Lady Gaga enjoyed a massive night at the MTV Video Music Awards last Sunday. Not only did she take home five awards including the inaugural MTV Tricon, but she also revived her Chromatica era after over two months. Having released this new album at the height of a pandemic, it was difficult to do much promotion.
When Gaga put out lead single ‘Stupid Love,’ the coronavirus was barely looming in the United States. However, there wasn’t nearly enough time for her to fit in any performances of this introduction to Chromatica. It wasn’t until May that she put out her critically-acclaimed collaboration ‘Rain On Me’ with Ariana Grande and the album shortly after.
Both the album and the song enjoyed commercial success: both debuted at number one on their respective Billboard charts. But ever since that exciting launch of the album, there hasn’t been much of anything to keep it relevant. It wasn’t until earlier this month when she started doing Gaga Radio on Apple Music that Chromatica remained somewhat alive. Now with her epic VMAs performance, it is safe to say that things are back on track.
But what happens next?
One thing that did happen this summer was the postponement of the Chromatica Ball Tour. It won’t happen until next summer which means that she needs to keep this up until at least next summer. Granted much of the music industry is moving along at the same speed, but artists will release albums – and Gaga needs to ensure Chromatica doesn’t fade away from the general public’s view.
Throughout the next several months, she is going to have to rely on creative digital projects to keep us in Chromatica mode. What we do know is that there are music videos coming. Yes, multiple music videos. One of them is actually already recorded, and tentatively coming out later this month. She hasn’t done any talk show performances. But this seems like something that is rather unnecessary. After all, most people are consuming these talk show performances on YouTube – meaning she could post such things on her own.
Another thing that she needs to do is properly release a new single. She surprisingly did a little bit of ‘911’ at the VMAs, but the fan-favorite song doesn’t seem to be a good candidate for an official single. ‘Sour Candy’ with BLACKPINK wouldn’t work either as the girl group is readying their own album coming out in October. Something like ‘Alice’ or ‘Free Woman’ would work best – with ‘Sine From Above’ with Elton John following shortly after. Single roll-outs after album releases don’t work too great these days, but it could work if done properly in this virtual world.
She should also dabble in the world of online concerts. Apps like TikTok, HouseParty, and others have hosted their share of concerts during these quarantine months. Doing a few more songs from Chromatica with the Gen Zs of the world might help keep the streaming numbers up – especially if Grande remains on board with ‘Rain On Me.’ (Yes, squeeze the shit out of Rain On Me. Dry it up. Milk it good.) A television special should also be considered. Imagine a Chromatica visual special / film on one of the many streaming platforms. Imagine.
Lastly, Gaga could release more music. If the tour won’t happen until a year from now, there is plenty of time to drop a new song or two. And who knows, maybe there is enough in the Chromatica vault for a second album, or at the very least an extended play?
Chromatica is giving Gaga a fresh breath of air in the lowbrow world of pop music. She needs to capitalize on this moment. Keep the momentum going. What she does in the next few months will ultimately determine the longevity and success of this era. She has all she needs to make it happen. Will she?