One of the most moving songs on Lady Gaga’s new album, Joanne, is “Angel Down,” a ballad about gun violence and faith in America. Yesterday (October 20), Gaga revealed that she wrote the song specifically about Trayvon Martin, who died at age 17 after being shot in 2012.
Gaga shared the inspiration behind the song during an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 Radio. She described it as a protest song about “the epidemic of young African-Americans being murdered in this country.”
Though she struggled with the decision to write the song as a white woman, Gaga ultimately felt she had to speak up. “How can I not say something?” she said.
Conversations with her black fans also inspired her decision to write a song mourning the deaths of black Americans. “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,” Gaga said. “This is something that has to stop, something that we all need to heal from.”