Did you see Five Foot Two, the Netflix documentary on Lady Gaga? We follow the blonde pop provocateur as she releases a new album, preps for her big show at the Super Bowl halftime, while struggling with emotional and physical baggage.

Turns out, she’s human. And actually, very likeable indeed, I must add. I became a fan.

Why? Possibly because of her integrity. Her vulnerability. Her drive. Her love for show. Her intention to grow old with her fans. To stay on the scene.

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, aka Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, pianist and actress. Born in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in 1986, she is known for her unconventionality (to put it mildly) and intriguing visual experimentation.

“I don’t know exactly where my affinity for music comes from, but it is the thing that comes easiest to me.”

Initially signed to Def Jam Recordings, dropped from that label 3 months later, she kept on going. Performed at Burlesque Shows – which gained her a sense of freedom, focused on avant-garde electronic dance music and then turned to glam rock style and pop melodies.

She served as an apprentice songwriter and wrote songs for Britney Spears, Fergie and The Pussycat Dolls. Then… she sang a reference vocal for one of her tracks, impressed the right musicians and finally got signed to Cherrytree Records.

Her debut album The Fame (2008) topped in many Western countries. She traveled the globe, writing new songs, of which “Bad Romance” reached number one in Canada and the UK.

(Just check her video Bad Romance with over 1 Billion views. Over views… Waaaaah!)

As we speak she is working on her sixth studio album and just received a Golden Globe for her role as leading actress in the remake of A Star Is Born by co-star Bradley Cooper.

Yes, Lady Gaga is on the scene.

She also embarked in a jazz adventure with master Tony Bennett. In 2014 they recorded their duet album Cheek to Cheek. Of course there are quite some opera or pop singers who record a jazz album and sometimes you just know that it’s not going to be your favorite disk.

So I was hiding strategically before I dared to listen to Lady Gaga singing jazz. BUT. She definitely has a feel for it. You immediately recognize her powerful voice. Yet, at times, she sounds husky, sultry, sweet and lovely. When the song asks for it. Very impressive.

Have a listen for yourself.

If you could steal one thing of Lady Gaga?

I’d say, be inspired by her fearless singing. By her fearless BIG sound.

Open that mouth of yours and sing your vowels as if there were no tomorrow.

Aaaa, Eeee, Ooooo!

Stretch your arms towards the sky, keep your shoulders low, to open up your chest. Then: sing as loud as you possibly can, without straining yourself. Very important to find the volume that works for YOU. It must not hurt. Never. Remember an open throat? Record yourself. (You know you must)

In time you will learn to sing loud without having to stretch your arms. Lower them, but keep your chest open. Embrace that fearless singing. That fearless sound. It will SO help you enjoy singing even more.

Lady Gaga will agree, I’m sure!

With love, Ilse

My album tip for you:
Cheek to Cheek (duets with Tony Bennett – Interscope / Shady, 2014)