Nigel wrote a little while ago a text about GaGa. Yes, that GaGa. And, since I had some issues with everybody calling her an “original”, we got into a pro/against discussion. The result? For Nigel’s opinion, arguments and super-interesting posts/site, please pay him a visit here. :)
As for my (half-rocky/jazzy, half-“businessful”) opinion… well, it went pretty much like this:
[...] I still don’t think I like her music, though I can admit I respect the fact she writes her own songs and her live performances.
Yes, she’s an icon. And she certainly knows much about marketing, branding and selling. And maybe Warhol would have loved her pop-art moods and imagery. But, in spite of that, she’s not an original. She’s just very, but very smart.
Yes, she’s creative, but being creative doesn’t necessarily mean being an original. She’s just cracking a mirror and then she’s rearranging the pieces in a totally new way (pretty much what the Dadaism teaches). Or she’s simply doing what Jim Aitchison writes down in one of his books: “I would define creativity as taking a set of familiar elements and rearranging them in an unfamiliar way so that the audience recognises both the familiarity and the unfamiliarity. In other words, present something the audience will recognise as themselves, their lives, their dreams, but with a twist, so they’re actually a bit startled by it, or will get an extra insight from it. So it’s not just a mirror, it’s a mirror that’s craked.” (Cutting Edge Advertising)
I think her most incredible smart idea was to let people see in her whatever they want to see. This way, some will see only a shallow pop diva, some others will dig out meanings in her and her songs.
GaGa seen as a business is a success. But GaGa seen as quality music… let’s just say I don’t think that 100 years from now people will wake up one morning and realize they miss “Let’s have some fun this beat is sick/ I wanna take a ride on your disco stick”.
Later-edit: another incredible smart idea of her was to surround herself with a few teams (music/fashion/marketing etc.) made of very smart, creative and talented people. But that’s pretty much what any smart businessman/woman would do. Keep creative and talented people around you, respect them and their work and they’ll take you higher than you could ever dream: every (good) manager can confirm that.