The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Keynote: Lady Gaga

By Abby Johnston, March 14, 2014, 5:30pm, Earache!

Wrapped in a ball gown she referred to as “tailored plastic,” Momma Monster sat down with Fuse’s John Norris for her SXSW Music keynote conversation Friday morning, making her the youngest artist and first woman in 15 years to do the honors.

The hour-long interview didn’t dwell on these milestones, though. Gaga had a bone to pick with skeptics, some of whom she suspected were part of the ballroom crowd.

“You don’t know fuck about the state of the music industry,” she spit, directing it toward those who thought that her SXSW partnership with Doritos was nacho levels of cheesy. “Without sponsorships there would be no music festivals.”

Still, her talking about taking back artistic power from corporations while acknowledging her own sponsorship in the same breath seemed like a conflict. Gaga made it clear she’s calling the shots.

“I would give it all up tomorrow if it meant I had to sell my soul to this business,” she claimed.

Watching her get misty-eyed while waxing about the creative process, you actually believed she would make good on that threat. Gaga’s set her sights on life as a performance artist, and commercial success genuinely seemed to be a secondary priority, one that she won’t change herself to fulfill.

“I’ll be myself until they fucking close the coffin.”

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