UPDATE (3/16): Lady Gaga offered some more hints about Chromatica in a Paper cover story. BloodPop is LP’s executive producer, but she notes that many other collaborators were involved in the very “fluid” musical process, including BURNS, Axwell, Rami Yacoub, Benjamin Rice, Tchami and more. She also hinted at a collaboration with another female pop star for a track about “submitting to devastation,” as the story’s writer describes it. Fans have speculated that the duet partner is Ariana Grande and that the song is titled “Rain on Me.”
Lady Gaga is back and has already launched her Chromatica era with the dance-pop single “Stupid Love.” She dropped the song back in February, and fans were quick to figure out the album title before she officially made the announcement. The word “chromatica” can be found on the single art, and it didn’t hurt that the word “chromatic” has both aural and visual definitions that are very Gaga-esque: “[Music] relating to or using notes not belonging to the diatonic scale of the key in which a passage is written” and “relating to or produced by color.”
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) February 25, 2020
Moreover, fans had pointed out that they think Gaga’s newest tattoo, a musical staff with the notes “G A G A,” seems to match up with the musical definition. And, when it comes to “relating to color,” a makeup tutorial account recently posted an interview with Lady Gaga and her makeup artist and Haus Laboratories co-creator, Sarah Tanno-Stewart. In that interview, posted in December, Gaga said “[Gaga’s makeup company] Haus Laboratories is a very colorful place and so is my music,” as well as, “There will be color, it’ll just come out in ways you might not expect.”
Gaga has said in multiple interviews that she “discovered herself through makeup” and that makeup is what inspired the creation of Lady Gaga. She says in the tutorial video: “I looked in the mirror and I was like, ‘I don’t like what I see and I don’t feel good on the inside, so I’m just gonna start painting now. I’m gonna make something that I like.’”
That said, the “Stupid Love” art centers around a big pair of glossy, pink lips, and in Gaga’s recent promo for new Haus makeup shades, there’s been lots of pink: pink hair, pink nails and, yes, pink lips. Will there be a merch bundle that allows fans to get the album for a discounted price with a makeup purchase? The idea seems possible.
As for what we know for sure: “Stupid Love” marked Gaga’s first taste of new music since 2018’s acclaimed A Star Is Born soundtrack. As far as official Gaga music goes, though, Chromatica follows 2016’s Joanne. After Joanne, Gaga had already pivoted away from country-pop to release the standalone single “The Cure,” which she released just six months later.
Frequent collaborator DJ White Shadow, who is a credited producer on “The Cure” — as well as Born This Way, ARTPOP and A Star Is Born — is not working on this album. He told E! News: “I sat this one out. I’ve heard it. It’s not my art to share with you, but I can tell you this, [as] with everything that she does, it’s genius. I’m excited for her to put it out. I think that it’s really good.”
Instead, Bloodpop and Tchami produced “Stupid Love.” Bloodpop, born Michael Tucker, started working with Gaga on Joanne. He’s also known for his work with Justin Bieber — with whom he co-wrote and producer “Sorry,” along with other Purpose tracks — and Madonna. He announced the new song’s producers on Instagram shortly after Gaga’s post went up.
At the time of Gaga’s new single release, BloodPop’s most recent Twitter activity was a retweet of Grimes, who was promoting her new album, Miss Anthropocene. BloodPop has produced for Grimes before, on 2014’s “Go,” which he’s also featured on. BloodPop also remixed Grimes’ 2019 track, “We Appreciate Power” — the original version of which is included on Miss Anthropocene.
It’s worth noting that Grimes used her Instagram stories in September to reveal a photo of the front and back of a CD case with a photo of Gaga on it. The back, which had an Interscope Records logo on it, included a tracklist. Many fans found it hard to believe that this photo wasn’t doctored, and in looking at it now, “Stupid Love,” was not on there. However, a song called “Tainted Love,” was listed and it’s very possible that the name could have changed from then to now. If the tracklist is even partially legitimate, that implies a Gaga song that features Grimes could have been recorded. According to that photo, it was titled “Real Boy.”
Based on what we can tell from a leaked version of the “Stupid Love” — the existence of which Gaga appears to have humorously confirmed via Twitter — the song is reminiscent of her ARTPOP and Fame eras. Almost half of the setlist for Gaga’s Vegas residency, Enigma, is made up of songs from The Fame or The Fame Monster. The next leg of Enigma kicks off on April 30th and ends on May 16th. Could the new album come in tandem or in advance of that?
And then there’s Mark Ronson, who executive-produced Joanne and co-wrote smash hit “Shallow.” He posted a photo of Gaga and him to Instagram on February 10th, captioning it, “It’s stupid how much I love this pic.” This makes us wonder if he’s involved as well.