For better or worse, Lady Gaga is still wearing her heart on her sleeve, and this time around she’s speaking out about the depression she went through following the release of ARTPOP in November — particularly the subsequent negative criticism — and her split with longtime manager Troy Carter around the same time.
“I realized that it’s my own fault that people take advantage,” the “Do What U Want” singer tells Harper’s Bazaar for her March cover story. “I should be around people who cherish my talents, my health, my time. I’m not a pawn for anyone’s future business. I’m an artist. I deserve better than to be loyal to people who only believe in me because I make money.”
Harper’s staged the interview as a simple Q&A, but Gaga chose to open up, possibly a bit more than was expected. And whether she was simply being honest or going on the defensive — perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle — she didn’t hold back.
“Sometimes I get this gut feeling about people—maybe I sense a hidden agenda or that they care for the money more than the message,” she tells the magazine. “I wish that I’d listen to that feeling instead of waiting for the truth to rear its ugly head. I’m a smart girl. I’m loyal. But sometimes I’m too loyal. I’m not loyal enough to myself.”
Gaga then admits that she fell into a depression toward the end of last year:
I became very depressed at the end of 2013. I was exhausted fighting people off. I couldn’t even feel my own heartbeat. I was angry, cynical, and had this deep sadness like an anchor dragging everywhere I go. I just didn’t feel like fighting anymore. I didn’t feel like standing up for myself one more time—to one more person who lied to me. But January 1, I woke up, started crying again, and I looked in the mirror and said, “I know you don’t want to fight. I know you think you can’t, but you’ve done this before. I know it hurts, but you won’t survive this depression.” I really felt like I was dying—my light completely out. I said to myself, “Whatever is left in there, even just one light molecule, you will find it and make it multiply. You have to for you. You have to for your music. You have to for your fans and your family.” Depression doesn’t take away your talents—it just makes them harder to find. But I always find it. I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that’s left. I’m lucky I found one little glimmer stored away.
All of this follows Gaga’s recent reassurance to her Little Monsters that ARTPOP is “100% back on track,” after her “Do What U Want” single became slightly de-railed by the lack of the song’s music video. (What did ever happen with that? Did the R. Kelly heat get to be too much?)
So what do you think of Gaga’s latest admission? Is it refreshing to see her be so candid? Should she stop being forthcoming with the details of why she thinks her album under-performed and just get on with the promotion? Let us know below.
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