Last week we asked if Christina Aguilera has a Lady Gaga problem; now, we’re wondering if Lady Gaga has an M.I.A. problem: Pop music’s favorite Sri Lankan gave an interview to NME ahead of her upcoming album (no name or release date yet) in which she puts Gaga on blast. All relevant bits after the jump.* Here we go!
Do we still need record labels?
Are they even interested in making money from music anymore? Lady Gaga plugs 15 things in her new video. Dude, she even plugs a burger!
Do you think those programmes [X-Factor] and the Internet have destroyed the mythology around popstars?
I don’t know. Again, there’d Lady Gaga — people say we’re similar, that we both mix all these things in the pot and spit them out differently, but she spits it out exactly the same! None of her music’s reflective of how weird she wants to be or thinks she is. She models herself on Grace Jones and Madonna, but the music sounds like 20-year-old Ibiza music, you know? She’s not progressive, but she’s a good mimic. She sounds more like me than I fucking do! That’s a talent and she’s got a great team behind her, but she’s the industry last’s stab at making itself important - saying, ‘You need our money behind you, the endorsements, the stadiums’ Respect to her, she’s keeping a hundred thousand people in work, but my belief is: Do It Yourself.
How important are image and visuals to your music?
Very. But it’s not like “Haus of Gaga” (laughs). Me blindfolded with naked men feeding me apples and shit.
A few spare thoughts.
1. We are not, as of yet, tired of people pointing out that the novelty and inspiration behind Lady Gaga’s visuals and general public persona greatly, greatly trumps the fairly uninteresting music she makes. (Excuse us as we recycle this Grigoriadis quote: “Gaga … throws in our face [that] American celebrities have become very, very boring … the fact that she has done this at the same time that much of the actual music she makes herself is somewhat boring is another feat.”)
2. People say Lady Gaga is similar to M.I.A.? Are they saying this when we are not in the room?
3. “Me blindfolded with naked men feeding me apples and shit” is goddamn hilarious.
*And just so we don’t come off like narrow-minded pop-culture obsessives, here’s the much more troubling bit about how M.I.A. says the Sri Lankan government, of which she’s been famously critical, has been targeting her: “they’ve been ‘pulling the strings’ recently to make life difficult: disappearing visa applications and hacking into her Twitter and email accounts, ‘wishing all kinds of crazy illness on my baby and stuff like that.’”
M.I.A. interview [ONTD]