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Lady Gaga成名启示录

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你在年会节目上模仿Lady Gaga了吗?如今她可是流行界的大热。Lady Gaga是2008美国流行音乐新晋“舞后”,不仅有一流的声线,更是个超有个性的创作酷妹。她还被称为红翻全球嘻哈彗星阿肯 (Akon) 自创厂牌 Kon Live 旗下的“秘密武器”。Lady GaGa造型夸张怪异,蝴蝶结头、肉色连身裤、太空造型眼镜……更是掀起了从Paris Hilton到Nicole Richie,从蔡依林到赵薇争先模仿的狂潮,Lady Gaga堪称It Girl界的造型楷模,从流行乐界一路红到时尚界。下面我们就开看看她是如何迅速走红的吧。

At Sunday's awards show, Lady Gaga is expected to play a duet on a single piano with Elton John. She is nominated for five awards, including record of the year, but that's less important than her broader impact on music culture in the space of a year, which has been seismic.

在格莱美的颁奖典礼上,Lady Gaga和埃尔顿•约翰同用一架钢琴表演了合唱。她得到了包括年度最佳专辑在内的五项格莱美提名,不过这和她在短短一年间对音乐文化产生的更为广泛的影响──这种影响可以说是震撼性的──相比显得并不那么重要。

Her debut album has generated four No. 1 songs. She topped the digital sales chart for 2009 with 15.3 million tracks sold. Her dance hits, including "Poker Face" and "Paparazzi," recalibrated the sound of pop radio with a spacey Euro vibe that's crept into songs by rock and rap artists. She grabbed attention beyond the music world with outfits that make her look like a refugee from a sci-fi film. In concert, on video and at past awards shows she has sported full facial masks, worn planetary rings around her head, and framed her face in what looked like a bird's nest.

她的首张专辑就诞生了四首冠军单曲。她在2009年以1530万首的单曲销量雄踞数字音乐销量排行榜冠军。她在包括《扑克脸》和《狗仔队》在内的热门舞曲中将一种古怪的欧式情调掺入了摇滚和饶舌音乐,这些歌曲也借此重新界定了电台流行音乐的风格。凭借她那科幻电影人物般的着装,Gaga在音乐世界之外也吸引了人们的注意。她在演唱会、音乐录像和过去的颁奖礼表演中曾戴着整副面具和行星环头饰,还曾把鸟窝样子的装饰品围在自己的头上。

"She's very vaudevillian," says an admiring Alice Cooper, the rocker whose history of stage theatrics includes simulated decapitations. But he says Gaga's antics only work because "she can really sing."

“她非常会玩花样,”对Gaga赞赏有加的摇滚歌手艾利斯•库柏表示。库柏曾在舞台上表演“斩首”。不过他表示,Gaga的这些花招能够大获成功的原因是“她确实有副好嗓子”。

Gaga may turn out to be yet another fleeting pop novelty, but many other industry veterans see her as the real deal, and her ambitions and skill at navigating the turbulent industry may make her a durable star. Born Stefani Germanotta, she graduated from Manhattan's Convent of the Sacred Heart school, then left a music program at New York University to chase a music career. She was signed and dropped from one label, Def Jam, before uniting with a core team of advisers. She then stormed the media in a year when Michael Jackson's death reminded us how few new music stars transcend narrow genres anymore.

Gaga或许最终被证明只是个昙花一现的流星,不过许多资深的业内人士却认为她有真材实料,而且她在这个充满挑战的行业所表现出来的野心和能力或许能让她成为一颗长盛不衰的明星。本名斯蒂芬尼•吉玛洛塔的Gaga毕业于曼哈顿的圣心女中,后来她为了追寻自己的音乐梦想而离开了纽约大学的音乐学系。她曾与唱片公司Def Jam签约后又解约,后来与一个顾问团队开始了合作。当迈克尔•杰克逊的去世让我们意识到如今能够超越狭隘音乐类型的新星已经少之又少的时候,Gaga便在一年的时间内横扫各大媒体。

Underneath Gaga's haystack wigs is a case study of what it takes to succeed in the music business today. Gaga, 24 years old, has made shrewd use of new digital platforms, while still leveraging the clout of a major label, an institution deemed obsolete by many proponents of DIY culture. She is a product of a new kind of recording contract which goes beyond just selling records to encompass everything from touring, merchandise--even her make-up deal. Though she writes her own material, she is as focused on visual theatrics, fashion, and global appeal as she is on the music.

