Forget about drinking yourself silly and pack your yoga kit like we did for this year’s edition of Larmer Tree Festival – the UK’s under-the-radar boutique festival where the focus is on wellness rather than raving (if you want it to be).
Larmer Tree’s UP is in the unexpected. Sure there’s the main stage headliners and hangovers to be had, but this is all about experiencing and discovering. Be it a laughter yoga workshop, a campfire cookery master-class or new-world afro-beat jazz, the alternative is what makes Larmer Tree so special.
The best bits
With three days of feel-good scheduling, the stunning Victorian Larmer Tree Gardens in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside is where you can chill or party (or both), nourish the soul (and belly) with yoga and jerk Cornish fish (pure heaven), discover your new favourite bands and comedians (Anna Mann and Jade Bird/Ezra Collective we’re looking at you), and relish in some mind-blowing headliners like Nish Kumar and Kate Tempest. Think hot tubs, think gong baths, think Kate Adie. Throw in a late night silent disco in the depths of and art-infused woodland and you get a sense of the Larmer Tree magic.
Image: Carolyn White
It might be in its 29th year, but Larmer Tree’s focus on creating a sense of community means it’s retained a really cosy, family-friendly vibe, with a mix of local and international artists and performers. Plus the size of it physically means everything is super close – including the award-winning loos.
The schedule is pretty perfect in terms of being packed but not overwhelming. Unlike similarly sized festivals, there’s never a chance to be bored. Whether it’s travelling entertainers, poets hidden in the woods, big-name musicians on the main stage or a hot tub and sauna situation, there’s always something to do. Comedy and talks share the schedule with massages and tea ceremonies, and with a cinema tent thrown in, there really is something for everyone. And not only that, a massive roster of kids activities, workshops and entertainment makes it a brilliant option for any family, whether experienced or first-timers.
From the plush bell tents with their private shower block and chill out tent filled with sofas, hairdryers and charge points (yes, really), to the family-friendly quiet camp set back from the action, there’s a camp site to suit all needs. As well as award-winning loos – so you know, nothing to worry about there.
Be warned though, with its boutique vibes and alternative wellness schedule, Larmer Tree could easily be on the path to Wilderness-level stardom so get there before the crowds.
Larmer Tree Festival takes place 16 – 19th July 2020.
Las Vegas is world famous for it’s superstar music residencies, but when Lady Gaga hit the town, she rewrote all the rules. Marie Claire was invited for a weekend to see her two incredible shows, Engima and Jazz & Piano as well as a rare special interview with the star herself, thanks to Swiss watch brand, Tudor, who Gaga is an ambassador for. Our verdict on the shows at the MGM Park Theatre? Mind blowing!
First off Enigma: from the opening notes of Just Dance, with Gaga clad in sequins and suspended above the audience on a zip wire to the stage, the crowd went wild. The energy in the place was electric throughout the two-hour dance fest, with Gaga nailing every one of her pop hits from Paparazzi to Born This Way. Could she keep it up for the second night with her Jazz & Piano? Oh yes. In fact seeing Gaga belt out jazz classics like The Lady is a Tramp, and play beautiful piano renditions of her hits like Born This Way, it’s no surprise to learn that jazz was her first and greatest love. Add in stunning looks by Schiaparelli and a guest duet with her hero Tony Bennett (still going strong at 93), and this show has got to be up there with the all time Vegas greats. Surely she’d be too exhausted to chat to us mere mortals the next day – not a bit of it – she still had plenty to say in her charming, gracious, insightful way…
On reinventing the Las Vegas residency
‘I wanted to eliminate this idea that Vegas is where, you know, pop stars go to die. I didn’t want to show up in Las Vegas and just do what I’ve done before. I said to myself, why only offer one part of what I do when there’s this other thing that I’ve been doing since I was a little girl, which is jazz music? And why wouldn’t I bring all of the weapons in my arsenal with me to tackle this town!’
On calling the shots
‘I did approach the MGM executives, and I said, hey, guys, look what about we do two shows, pop and jazz? At first, they were like, I don’t know, I don’t know if this is going to work. And I said, please just trust me and give me this opportunity, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll pull the jazz show, and I’ll do the pop show, but let’s just try it. And it turned out the jazz show sold out faster!”
