The Story of... 'Shallow' by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from A Star is Born (2024)

23 February 2019, 14:44

The Story of... 'Shallow' by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from A Star is Born (1)

By Tom Eames

"Tell me somethin', girl, Are you happy in this modern world?"

'Shallow' was one of the most popular songs of 2018, thanks to its use in the musical drama A Star Is Born starring performers Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

The duo will perform the song live at the 2019 Oscars, but what is the song about and what inspired it? Here are all the facts:

  1. Who wrote 'Shallow'?

    'Shallow' was written by Lady Gaga, Andrew Wyatt, Anthony Rossomando and Mark Ronson for the A Star is Born soundtrack.

    Gaga had previously worked with Mark Ronson on her fifth studio album Joanne in 2016.

    Joanne contained country-rock songs like 'Million Reasons' and the title track, which influenced the songs in A Star Is Born.

    'Shallow' was in the first draft of songs written by Gaga, Ronson, Dirty Pretty Things member Anthony Rossomando and Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt. She played the melody to her collaborators two years earlier in a recording studio in Malibu.

    When Lukas Nelson joined the soundtrack's development stage, the track's sound further evolved. Nelson used his own band, Promise of the Real, as Bradley Cooper's character Jackson's band.

    Inspired by Eric Clapton, he added a short acoustic guitar intro at the beginning of the song, as it would contrast nicely with Gaga's loud vocals which follows.

  2. When is 'Shallow' used in A Star is Born?

    The Story of... 'Shallow' by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from A Star is Born (4)

    Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper - Shallow (A Star Is Born)

    In the film, after meeting Gaga's character Ally, Bradley Cooper's Jackson Maine talks to her about their music and dreams.

    Ally says she has written a track and sings it briefly to Jackson. The lyrics then becomes the basis of 'Shallow', with the full version is used when Jackson heads onto the stage at Greek Theater in Los Angeles and sings the opening verses.

    He invited Ally to come to his show, and she arrives backstage with her friend Ramon. Jackson told Ally he would be debuting the song and had rearranged it to sing at the concert.

    Before the second verse, Ally musters up the courage to join Jackson onstage, singing the chorus to the large audience. Their performance goes viral and launches Ally's musical career.

    To film the 'Shallow' scene, Cooper filled the Greek Theater with around 2,000 Gaga fans and then recorded the song. After the filming, Gaga entertained the crowd playing piano versions of her old songs.

  3. 'Shallow' meaning: What is the song about?

    Lady Gaga described 'Shallow' as a pivotal moment in A Star Is Born, as it delved into Ally and Jackson's conversations and their "need and drive" to move away from the shallow area in their relationship.

    The singer told Beats 1 they wrote the track "from the point of view of Ally, it becomes part of the reason they fall in love. When I was writing music for the film I had to think about Ally as if she wasn't me. I went with a sound for her, even in the pop realm, that's unlike anything I've ever put out before."

    Ronson also explained that in the original draft of the script, Jackson died by drowning, which resulted in Gaga writing the lyrics, "I'm off the deep end watch as I dive in".

    It was also just an end credits song, but when the script changed it became a love song about Jackson and Ally.

  4. How did it perform in the charts and what awards has it won?

    This gave Lady Gaga her first UK number one since 2010, and it was a number 5 hit in the US.

    It has also won several awards, including two Grammys, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. It is also nominated for an Oscar.

  5. Have they ever performed it live?

    'Shallow' has been part of Lady Gaga's setlist of her Las Vegas Residency show, Enigma. After performing 'Born This Way', Gaga returns to the stage in an oversized march shirt, and plays 'Shallow' on the piano.

    On January 26, 2019, Bradley Cooper joined her onstage, marking the first time they performed the song together live. Cooper later said he was terrified of going onstage with her, and hoped that his singing was on pitch.

    At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards Gaga was joined onstage by Ronson, Rossomando and Wyatt, as Cooper was attending the BAFTAs in London.

  6. 'Shallow' lyrics:

    Tell me somethin', girl
    Are you happy in this modern world?
    Or do you need more?
    Is there somethin' else you're searchin' for?

    I'm falling
    In all the good times I find myself
    Longin' for change
    And in the bad times I fear myself

    Tell me something, boy
    Aren't you tired tryin' to fill that void?
    Or do you need more?
    Ain't it hard keeping it so hardcore?

    I'm falling
    In all the good times I find myself
    Longing for change
    And in the bad times I fear myself

    I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in
    I'll never meet the ground
    Crash through the surface, where they can't hurt us
    We're far from the shallow now

    In the shallow, shallow
    In the shallow, shallow
    In the shallow, shallow
    We're far from the shallow now

    Oh, oh, oh, oh
    Whoah!

    I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in
    I'll never meet the ground
    Crash through the surface, where they can't hurt us
    We're far from the shallow now

    In the shallow, shallow
    In the shallow, shallow
    In the shallow, shallow
    We're far from the shallow now

The Story of... 'Shallow' by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from A Star is Born (2024)
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