just a literacy, it’s a lifestyle.
“What do I think about [posting] a black square? I think everybody has a different feeling about a black square. Do I think there’s such a thing as performative activism? Yes. Do I think there’s been true activism that’s been very important and needed? Yes. Do I believe Black lives matter? Yes. Do I believe this is going to get louder? Yes. Do I believe it should? Yes.”
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She then discusses the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, taking a swipe at anyone refusing to wear a mask.
“It’s really wrong for us to go, ‘I’m uncomfortable [with wearing a mask] because I can’t breathe,’” she says. “Give me a break. Show some respect for the people who are there for us when we dial 911.”
Gaga adds of making art during a pandemic: “When I see people struggling like they are right now, my brain goes, ‘Put on your superhero suit. Let’s go.’”