Lady Gaga during her Jazz & Piano residency at the MGM Park Theatre
She gets nervous singing jazz
‘This was so important to me because as a white woman singing jazz, I have tremendous respect for the genre of music, as it is a genre that was birthed by the African American community, and out of New Orleans specifically from the rhythm and blues and ragtime movement. And I was very nervous about it because I wanted to make sure that the show is really a true representation of jazz and not a spin on it in a contrived way or in a way that took away from the real, true cry for freedom that is in jazz music.’
Her rules for song writing…
‘Sometimes I have a thematic idea, sometimes I write poetry, and then that turns into lyrics, sometimes I have a life experience, and I run to the piano and write a song, which can be quite emotional for me and a bit scary. And other times, I work with producers who have creative ideas and beats and they’ll play them for me, and then – I always ask that they don’t play it for me until I have a microphone in front of me. And I have a rule, if I can’t remember it, it’s no good!’
What she’s done with all those Grammies, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars…
‘I have them sort of in the kitchen area and also on a shelf that leads to the bathroom. So, you know, when I wake up, and I go into the kitchen, I once in a while will just glance up at those awards, and I go, hmmm, wow, okay, you did that.’
A glimpse of what goes on during Gaga’s Enigma residency
The real reason she’s always changing her look…
‘My style is ever-changing – from day to day, I want to dress totally differently. I went through a period in my life where style, for me, was almost like shedding a skin. You know, if I didn’t feel in my power in a certain way, I would dye my hair that day or wear a wig or change my clothes completely, and my style would just be completely different because I wanted to feel different, like a different person. There’s a lot of pressure in the world to look a certain way, we sort of run on aestheticism, at this point, with social media. And I think people try to keep up with that aesthetic all the time, and I’m not really into that. When I’m zigging, I like to zag later.’
Being on time is essential…
‘I got to be on time! I usually have my best friend, going like this [points at watch] all day long. Tudor have been really kind and they gave me a wide variety of their watches for all sexual identities. So I actually experimented with stacking them and wearing multiple watches at once and found that to be really fun. At the moment I’m wearing Clair de Rose which I like because I’m a lyricist and a songwriter, so I write my own music, and it’s a play on words. So it would normally, in French, be clair de lune, which means moonlight. And then rose – you know, I love La Vie En Rose, I sing it, and I love that song. So it’s sort of a play on this moonlight and romanticism as well as the history of the Tudor rose watch.
The ‘Born This Way’ singer is a brand ambassador for Swiss watch brand Tudor
Why she can’t ever relax…
‘I ask myself, why do you always got to make something new? Why do you always have to have another dream? Why do you always have to push your creativity further? Why do you need to be innovative? Why? Why? Why? Why can’t you just relax? And the answer is, I don’t know. And I think that the universe or whatever you believe in, you know, for me, it’s God, God gave me a gift, and it’s really just me, I think, I have the nerve or the audacity, in some sense, to give that gift back to the world, and that’s what’s important to me.’
What she’d like to be remembered for
‘I actually would just like to be remembered as brave. And I know that that might sound strange, but, sure, I’d love people to remember my music, remember my art, that’s wonderful. You know, Picasso lived—lives on forever. Michelangelo, Da Vinci. But I think I would prefer to be remembered as brave and unafraid to speak my mind. I don’t think that God gave me this voice to be famous, I think he gave me artistry and my voice and music as a vehicle to change the world, and that’s what I really want to do. ‘
Lady Gaga is a brand ambassador for Swiss watch brand Tudor (tudorwatch.com). Her Las Vegas residency runs until 16th May 2020
It was her new song from her upcoming album however that made headlines this week, or rather the merchandise around it.
The song ‘ME!’ featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco has already raked up 200 million YouTube views for its music video in a month alone, inspiring merchandise – t-shirts featuring ME! lyrics.
Some Taylor Swift fans however found fault with their merch, with some of the clothing containing a typo – a misplaced apostrophe.
Yes, the line, ‘You’re the only one of you/ baby that’s the fun of you’ actually reads, ‘Your’e the only one of you/ baby that’s the fun of you’.
