I want to make sure in every song we write that women are given power.
All songwriters are known as 'topliners' because the vocal goes on top of the track.
When I saw Courtney Love in 1994, I knew what I wanted to do. The minute I saw a female-fronted rock n' roll band, that changed my life.
For me, as a kid desperate to make music, I thought the only way I could do it was to try to be a superstar - which is a fun thing to be, but it can be exhausting and degrading.
I think that because we have these big female pop stars, people forget that women and marginalized people are so underrepresented in this business.
It's interesting to see the more femme that you present yourself, the more people sort of dehumanize you.
If I'm hanging out with my friends or I'm working out, I'll listen to female singer-songwriters from the '90s because that's where my heart lies.
I feel like there is a lot of homophobia and misogyny in the music business, and I feel like I've gotten to a place where I've broken down a lot of those doors.
The larger streaming grows, the less money there will be to get the music out there, which, to me, is the sad part.
I am a genderless sea creature who has been writing and studying music since I was 12.
If a song I'm lucky enough to be a part of comes on the radio, it's definitely really cool and exciting, but I can't focus on anything but the song. Same if one of my songs comes on in a restaurant. I can't just carry on a conversation.
In the band Semi-Precious Weapons, I got to sing, wear, and say exactly what I wanted for ten years.
Obviously, Gaga's one of the greatest music visionaries of our time, and Beyonce is one of the greatest visions of our time. She is a music visionary, too.
I really do pride myself on being able to help other people tell their stories and bring out the best in them. But I still, every song I'm writing, I still need to relate to it. I still need to find my true self in it, or else it'll feel dishonest. I mean, everything has a queer meaning as far as I'm concerned.
My success happened pretty late in life. I can't even believe it happened.
Even though L.A. can be kind of tacky, when a city's big draws are The Roxy and the Viper Room, you know its pretty amazing.
In every school, there's always the kid who gets it the worst, and I was, for sure, that kid. Every time you had to get in a line that was boys and girls, it was like my worst nightmare. A lot of kids I know got made fun of for being gay; that was not my issue: I was just called a girl endlessly.
People are always quick to judge SPW because of the fact that I wear heels. For me, I just have no choice. This is just how I feel beautiful and how I feel awesome. I would just be so uncomfortable onstage if I was wearing something else.
I love songs, Patty Larkin, Sharon Stone, Mae West, and Marilyn Monroe.
I was borderline deluded to think something as outrageous as Semi Precious Weapons could have been mainstream.
I like to make glamorously informed songs for glamorously intelligent people.
I really want queer kids to know that our experience is universal.
My mom has a big ol' crush on Arne Duncan, so I hear about and see pics of him all the time. I think he could look great in heels!
I just didn't really relate to Kurt Cobain. There was nothing very glamorous about him.
If a song is being written for a woman, there should be a woman in the room collaborating.
Music spoke to me when I was young in such an intimate, empowering, magical way, and I think that music is already doing that for young queer kids.
I didn't want a day job anymore, so I somehow made the jewelry line work. Now that I look back on it, it was, like, the dumbest idea ever. Everyone and their mother has a jewelry line, so in retrospect, maybe not the smartest fallback plan. But it ended up working out great!
Gaga the person is much like Gaga the celebrity. She is very sweet, loyal, and funny with her fans, and she is very sweet, loyal, and funny with her friends. On stage, she is over-the-top, ridiculous, dirty, and genuine on stage, and she is very over-the-top, ridiculous, dirty, and genuine with her friends.
For the most part, it's straight white men running these labels and publishing companies.
I was born into the most amazing family an underdog could be born into, and I was born into the LGBTQ community. And what a beautiful community we are. The art, the music, the fashion, the brains, the fight, the survival skills, the diversity, male, female, non-binary, Gender Non Conforming, cis, trans, femme, and all races.
The thing is, if you tell your story specifically enough, it becomes so universal. Just because you're a gay man singing an honest love song, people should know that it's about men and that they can still relate to it.
The only thing that's serious to me about music is making sure marginalized people are included in the story.
A man in high heels is the most dangerous thing in the world.
Truly saying sorry is never easy to do, and when you are, you just hope it's not too late.
Once I got into pop songwriting, I was kind of just ready to help other people tell their stories... I'm here to facilitate and structure and grow and make things a little more fabulous and a little more urgent.
Before anything else, my favorite thing as a fan of music was to make up my own story as to what it means.
I just want to make music that people hear, and I'm not ashamed of that.
You can tell if something feels special. But there are so many moving parts involved in making the song a hit. The radio has to deliver, the management has to deliver in terms of booking the right promotions... just being a good song isn't enough.
Pop just means popular - it can be any genre, and if it becomes popular, then it's pop music.
In some ways, it's more rewarding to hear someone interpret a piece of music that you're a part of.
'World Is Our Playground' is a big room banger that makes you wanna check into a hostel and call Mike Taylor.
I like to play this game where I ask people to count gay pop writers and producers they know. Everyone's always like, 'Oh, there are plenty!' But we always end up counting them on one hand.