Lady Gaga may be riding on fresh waves of success thanks to her latest hit album, Chromatica, but those who have paid attention to its lyrics have likely noticed the pain behind the catchy, dance-y pop songs on the album. The superstar opened up to CBS’ Lee Cowan in a new interview that aired Sunday (Sept. 20) about the darkness she’s faced and illustrated in her latest music.
“There’s not one song on that record that’s not true. Not one,” she said during the chat, conducted while wearing a sequined black mask in her home as Cowan — also masked — sat socially distanced across from her. “I totally gave up on myself, I hated being famous. I hated being a star. I felt exhausted and used up.”
The superstar, who graces the September cover of Billboard, gestured to the piano nearby. “This is the piano I’ve had for so many years. I’ve written so many songs on this piano. And I think, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so special, this piano, I love this piano.’ I don’t know how to explain,” she began. “I went from looking at this piano and thinking, ‘You ruined my life!’ I was like, ‘You made me Lady Gaga. My biggest enemy is Lady Gaga!’”
“That’s what I was thinking,” she added. “My biggest enemy is here. ‘What did you do? You can’t go to the grocery store now. If you go to dinner with your family, somebody comes to the table. .. It’s always about you. And your outfits, look at your outfits! Why you gotta be like that?!’”
The artist shared that things got so bad, she even contemplated suicide daily. “I didn’t really understand why I should live other than to be there for my family,” she said, noting that there were people watching her for years to make sure she didn’t hurt herself. “That was an actual real thought and feeling: ‘Why should I stick around?’”
Gaga said that the objectification only made things worse, especially when strangers would come up to her and start taking photos with their phones. “Total panic, full body pain,” the singer-songwriter explained of how she’d feel when that happened. “I’m braced because I’m so afraid. It’s like I’m an object, I’m not a person.”
“‘Pop a 911,’ that’s a reference to the medication that I have to take when I used to panic because I’m Lady Gaga,” she said of “911,” the latest single off Chromatica.
And though she struggled for years with not liking herself, Gaga told Cowan she’s turned things around. “I don’t hate Lady Gaga anymore. I found a way to love myself again, even when I thought that was never gonna happen,” she shared. “Now I look at this piano and I go, ‘Oh, my god, my piano! My piano that I love so much; my piano that lets me speak; my piano that lets me make poetry; my piano that’s mine.”
Watch the full interview below.