Fans are pointing out the irony as the song ‘ME!’ actually involves spelling, with one of her lyrics being: ‘Spelling is fun!’
‘There’s a typo on the new @taylorswift13 merch!,’ one fan posted to Twitter. ‘So much for “Spelling is fun,” am I right?’. Another added: ‘EXCUSE ME! I’ve had this shirt for nearly a month and you’re telling me it’s had a typo THIS WHOLE TIME!!’
But not all the Taylor Swift ME! merchandise contains the typo, leading some fans to speculate that it’s a hidden easter egg from Taylor herself on what to expect from the new album.
When speaking about her new album on The Graham Norton Show, Taylor admitted to teasing her fans with clues.
‘When I was making the first music video, I was just putting lots of references to unreleased music in the music video so it’s definitely my fault that there are lots of theories about it because I put a lot of clues in the video, so some fans have definitely guessed [the album title]’ because they’re very smart’.
Capital DJ Vick Hope reveals how a relentless drive for success and ‘doing’ drove her to the point of collapse – and how she finally learned to be still
I’ve just smacked Lee Ryan from Blue in the face. He doesn’t deserve to be smacked, I like him a lot. But the road to a perfect cha-cha-cha is – as I discovered on day one of Strictly Come Dancing – a long one.
I never did achieve a perfect cha-cha-cha. In fact, my technique (or lack thereof) brought my Strictly journey to an end – a journey I began on the cusp of my 30th year, thinking that it would be a good idea to learn something new. In reality, I learned a whole lot more. And being voted out of the competition was merely a catalyst for the long-building breakdown that followed.
I’d recently found myself single after a decade of being in two long-term relationships. I’d moved into my own place and, for the first time in my life, I was alone. I threw myself into 15-hour working days, taking only three days’ holiday over the course of 12 months. I plugged any gaps in my week with boys who didn’t care about me. Learning to dance was another way to fill the silence, so when that bubble burst, the silence was deafening: I’d reached burnout.
New research suggests women are more likely to suffer work burnout than men. Dr Nancy Beauregard, professor of population health at Montreal University believes a key factor is that women ‘are less likely to be given positions of power, causing them to become overwhelmed with frustration, emotional exhaustion and cynicism’. She also cites ‘balancing work and family life’ as a trigger. My friends concur. They feel guilty for working too hard to have time to start a family (with the background pressure of a biological clock). Others feel judged for putting family before career; we’re conditioned to believe we’re never not doing enough.
I’ll never forget my mum’s words after she’d travelled from Newcastle to London to be with me as I lay exhausted in her arms: ‘You don’t need to chase anything any more, darling. You need to be still and you need to learn to be on your own.’ Mama knows best. It took a burnout to force me to stop, pull back and breathe.
I had my first week off in a year and flew solo to Malaysia for my first-ever yoga retreat. It’s clichéd, but this holiday changed everything: creating space for solitude, stillness and self-care is vital. As Leo Babauta, author of The Power Of Less, explains, ‘Our lives are filled to overflowing because we’ve said yes to more than we can handle.’ He suggests ‘reflecting daily on what’s most important, and making a short list of four things you care deeply about against a list of everything else in your life. Eliminate, postpone, reschedule, or renegotiate commitments that aren’t on your list [to find time to] contemplate and replenish yourself.’
I’d never stopped to consider how my break-up had affected me, to take stock of my achievements or spend time in my own space. I’d forgotten what I was working hard for. My burnout taught me not only to deal with the silence, but to love it. Because here’s the thing: there’ll always be silence. The madness will come and go, and what you have left every time is only you. You need to be enough. You are enough. We can endure much more than we think we can, but that doesn’t mean we should.
