lady gaga confronts issue of rape on new track
“You don’t know how it feels, till it happens to you,” the singer says.
Anthemic, haunting and powerful, Lady Gaga's latest song Till It Happens To You, is a melancholic meditation on rape. Written with Diane Warren and recorded for The Hunting Ground, a harrowing documentary about the rising epidemic of sexual assault on campuses in America (a recent study showed that more than 18 per cent of female students at one U.S university were victims of rape or attempted rape during their first year there, and that's only the ones that were reported) the piano ballad will move you and make you think.
Sung in a deep, strong, and passionate voice, lyrics like "You don't know how it feels, until it happens to you" become ever more poignant. It isn't the first song written by Gaga that references rape. Speaking to Howard Stern last year, the singer describes how the song Swine, taken from her ARTPOP album, is about "the demoralization, rage, and fury, and passion" associated with rape. She added, "I wasn't even willing to admit that anything had even happened." Unlike the combative dance tune, Swine, Till It Happens To You reveals a more vulnerable side to the singer.
Photography Mariano Vivanco
Styling Nicola Formichetti
i-D The Exhibitionist Issue, No. 312, Spring 2011