The Meaning Behind “Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga and Why She Considers the Album ‘Chromatica’ the Start of Her Journey to Healing

Lady Gaga’s new concert film Gaga Chromatica Ball premieres on HBO and Max tonight (May 25). The special features her 2022 Dodger Stadium concert in support of her sixth album Chromatica.

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Following pandemic-related delays, Gaga’s stadium tour began on July 17, 2022. The pop singer performed in front of 52,000 people in Los Angeles, and the show features her biggest hits, including “Bad Romance, “Poker Face,” “Shallow,” and “Just Dance.”

It also includes her No. 1 dance anthem, “Stupid Love.” To prepare for Gaga’s otherworldly visual stunner, here’s a look at how “Stupid Love” launched Chromatica into orbit.

Fighting for Love

“Stupid Love” is Lady Gaga’s electropop plea for affection. Beginning in 2018, she wrote music to heal from her mental health struggles and found catharsis through music and dance.

You’re the one that I’ve been waiting for
Gotta quit this crying
Nobody’s gonna heal me if I don’t open the door
Kinda hard to believe, gotta have faith in me

Her message is simple, though in a broken world, it’s one worth repeating. First, she had to open herself to receive love, setting aside shame and self-doubt.

Now it’s time to free me from the shame
I gotta find that peace, is it too late?
Or could this love protect me from the pain?
I would battle for you (even if we break in two)

Striking a Pose on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Director Daniel Askill filmed the music video using only an Apple iPhone 11 Pro. He mounted several iPhones on drones and Steadicams to capture footage of Gaga and her dancers in a California desert. Askill filmed on location at Trona Pinnacles, California.

Gaga’s longtime collaborator, Richy Jackson, who helped create the dance moves of “Born This Way” and “Just Dance,” choreographed the video.

The space-age clip follows Gaga in the desert on the fictional planet Chromatica as tribes battle each other. Then, a truce is realized, and hostilities end with music and dance. Jackson incorporated voguing, the house dance Madonna brought from underground gay clubs in New York City to mainstream audiences in 1990. (To vogue, a dancer strikes poses like they are modeling for Vogue magazine.)  

Healing Through Dance

Chromatica, released in 2020, is a journey through house music history. To return to her dance roots, Gaga teamed with veteran electronic music producers.

“I think that the beginning of the album really symbolizes, for me, what I would call the beginning of my journey to healing, and what I would hope would be an inspiration for people that are in need of healing through happiness, through dance,” she told New Zealand radio DJ Zane Lowe.

Gaga’s producer Michael Tucker, known as BloodPop, also worked on her album Joanne (2016). They began writing songs for Chromatica while she filmed A Star Is Born. Though his songs didn’t make the film’s soundtrack, one song that did stand out from these sessions was “Stupid Love.”

Tucker and Gaga recorded a demo but felt something was missing. They played it for producer Max Martin, and he made suggestions Tucker said “really elevated” the song.  

When Gaga’s Joanne World Tour arrived in Kansas City, Tucker met her to play the new demo. “I played it on her Bluetooth speaker in her dressing room with my family and friends present. I would definitely consider that the moment Chromatica was started,” he said.

However, following A Star Is Born, Gaga kicked off a pair of Las Vegas residencies before working on her new album. It wasn’t until 2019 that she and producer Burns joined with Tucker to record Chromatica.

House Music History

They immersed themselves in ’90s house music, covering the studio walls with acid house posters while Burns sent the others playlists of classic house tracks. Sticking to the ’90s style, they told mixer Tom Norris not to use modern technology or trends.

Norris told Rolling Stone, “I was told not to use any sidechains throughout the album. Sidechains are a way of ducking one instrument out to make room for another, and it’s a really common thing in EDM. It wasn’t even possible to do when these classic ’90s house records were made. So I tried to steer clear from those to be true to that sound.”

The production included additional EDM legends such as Skrillex, Tchami, Axwell, Madeon, Boys Noize, and Johannes Klahr. Skrillex and Tucker had worked together on Justin Bieber’s Purpose (2015).

Alien Love Invader

On “Stupid Love,” Lady Gaga arrived like an alien from a distant, house music-obsessed planet to deliver a simple message of peace, love, and understanding.

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Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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