She’s a fashion icon who dominated awards season with her reinvented style and new take on glamour. In an exclusive interview, her Haus of Gaga stylist, Tom Eerebout, talks us through Lady Gaga’s fashion evolution and the story behind each wow look
Words by Sophie Goddard
Meat dresses, machine-gun bras and entire outfits made out of human hair – there’s only one woman who could pull off those looks, and it’s Lady Gaga. After bursting on to the scene back in 2008, Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta) has risen through the fashion ranks to become one of the world’s most innovative and iconic forces, with everyone from Giorgio Armani to Valentino designing for her. Tom Eerebout and Sandra Amador are the styling duo at the helm of the singer’s empire – Haus of Gaga, the creative collective responsible for all of her looks. Working alongside make-up artist Sarah Tanno and hairstylist Frederic Aspiras (former alumni of The Haus include designer Brandon Maxwell and fashion director Nicola Formichetti), Amador and Eerebout have styled Gaga for everything from the red carpet and stage shows to brand partnerships, including her latest collaboration with Tudor watches as the face of its Born To Dare campaign. Here, Eerebout fills us in on what the job entails.
When did you start working with Gaga?
‘I moved to London [from Belgium] in 2010 and became an assistant to Nicola Formichetti, who was her stylist. That’s how I met Gaga and Sandra [Amador]. We became good friends, then a year ago, Sandra and I officially set up as a duo.’
How do you and Sandra work together?
‘We definitely have different strengths, and as a pair we become a power team. We do everything together – it’s a collaboration – and with the rest of The Haus, like [hairstylist] Frederic and [make-up artist] Sarah. We want it to be picture-perfect. The hair can’t look like it’s something completely different; you want to create a look, an image and a dream. For example, with the periwinkle Golden Globes dress [by Valentino Couture] Gaga was like, “OK, maybe we should do the hair blue, too.” We all play off each other.’
Do you go to Gaga with ideas, or vice versa?
‘It works both ways. She gives us the creativity to do crazy things! We might come up with a mad idea and she’ll be like, “OK…” And really thinks about it before she says yes or no. She likes to talk about it.’
After nine years working for her, you must have a pretty good instinct for what she likes.
‘Erm, she’s very unpredictable, but that’s part of her magic and why people are so intrigued by her – even to us. She’ll never be predictable. One week we might do something very classic, and then the next we’ll amp it up. It keeps us on our toes.’
Have you ever disagreed with Gaga on a look?
‘Yeah, and sometimes she’ll persuade us! She’ll be like, “What do you think of this?” and we’ll say, “We’re not sure it works.” But then she’ll try it and it turns out she was right. I think what’s important with a client you’re dressing, is that you want them to feel comfortable. And even if, for example, the corset itself is not comfortable, at least they feel themselves in it – that’s down to collaboration.’
Is there anything she won’t wear?
‘No. I can’t think of something she hasn’t worn. That’s the nice thing; she’s open to anything. We’re very lucky to have a client like that. You can come up with anything and she’ll be like, “OK”. Not everyone is like that.’
Do you feel pressure to keep delivering these incredible looks?
‘Yeah, especially for the A Star Is Born press tour. We started big with the Valentino dress and people were like, “How are you going to top that?” We thought we’d shot ourselves in the foot, but we just kept doing it somehow.’
Did you plan each look strategically?
‘Yes. For example, we knew we wanted black for the Oscars, so we had that as a plan and didn’t use it for the rest of awards season. There is method in the madness.’
How many fittings does each look entail?
‘For Gaga’s day-to-day, we don’t do fittings, but for bigger events there are a lot of things to test and you have to do a few. If we have a couple of events coming up, we’ll try to do several fittings in one day. We also have the Vegas residency, so it’s all intertwined. There’s no specific way of working – it’s just going with the flow in a crazy, fun way. Sometimes, there are custom looks that won’t be finished until the week of the event, so we can be really up against it.’
Tell us about the outfits for the Vegas residency.
‘There’s a jazz show and a pop show, so they are totally different in terms of styling. There’s a lot to think about because Gaga’s moving so much and there are very fast [costume] changes. Sometimes, wardrobe only have 15 seconds to do it. She also has to be able to dance, and each look has to last 70 shows.’
Which do you enjoy dressing Gaga for the most – the red carpet or performances?
‘Both. I thought I’d prefer the music side, but after the whole awards season… it’s these huge events and it’s everywhere. You get to use the Tiffany diamonds, which no one since Audrey Hepburn has worn. Seeing them in person, it’s crazy.’
Who are Gaga’s style icons?
‘She has always said she loves Audrey Hepburn and Ella Fitzgerald. But she doesn’t get too influenced, she doesn’t want to copy.’
