Lady Gaga collaborator talks "Born This Way" album

NEW YORK (Billboard) - When Lady Gaga leaked the lyrics to “Born This Way” online last week, the pop star also revealed the production team behind her highly anticipated next single.

Lady Gaga, wearing an outfit made of meat, poses in the photo room after winning eight awards at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Along with Gaga and Interscope producer/songwriter Fernando Garibay, the music is credited to DJ White Shadow -- a Chicago producer and mixtape specialist whose real name is Paul Blair.

As one of the primary collaborators on the Gaga’s “Born This Way” album, DJ White Shadow says that he is spending “20-hour days” in the studio to help finish the set in time for its May 23 release.

The producer found some time to check in with and share a few details about his collaboration with Gaga, her new album and the sound of its first single, which is set to debut on February 13.

Billboard: How did you come to work with Lady Gaga on “Born This Way?”

DJ White Shadow: Gaga was listening to my mixtapes after someone she knew heard me DJ in a club in L.A. One day Gaga e-mailed me and asked me if I made my own beats. I said yes, sent her some, and she hit me back, this time on the phone, asking if I wanted to work with her on some stuff. I said okay.

Billboard: When and where did you record the song “Born This Way?” How would you describe the sound of it?

Shadow: She made it. She came up with the idea, she wrote it. She is a genius. We recorded it around the world, on the road, in whatever was available. It sounds like it reads, but not like you think until you hear it.

Billboard: Did you work on any other album tracks?

Shadow: Yes. I have been working on this record for well over a year. It has been awesome. Sonically it is much more complex. It’s beautiful. Like a golden spaceship touching down on a rainbow runway in a field of fresh mint.

Billboard: What are you working on now?

Shadow: Finishing this record. Making remixes. Listening to yacht rock. The usual.