我们在Gaga乱蓬蓬的假发之下看到的是一个有关如何在时下的音乐行业取得成功的案例分析。24岁的Gaga聪明地运用了新的数字平台,而同时仍借助着一家大唱片公司的影响力──DIY文化的众多支持者认为这种做法已经过时。她是一种新型唱片合约的产品,这种合约已经不仅仅涵盖唱片销售,而是从巡演到商品, 甚至是包括造型合约在内的各项事务。尽管Gaga自己创作歌曲,但她对于视觉上的舞台效果、流行时尚和全球号召力也投入了和对音乐一样多的精力。

This year, expect the cameras to hover around Gaga, who will be challenged to top the six different costumes she donned at the MTV Video Music Awards. Divining fashion trends from her outfits would be fruitless. Instead, here are three things Gaga can tell us about how the music industry works now.

媒体的镜头在今年将继续对准Gaga。她将挑战自己在MTV音乐录像大奖上换装六次的战绩。从她的着装来预测时尚风潮是白费工夫。不过,以下是Gaga可以告诉我们的有关当今音乐行业如何运作的三件事。

She's a digital phenomenon
她是个数字现象

Lady Gaga's towering digital sales, almost all of them iTunes downloads, only tell part of the story. In fact, much of Gaga's audience got her music for free, and legally. They have listened to free streams -- by the hundreds of millions -- on YouTube and the other online services that Gaga currently leads, according to research firm BigChampagne. On MySpace, Gaga has had 321.5 million plays. By contrast, singer Susan Boyle tallied only 133,000 plays, despite scoring the No. 2 selling album of 2009. A difference (among many) between Gaga and the dowdy Scotswoman discovered on a British talent show: Ms. Boyle's material, including 'Amazing Grace,' was traditional -- and so were most of her buyers. Some 97% of her albums were sold on compact disc.

Gaga惊人的数字唱片销量──几乎全部来自于iTunes下载──只说明了事实的一部分。实际上,Gaga的大部分听众都免费、而且合法地获得了她的音乐。调查公司BigChampagne表示,人们收听的是YouTube和其他网络服务商提供的免费流──数量以上亿计。Gaga在MySpace上的音乐播放量达到了3.215亿次。而与之形成对比的是,尽管歌手苏珊大妈在2009年的专辑销量排行榜上位居第二,但她在MySpace上仅得到了13.3万次播放。Gaga和这位在英国选秀节目中脱颍而出的外表邋遢的苏格兰大妈有一个不同点(她们之间还存在着许多不同点):苏珊大妈的歌曲,包括那首《奇异恩典》(Amazing Grace)在内,都属于传统范畴──而购买她专辑的大部分人也比较传统。她的专辑有大约97%都以CD形式销售。

She's got a 360-degree view

她参与了“360度合约”

The business needs more Gagas. The upheaval of the last decade has forced the major record companies to cut their work force by 60%, according to a recent report by the Recording Industry Association of America. Within the last week, dozens of Universal Music Group employees were laid off. (Gaga's own publicist took a buyout; his job won't be filled.) Labels have had to change their relationship with artists and lean on new partners, including the talent managers they often squabbled with in the past.

音乐行业需要更多的Gaga。美国唱片业协会最近的一份报告显示,过去十年的巨变迫使大唱片公司将员工裁减了60%。仅仅在最近的一周之内,环球音乐集团的雇员就被裁减了数十人。(Gaga自己的公关就选择了“买断工龄”;这一职位也不会得到填补。)唱片公司不得不改变和旗下艺人之间的关系,倚靠新的生意伙伴,其中包括那些他们过去经常与之口角不断的人才代理们。

Without the budget and staff to support their once overloaded artist stables, labels have slashed their rosters and doubled down on acts expected to drive hits. They're also going after the money artists generate outside the labels' traditional business of selling music. This has given rise to, in industry parlance, the 360 deal, in which a label invests more money up front (for marketing, for example) in exchange for a piece of merchandise sales, touring revenue and other earnings that artists had long kept for themselves.

由于没有资金和人员来支持他们曾经过于庞大的艺人队伍,唱片公司大幅缩小了雇员数量,并对那些预期能够为热门歌曲流行推波助澜的活动加大了投入。他们还希望从艺人们在唱片公司销售音乐的传统业务之外获得的收入中分得一杯羹。这带来了行话中所谓的“360度合约”,也就是说一家唱片公司先期投入更多的资金(比如说,在营销中)来换取商品销售、巡演收入和其他的一些收入,而这些收入在过去一直都归艺人自己所有。

The 360 model hasn't launched big stars yet -- with a few exceptions, including Gaga. From concerts, including four sold-out nights at Radio City Music Hall this month, a percentage of her take goes to her label, Universal's Interscope Records. The label also gets a cut of her revenue from Polaroid, Estee Lauder's MAC and other corporate partners. Does Gaga validate the 360 model for other artists? While she pockets relatively less money on tour, Interscope puts more muscle behind her than it would have in the old days. 'Would she be in the position to play in front of 20,000 people a night if the record company had not put up the marketing dollars?' says Gaga's manager Troy Carter.