Lady Gaga is a brand ambassador for Swiss watch brand Tudor (tudorwatch.com). Her Las Vegas residency runs until 9 November
Only a week after the trailer dropped, Netflix released Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé. The highly anticipated (at least for the last seven days or so, as this is how long we’ve had to process the news) documentary offers fans an intimate, in-depth look at what really went on in the months leading up to her incredible 2018 Coachella performance.
The Formation singer – who made history as the first female black artist to headline the annual music festival in California – wrote, directed and produced the film and like anything Beyoncé Knowles-Carter does, the documentary does not disappoint.
For about 2.5 hours, Homecoming explores everything from the three sound stages for rehearsals to the design of the costumes (did we mention they’re custom Balmain), whilst finally showing footage of her jaw-dropping performance. In brief, there’s a lot to get into, so here are the most important takeaways.
‘Homecoming’ is a celebration of black creativity
It was really important for Beyoncé to have a black orchestra. Her ‘Homecoming’-themed set was inspired by HBCU traditions and included roughly 200 musicians, background singers and dancers, all recruited from historically black colleges and universities.
‘I wanted different characters; I didn’t want us all doing the same thing,’ she states in her documentary. ‘The things that these young people can do with their bodies and the music they can play, and the drumrolls, and the haircuts, and the bodies. It’s just so much damn swag. It’s just gorgeous, and it makes me proud.’
The performance took months of preparation
‘When I decided to do Coachella, instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella,’ she explains. ‘There was a four-month period of rehearsals with Derek [Pixie] and the band before we started the four months of dance rehearsals. The music and those vocal rehearsals – that’s the heartbeat of the show.’
She handpicked every single detail of the set
Beyoncé personally selected all the details. From each dancer and every light, to the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid and even the material on the steps.
Talking about the incredible costumes (the entire crew had two completely different sets of outfits for each weekend of Coachella), she reveals: ‘every tiny detail had an intention. There were so many meetings with Olivier [Rousteing].’
Beyoncé was supposed to headline in 2017
Beyoncé was originally set to headline at Coachella the year prior, but she got pregnant unexpectedly. ‘It ended up being twins, which was even more of a surprise. My body went through more that I knew it could,’ she shares openly.
‘I had an extremely difficult pregnancy. I had high blood pressure. I developed toxaemia, preeclampsia and, in the womb, one of my babies’ heartbeat paused a few times so I had to get an emergency C-section.’
She followed a very strict diet to get into shape
This performance was the singer’s first time back on the stage after giving birth to Rumi and Sir Carter, and she struggled to get back into shape. ‘I’m creating my own homecoming. And it’s hard,’ Beyoncé admits.
‘There were days that I thought I’d never be the same. I’d never be the same physically; my strength and endurance would never be the same. She shares that she had to rebuild her body: ‘It me a while to feel confident enough to freak [the performance] and give it my own personality.’
Beyoncé was dedicated – cutting out bread, carbs, sugar, dairy, meat, fish and alcohol, in order for her to meet her goal. ‘I definitely pushed myself further than I knew I could,’ she says, ‘and I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. I will never push myself that far again.’
Even Queen B struggles to balance her work and personal life
Taking on a performance like this when you’ve just given birth to twins, isn’t an easy task. Beyoncé is very honest about how, when they first started rehearsing, her mind was not there, but with her children. ‘What people don’t see is the sacrifice,’ she says. ‘I would dance, a go off to the trailer and breastfeed the babies.’
‘It was a lot to juggle,’ she confesses. ‘Just trying to figure out how to balance being a mother of a six-year-old and of twins that need me, and giving myself creatively and physically. It’s not like before when I could rehearse 15 hours straight. I have children. I have a husband. I have to take care of my body.’
To quote Netflix (or should we say Beyflix, as the streaming service changed its name for a day to celebrate the premier of the documentary), what a time to be alive. Homecoming is incredible film, and Beyoncé is an incredible artist. That’s something every music fan, whether or not you’re part of the Beyhive, will have to admit after watching this groundbreaking performance.
