Lady Gaga Rockin’ the Keynote at SXSW 2014


On the heels of her provocative Thursday night show at Stubb’s BBQ – highlights include vomit painters, mechanical pigs, and dangling from a roasting spit in a tiny black bikini – this morning, Lady Gaga became the first female keynote speaker for the music portion of SXSW in 15 years, as well as the youngest speaker ever (she turns 28 at the end of March.) Also, yes — she was dressed entirely in clear trash bags.

Fuse reporter John Norris moderated the panel, in which the singer discussed her collaboration with Millie Brown, the meaning of performance art, and the ever-looming possibility of pissing off her publicist with her unpredictable onstage antics. “I asked [her] if she quit in the middle of the show,” she admitted with a laugh. During a discussion of her music, she added, “Sometimes things that are really strange and feel really wrong can change the world.”

To get into her concert the previous night, fans had to promote the show’s sponsor, Doritos, via social media – a fact that did not set well with many. The pop queen pointed out that record labels don’t have money anymore, so it’s thanks to these corporations that we can even have a festival like South By Southwest. Still, she made no bones about the fact that it does impact art in negative ways as well.

“What happens is you start trying to influence [artists] to approach their work or channel their art towards being successful within that system,” she explained. “When you do that, you take the power out of the hands of the artist, and you put it in the hands of the corporation. And that means you at home with your guitar has less of a chance of making it on your own, because you need someone in a corporate tower somewhere to tell you, ‘Oh, no, no, this is how you’re going to do it.’ I don’t think any of us want that to be what’s dictating what we’re listening to.”

Lady Gaga’s next music video debuts next Saturday.

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