Lady GaGa says she is married to her music

Lady GaGa burst on to the pop scene when her debut single Just Dance hit No 1.

At just 22, she’s written songs for the likes of Britney Spears and Pussycat Dolls, but now she’s ready to steal the limelight for herself.’

So, should we call you Lady?
No, Lady is weird. My real name is Stefani Germanotta, but please call me GaGa. That’s been my name now for years and years.

Just Dance has been a huge hit. Did you really write it in just 10 minutes?
Yeah, that’s true. Start to finish it was 10 minutes – well, when I say I wrote it in 10 minutes I mean I had the melody and the lyrics for the verse, the chorus and the pre-chorus all down in 10 minutes.

We love your unique style - have you always been an exhibitionist?
I was always the nerdy kid in high school, making my own clothes and dressing crazy and I just really love fashion. I can’t stand women who pose looking meek and coy for shoots. I’m strong and iconic and that’s the way I love it!

We hear that you once got fined for indecent exposure...

I did! I was in Chicago and I had a teeny-tiny excuse for a pair of hotpants on. All of a sudden I heard someone shout: ‘Put your ass up against the fence!’ I looked over at this guy on a bike with a helmet and I didn’t realise this guy I was looking at was a Chicago police officer. I just shouted: ‘I’m an artist, it’s fashion,’ and he said: ‘I don’t care who you are, you have to wear trousers.’ So I got in trouble.

People assume you're an overnight success, but haven't you been grafting away for years?

Oh yeah, my whole life. I started playing out in clubs when I was 15 and was really hustling the New York scene. I used to squirt hairspray on stage and set fire to it because we had no money for pyrotechnics or stuff like that, so we played Black Sabbath songs and did our fire display. Looking back, that was a little dangerous, but I’m still here.

You went to Tisch School of The Arts - was it a bit like Fame?
Yes, that would be a good way of describing it! I would dance for five hours every morning and then I would do an acting class, singing class and then have studies that night.

What's it like writing songs for Britney Spears?
She’s a nice girl – I just feel very honoured that she wanted to sing my song. I used to scream for her in Times Square and now I work for her. When I was 13 she was the most provocative performer of my time. I love her so much!

Did you share any tips with her?

Britney certainly doesn’t need any freakin’ tips from me! Britney Spears is the queen of pop. I was learning from her.

Has your busy career touring and recording your new album had an impact on your love life?

I don’t really have time to date – my art is too important. I don’t know about love, so I write about nostalgia. You can’t have both success and love – so I’m married to my art. I don’t give a f*** about love!

See the full interview with Lady GaGa in Now magazine dated 9 February 2009 - out now!