She’s the Grammy-nominated songwriter who uses her talent – and 7.6million Instagram followers – to shine a light on mental health issues. Sophie Goddard meets Bebe Rexha
Selena Gomez, Iggy Azalea, Rihanna and Eminem… she’s responsible for some of their biggest hits, and now Bebe Rexha is stepping into the limelight herself. But what you might not know, is that Rexha’s recent transformation from writer to solo artist isn’t her first rodeo. Back in 2010, she was spotted by Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and the pair went on to form the band Black Cards, before Rexha landed a solo deal… which quickly went south (‘they weren’t passionate about me,’ she says). Her second shot at stardom, though, is going much better – well, that’s if two Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist, are anything to go by. Her 2018 debut album Expectations (featuring hits like I’m A Mess and Meant To Be – the song that scored the 29-year-old her second Grammy nomination) won her mainstream success, and her second album is due later this year. But, while her impossibly catchy earworms have seen her collaborating with major artists like Cardi B and Rita Ora (like Ora, Brooklyn-born Rexha is of Albanian descent), there’s plenty below the surface, too. Here, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha tells all…
Firstly, congratulations on being a Grammy-nominated artist!
Thank you. It felt like every bone in my body went when I found out. I was Jell-O. My parents kissed – the first time they’ve done that in front of my brother and me, because we’d be like, ‘Ew, nasty!’
Was that your biggest pinch-me moment?
My whole career has been a series of those moments. The industry is so hot and cold – you’re not going to be on top forever – so every time I shoot a video, I’m like, ‘I can’t believe I’m still doing this.’
You’ve written for some incredible artists, what made you want to become one yourself?
I was creating records like, ‘This is how I want to do the video’ or ‘this is how you perform it’. I wanted to use my creativity, I wasn’t satisfied just writing songs.
Handing over a song must feel like handing over your baby…
Yeah, but you have to understand it’s no longer yours. You need to allow the artist that takes the song to do what they want.
Has anyone performed one of your tracks in a way that you’re not happy with?
Yeah, a lot! Sometimes I’ve had to pull them back. They have to make it their own – that’s what makes an artist an artist – but if I don’t think it sounds great on the person’s voice, that’s different.
When did you write your first song?
At 14 or 15. I wrote poems when I was eight, but didn’t properly form songs until high school. I played the trumpet and was always musically involved – inspired by Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morissette, Madonna and Cher. I like strong powerful women, who have something to say and are unapologetic.
So that’s how Women In Harmony (Rexha’s initiative for female music creatives) was born?
I couldn’t believe there’s never been a get-together for female music creatives – it hit me, like, ‘I want a safe space for women’. I threw my first dinner for 50 people in LA, then one in London, and now I’m doing a brunch for 150. It’s becoming this community – I want to get to a point where I do workshops, give scholarships and for it to continue when I’m gone.
What do you think it’s achieved?
For a long time, I compared myself to other women in the industry, and if you’re constantly comparing yourself, you’re never going to be happy. And I don’t know about other girls, but I’m a hermit. I don’t like going out; I get really anxious. People say, ‘Go out, be seen, play the game’, but I’ve never been that girl, and I’ve struggled to make friends in the industry. This way, it breaks the ice. Nobody is allowed a plus-one – you have to mingle.
Which stars’ careers would you like to emulate?
Pink. She had success, then had her family and managed to balance that. It’s something I really look up to because my career is everything, but so is balance. I want to enjoy my life. I reached out to Alicia Keys for advice on the music business. Any time I need help, she’s willing to give it to me, and that’s really hard to come by. She always responds right away and is really respectful. I admire that – a lot of successful females could easily be like, ‘Oh, no, you’re an up-and-coming artist, why should I help?’ She’s really kind.
Is it a big pressure having 7.6m followers on Instagram?
I’m used to it now; I just don’t care. If I don’t want to post for a week, I don’t. If I want to post every day, I will. I do it when I feel strongly about something. I want to stand for something. If I have fans who feel insecure, if I show them I’m also insecure about things, they know they’re not alone. I need to stand for something other than just writing catchy songs.
Tell us about that Grammy’s video (in which Rexha was vocal about designers only lending sample-sized clothes)
I understand models are models, and there’s nothing wrong with having that type of body – I think all bodies are beautiful – but it gets frustrating when designers send pieces that don’t even go halfway up. I’ve heard things said about models who are ‘too big’, and that’s really upsetting. I refuse to stand for that.
