When Lady Gaga teamed up with Blackpink for “Sour Candy,” it wasn’t just one of the year’s most high-profile collaborations — it was also a full-circle moment for the members of the K-pop quartet, who studied Gaga’s music during their time as pop-star trainees at YG Entertainment prior to their official debut.
“I remember we used to say to each other, ‘Let’s make this kind of great music someday,’” recalls the group’s Jisoo in Billboard’s new cover story about Lady Gaga and the making of her latest album, Chromatica. “There are so many things to learn from Lady Gaga. She is not afraid to try new things and she enjoys every [performance] sincerely.”
Rosé has fond memories of covering songs such as “You and I,” while Lisa calls Gaga her “favorite artist” and says she has a particular love for “Poker Face,” which she performed during her very first evaluation. “I can’t list all the influences that Lady Gaga has given me and my generation,” says Lisa over email. “But among them, I respect Lady Gaga’s unique style and [the way] she makes her own music and performances. She is an artist who always creates new styles that have never been done before, and she delivers meaningful messages to people who hear her music.”
Jennie, meanwhile, says she “cannot forget the feeling” of watching the video for Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone” for the first time: “The creativity between the two artists, fashion and characters — I remember thinking, ‘Someday, I want to try something original and creative like this.” Rosé, too, appreciated Gaga’s unfiltered, over-the-top creative vision. “I grew up listening to Lady Gaga on the radio [and] used to hear her songs on my way to school and back,” she says. “I think I was heavily influenced by the pop culture she was creating at that time, which was [about never being] afraid of stepping out of the boundaries and expressing yourself to the fullest.”
If getting approached about collaborating was a surprise, it was nothing compared to connecting with Gaga directly over the phone about the song. “She called us just to pour her heart out to explain the whole song for us,” Rosé remembers. Adds Jennie: “That was more than just a call, it showed her passion and kindness. The fact that she wanted to sing a song with us not because we knew each other, but because she loved our music still makes me thrilled even to this moment.”
For Jisoo, though, the biggest revelation may have been just how seamlessly it all happened. “I was really happy that our sounds blended so well in the song,” she says. “I was surprised to see the kind of synergy we made with Lady Gaga and our colors.”