Lady Gaga is opening up about what could become one of the most talked about songs on her forthcoming new album, “Joanne.”
In an interview with Beats 1, the singer spoke about penning “Angel Down,” a song about 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, whose shooting death in 2012 launched the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Grammy Award-winning performer said she wrote the track in response to “the epidemic of young African-Americans being murdered in this country.”
“I was overwhelmed by the fact that people just stood around and didn’t do anything about it, and that the justice system continues to, over and over again, not seek justice for these families,” she told host Zane Lowe.
The song, which will be on the album out October 21, is not yet available for streaming. But Lady Gaga previewed the lyrics: “Doesn’t everyone belong in the arms of the sacred/ Why do we pretend we’re wrong has our young courage faded / Shots were fired down the street by the church where we used to meet/ Angel down, angel down, why do people just stand around?”
The singer acknowledged that she wrestled with her authority to speak on the issue as a non-African-American. She ultimately concluded that it was her duty to speak to her fans, some of whom have told her about their feelings of anxiety.
“They tell me they drive in their cars, and if they hear a siren, there is a paranoia that runs through their body, that they freeze up, that they can’t think. This is a tremendous anxiety,” she said. “This is something that I care about. This is something that has to stop, something that we all need to heal from.”
She added: “How can I not say something?” How could I possibly make an album about twerking my a– in the club?… In my mind, I can’t reckon it. It feels empty. It feels irrelevant.”
“Joanne” will be the singer’s fifth studio album.