从360度合约中还没有走出过大明星──不过有Gaga在内的少数例外。包括本月在纽约Radio City Music Hall四晚门票售罄的演唱会在内,Gaga从演唱会上获得的收入有一定比例将属于她的唱片公司环球音乐集团旗下的Interscope Records所有。唱片公司还能从Gaga来自宝丽来、雅诗兰黛旗下MAC和其他企业伙伴的收入中得到分成。那么Gaga的成功是否能证明360度合约对其他艺人也行得通呢?尽管她从巡回演唱会中得到的收入相对要少些,但唱片公司Interscope在Gaga身上投入了比过去更多的力量。“如果唱片公司没有加大营销方面的投入,她能在一个晚上里面对两万听众表演吗?”Gaga的经纪人卡特说。

She could be the next Madonna

她有可能成为麦当娜第二

On the song "Bad Romance," Gaga chants "I want your ugly, I want your disease." She lovingly refers to her fans as 'monsters.' On stage, she bleeds from simulated stab wounds. Despite these dark theatrics, she's become a darling of mainstream radio by drawing from Madonna's playbook, with thumping dance beats, a shape-shifting image and a playful obsession with celebrity.

在歌曲《糟糕的罗曼史》中,Gaga唱道,“我想要你的丑陋,我想要你的疾病。”她亲热地将自己的歌迷称为“怪物”。在台上,Gaga的假伤口血流不止。这些黑色戏剧化的表现手段并没有妨碍她通过借鉴麦当娜的成功秘笈,包括跳跃的舞曲节奏、多变的形像和假意痴迷名人的态度而成为主流电台的宠儿。

Gaga's allure is that of a misfit run amok in the system, a role that has helped her cut across disparate subcultures, including teens, finicky hipsters and gays, to whom she sends frequent shout-outs. While Gaga's bared skin and professed androgyny have raised the eyebrows of interviewers like Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters, she isn't shocking, per se.

Gaga的吸引力在于她作为一个格格不入者在这个体系里横冲乱撞,而这个角色已经帮助她跨越了像青少年、挑剔的嬉皮士和同性恋这样截然不同的小文化圈子──Gaga经常对这些人唱歌。尽管Gaga裸露的皮肤和公开的双性恋身份让奥普拉•温弗瑞和芭芭拉•沃尔特斯这样的主持人感到吃惊,但她自己却不是所谓的异类。

"That's a tool that's no longer available to pop artists," says Danny Goldberg, the longtime manager and former label head. Since rap music, he adds, "those taboos have been removed and that, to me, makes her that much more impressive. She doesn't have that easy ticket to notoriety."

“那已经不再是流行明星的武器了,”Gaga的长期经纪人、也是唱片公司前负责人的丹尼•戈德堡说。他补充说,从饶舌音乐开始,“那些禁忌已经被打破了。我觉得这使得她给人们留下更加深刻的印象,但并没有轻易留下什么恶名。”

She's also determined not to be niche. Last year, the Recording Academy's nominating committees received a record 17,000 Grammy submissions. Many of those hopefuls hailed from what could be called music's growing middle class -- made up of acts that carve out niche audiences within subgenres such as indie rock. Only a few artists have defied that trend as newly minted superstars. While some acts try to get there with experimental strategies, such as giving music away free, Gaga used an old technique: cementing her image in music videos such as "Paparazzi," in which she hobbles on crutches.

她还下决心让自己远离小众化的路线。去年,美国唱片学院的提名委员会收到了创纪录的1.7万件格莱美奖提名作品。这些作品中有许多来自所谓音乐领域里日益庞大的中产阶级──由面向小众的诸如“独立摇滚”这样的子类音乐形式组成。只有少数艺人作为新晋的超级明星与这股潮流背道而驰。尽管有些人希望凭借创新的办法达到目的,比如免费送出自己的音乐,Gaga却仍旧使用了一个老套路:在音乐录像中巩固自己的形像,比如在《狗仔队》中,她拄着拐杖蹒跚而行。

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2010-02-22 21:51 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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