I watched a 60 minutes interview before the 53rd Grammy telecast featuring Stephani Germonatta.
Stephani, is a University of New York drop out, who began studying piano at 4, and went to a catholic girls school, where she was bullied and felt she never fit in.
You look at her in this 2006 picture you don’t notice anything particularly interesting or memorable about her right? Fortunatly, Stephani knew this too...
Most of you probably do not even know about Stephani Germonatta, but more about her tireless alter ego who has been touring for the better part of 3 years Lady Gaga, the Alexander McQueen boot wearing fashonista who totters around from award show to award show.
When Gaga performs, I am consistently reminded of other artists. A carefully blended compilation of 5 or 6 mega stars that came before her, artists who all intimately knew their own brand, and applied it quite successfully to their business.
Gaga, is a self-proclaimed student of art, fashion, and claims “I am the master of the art of fame”. Studying the artistry of others, while being a creation all her own.
When you watch Gaga at the piano, you see, Elton & Freddie Mercury. On stage, Cher, Madonna Alice Cooper and a little Wendy O Williams. All of whom were ALSO experts of their own brands.
She preaches her mantra of self-empowerment, and self-acceptance, and it draws the masses to her in droves like bee’s to honey. To her emotive tear stained fans she testifies from the stage: “Tonight- reject anything or anyone who has ever made you feel like you don’t belong, Free yourself of these things tonight!!” She speaks these words from her heart, as one of them. They view her as their queen, and she lovingly refers to them as “her little monsters” are devoted to her.
Gaga presents herself as a piece of living performance art, not simply a pop star, or even queen.
She is a self proclaimed academic when it comes to music and fashion, every piece of clothing, make up, and props, she has completely researched and studied the reference of it. Who inspired it, to help reinforce the story or concept she is selling. At the VMA awards wearing nothing but raw meat and accompanied by several discharged gay service men, she explained this was her commentary on don’t ask don’t tell.
Her outrageous outfits are a brilliant distraction to keep people from asking questions about her personal life. “as part of mastering the art of fame" "is getting people to focus on what YOU want them to pay attention to”. Gaga warns “What most artists do wrong, is lie to their fans, “I am not a liar, I build good will with my fans, I am just like them”.
The sociology of how people got, kept, and lost fame, allows her to maintain a certain privacy without feeling them feeling like she is withholding anything from her fans. Whether it’s performing Paparazzi covered in stage blood, hanging “dead” above the stage, answers the question you might wonder- What will she look like when she is dead? Gaga explains,“Everyone wants to see the decay of the superstar, we live in a age where people want to see someone who has it all, lose it all”.
It’s dramatic and the masses eat it up so fast that Forbes magazine predicts she is on track to make 100 million this year.
Gaga is a graduate student who uses messages that resonate deeply with her to weave into a persona for the masses and it remains to be seen whether she will have the staying power of the giants that came before her, for hear and now it's great theatre, and a master class on what is essential to the making of a mega star.
How do you utilize themes important to you to differentiate your brand, and grow your fan base?
I would love to hear your stories.
60 minutes Anderson Cooper: http://dai.ly/hFzzJe