Being open about your mental health, is that important to you?
Absolutely. I’ve had moments when I didn’t want to leave the house, or I’d get super nervous at parties; I’d be in the corner freaking out. I didn’t know that was anxiety. I finally saw a therapist and found ways to control it – like exercising, eating healthier and changing my priorities. That helped so much and I’m not ashamed. If I can shine a light to make my fans feels less alone, that makes me feel good. I started seeing a therapist in my early twenties. It was after I got dropped from my first record label – they wouldn’t let me go, but didn’t want to put my songs out, so I was hopelessly stuck and I think that triggered it. I was literally so depressed. I wrote a letter to the CEO, like, ‘I don’t want to be alive, you guys are making my life miserable; I’m sad every day and stuck in a place where you’re keeping me hostage.’ As a human, I could never do that to somebody. Ever since I saw how dark the industry could get, that really affected me. It took me a long time to accept that but, once I did, I got so much better.
Is that what inspired you to write The Monster for Eminem and Rihanna?
Yeah, it’s about hating that part of myself, my anxiety. It’s like, ‘We stop looking for monsters under our beds when we realise they’re inside of us.’ That’s what inspired me.
Have you been told by fans that these songs resonate with them, too?
Absolutely – about I’m A Mess especially, and I’m Going To Show You Crazy and Me, Myself And I. I’ve had fans come up [to me] with their mothers crying, and saying, ‘Thank you so much for getting my daughter through these hard times.’ I tell myself I’m here to help people feel better, even if it makes me feel bad sometimes… I’m really big on energy. I think that’s why I’m able to be a songwriter, but sometimes it can really affect you.
What else makes you happy?
Music. When I’m in the studio, I feel like nothing sad in the world exists. It’s a safe space, as if nothing could harm me. It’s like my therapy.
Has your confidence changed with age?
Yes. I’ve had men in the industry say I’m getting too old and I should retire. I’m 29, my grandmother is old! I’m edging closer to my thirties, but I’m not faking my age like I’m supposed to. I don’t feel like I need to prove anything to anyone, or search for anybody’s acceptance any more.
Gaga worked with the R&B star, collaborating with him on 2013 song, ‘Do What U Want (With My Body)’, a duet she has now vowed to remove from streaming services.
While the allegations against R. Kelly were made a long time ago (spanning decades), it was the recent broadcasting of a new documentary about the singer that prompted a lot of people to take them seriously, with the rapper indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse last week.
After defending him in a press conference back in 2013 and allegedly declining to be interviewed for the 2018 documentary, Gaga broke her silence earlier this year.
‘I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously,’ she stated. ‘As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life.’
She continued: ‘My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life. The song is called “Do What U Want (With My Body)”, I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.
‘If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused post-traumatic state that I was in – or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation – to seek help, and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through.’
‘I’m sorry, both my for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner,’ she concluded.
This week R. Kelly sat down for an interview with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King where he denied the allegations of sexual abuse. But when King brought up the response from the music industry, he had a lot to say about Gaga.
‘[Lady Gaga is] a very great talent and all and it’s unfortunate that her intelligence go to such a short level when it comes to that,’ he stated. ‘You know, I have nothing against none of these artists, but I think it’s not professional for them to do that, because something like this can happen to any artist, anybody famous. Anybody famous can get accused of so many different things.’
For over two decades, R Kelly has been accused of abusing and sexually harassing young women. And while the allegations against R Kelly were made a long time ago, it was the recent broadcasting of a new documentary about the singer that prompted a lot of people to take them seriously.
R Kelly has now been indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four victims, with the reported crimes allegedly taking place between 1998 and 2010.
This, according to prosecutors, would make three of the alleged victims underage at the time of the reported assaults.
A judge in Chicago set Kelly’s bond at $1 million – $250,000 for each of the alleged victims in the case – but to leave police custody, he would be required to pay $100,000 – 10% of the total bond.
Kelly was unable to pay his bail however, with his attorney Steve Greenberg announcing that despite the bond seeming ‘fair and reasonable given the allegations’, R Kelly was unable to pay.
Explaining that Kelly ‘really doesn’t have any money at the moment’, apparently due to ‘mismanagement’ and ‘bad deals’, he explained that Kelly would ultimately be able to pay the required $100,000 after he had worked it all out.
If he is convicted, R Kelly faces three to seven years in prison for each count.
The Grammys have officially finished and from Drake to Lady Gaga, there were a bunch of winners who took home a Grammy. Take a look at the list below:
Best R&B album
“Sex & Cigarettes,” Toni Braxton
“Good Thing,” Leon Bridges
“Honestly,” Lalah Hathaway
“H.E.R.” H.E.R. *WINNER
“Gumbo Unplugged (Live),” PJ Morton
Best country album
“Unapologetically,” Kelsea Ballerini
“Port Saint Joe,” Brothers Osborne
“Girl Going Nowhere,” Ashley McBryde
“Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves *WINNER
“Volume 2,” Chris Stapleton
Album of the year
“Invasion of Privacy,” Cardi B
“By the Way, I Forgive You,” Brandi Carlile
“Beerbongs & Bentleys,” Post Malone
“Dirty Computer,” Janelle Monae
“Golden Hour,” Kacey Musgraves
“Black Panther: The Album,” Featuring Kendrick Lamar
Record of the year
“I Like It,” Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile
“This is America,” Childish Gambino
“God’s Plan,” Drake
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Lamar and SZA
“Rockstar,” Post Malone feat. 21 Savage
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey
Song of the year
“All The Stars,” Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Spears, Al Shuckburgh, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe
“Boo’d Up,” Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai, and Dijon McFarlane
“God’s Plan,” Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron Latour, Matthew Samuels and Noah Shebib.
“In My Blood,” Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes and Geoffrey Warburton
“The Joke,” Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth and Tim Hanseroth
“The Middle,” Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha and Anton Zaslavski
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt
“This Is America,” Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson *WINNER
Best new artist
Chloe X Halle
Greta Van Fleet
Best pop solo performance
“Havana (Live),” Camila Cabello
“God Is A Woman,” Ariana Grande
“Joanne (Where Do You Think You’re Goin’?),” Lady Gaga *WINNER
“Better Now,” Post Malone
Best pop vocal album
“Camila,” Camila Cabello
“Meaning Of Life,” Kelly Clarkson
“Sweetener,” Ariana Grande *WINNER
“Shawn Mendes,” Shawn Mendes
“Beautiful Trauma,” P!nk
“Reputation,” Taylor Swift
Best pop duo/group performance
“Fall in Line,” Christina Aguilera featuring Demi Lovato
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” Backstreet Boys
“‘S Wonderful,” Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
“Shallow,” Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper *WINNER
“Girls Like You,” Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B
“Say Something,” Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton
“The Middle,” Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey
Best rap album
“Invasion Of Privacy,” Cardi B *WINNER
“Swimming,” Mac Miller
“Victory Lap,” Nipsey Hussle
“Daytona,” Pusha T
“Astroworld,” Travis Scott
Best rap song
“God’s Plan,” Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake) *WINNER
“King’s Dead,” Kendrick Duckworth, Samuel Gloade, James Litherland, Johnny McKinzie, Mark Spears, Travis Walton, Nayvadius Wilburn & Michael Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future & James Blake)
“Lucky You,” R. Fraser, G. Lucas, M. Mathers, M. Samuels & J. Sweet, songwriters (Eminem Featuring Joyner Lucas)
“Sicko Mode,” Khalif Brown, Rogét Chahayed, BryTavious Chambers, Mike Dean, Mirsad Dervic, Kevin Gomringer, Tim Gomringer, Aubrey Graham, John Edward Hawkins, Chauncey Hollis, Jacques Webster, Ozan Yildirim & Cydel Young, songwriters (Travis Scott, Drake, Big Hawk & Swae Lee)
“Win,” K. Duckworth, A. Hernandez, J. McKinzie, M. Samuels & C. Thompson, songwriters (Jay Rock)
Best country song
“Break Up In The End,” Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill & Jon Nite, songwriters (Cole Swindell)
“Dear Hate,” Tom Douglas, David Hodges & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill)
“I Lived It,” Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley & Ben Hayslip, songwriters (Blake Shelton)