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A Yo (Lady Gaga song)

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Genre  Country pop
Label  Interscope
Length  3:27
A-Yo (Lady Gaga song)
Released  October 18, 2016 (2016-10-18)
Writer(s)  Stefani Germanotta Hillary Lindsey Mark Ronson M. Tucker
Producer(s)  Ronson BloodPop Lady Gaga

"A-Yo" is a song recorded by American singer Lady Gaga for her fifth studio album, Joanne (2016). It was released to digital outlets as the record's second promotional single on October 18, 2016 through Interscope Records. The single was written by Gaga, Hillary Lindsey, Mark Ronson and BloodPop, while production was handled by the singer and the latter two. A funky, "electro-tinged" and "rock-inspired" upbeat country pop track, "A-Yo" lyrically delves on "leaving our haters in the dust".


In order to promote the track's release, Gaga performed it on several concert venues of her Dive Bar Tour and on television. Commercially, "A-Yo" charted at number 66 on United States' Billboard Hot 100.

Background and release

"A-Yo" was premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show on October 18, 2016, and has since been made available for streaming and download. She posted a link to the song on her Twitter account, while responding to Alex Pall of duo The Chainsmokers's critiques about "Perfect Illusion", writing "maybe u guys'll like this 1 better [sic]". The single's cover art features Gaga topless and covering her chest with her hand, wearing a feathered hat that hides her eyes.

Recording and composition

"A-Yo" was recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York City, by Benjamin Rice and assisted by Barry McCready. Joshua Blair continued the additional recording for the track at Shangri-La Studios, Malibu, California with David "Squirrel" Covell, and also at Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, California, assisted by Justin Smith. The mixing for "A-Yo" was performed by Serban Ghenea at MixStar Studios, Virginia Beach, Virginia, with engineering for the mix by Josh Hanes. Other instrumentation for "A-Yo" included guitars and percussion by Gaga, bass and guitars by Mark Ronson, and synthesizer and organ by BloodPop. Tom Coyne and Randy Merrill completed the audio mastering at Sterling Sound Studios in New York City.

"A-Yo" is a funky, "electro-tinged" and "rock-inspired" song. Rolling Stone described "A-Yo" as an upbeat country pop track. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com, "A-Yo" is written in the key of A major in common time with a tempo of 150 beats per minute. The chords alternate between A7 and D7, and Gaga's vocals span two octaves from E3 to E5. Michelle Lulic from Bustle felt that the lyrics seem to describe "things getting hot-and-heavy in her car": "I can't wait to rev you up /Faster than you can say "Ferrari" /Tearin' up the gravel, watching you unravel /Now it's a party". During the chorus, Gaga sings "A-Yo, A-Yo, we smokin' 'em all", which according to her is about "leaving our haters in the dust".

Critical reception

Tricia Gilbride from Mashable called "A-Yo" "ridiculously catchy" and "a futuristic country-rock song egging you on to have a good time over guitar solos and digital beats". Bustle's Michelle Lulic noted that "this may just be one of Lady Gaga's most simplistic yet most visual songs yet" and thanks to its repetitive chorus, it was "near impossible not to start singing by the time you get to the end of your first listen of the song". Larry Bartleet of British magazine NME commented that "the transformation might grate on fans of Gaga's past few albums of pop, but from these lyrics it looks like on fifth album ‘Joanne’ she really doesn't care what people think". Andy Gill from The Independent complimented Josh Homme's "spiky but fluid breaks" on songs like "A-Yo" and "John Wayne", which were "undoubted album highlights". Daniel Welsh from The Huffington Post said that "A-Yo" sounded like a cross between "Manicure" from Artpop and "Americano" from Born This Way, but with touches of country. He went on to compliment Gaga for pulling off "perfecly" her wish of Joanne having a "dive bar feel" with the song.

Stereogum's Chris DeVille wrote, "Despite its funky digital beat, rap-inflected hook, and playfully tweaked guitar twang, it might actually go over pretty well on country radio if enough programmers gave it a chance. That said, this computerized juke-joint party track is far from M.O.R. by Nashville standards". Carey O'Donnell from Paper magazine called it a "foot stomping, hand-clapping rock pop track", but said it sounded better live. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic called the song "riotous". The New York Times's Jon Caramanica felt that "A-Yo" sounded like a Britney Spears parody or a song drawn from one of those live musicals that have been littering network television since the demise of Glee". Maeve McDermott of USA Today was negative, saying "songs that sound most like Gaga's earlier hits" like "A-Yo" were Joanne's weakest moments.

Live performances

Gaga has performed "A-Yo" on her Dive Bar Tour, a brief three-date promotional tour of dive bars in the United States. Along with "Million Reasons", another song from Joanne, Gaga performed "A-Yo" live on network television for the first time, as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live dated October 22, 2016. For "A-Yo" Ronson assisted Gaga by playing guitar, and the singer doing a honky-tonk and go-go dancing inspired performance. Rolling Stone's Daniel Kreps described it as intense singing, with Gaga "feverishly dancing and wildly shredding on her guitar". Paste's Chris White called Gaga an "incredible performer and vocalist" based on the performances, adding "Gaga understands the stagecraft of playing live music on [the SNL stage]". An isolated mic feed from the performances was also highly praised for Gaga's vocal prowess. Three days later, she appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS Television City studios, and delivered the opening monologue, while also performing "A-Yo".


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Joanne.

  • Recorded at Electric Lady Studios (New York City), Shangri-La Studios (Malibu, California), Pink Duck Studios (Burbank, California) and GenPop Laboratory (Los Angeles, California)
  • Mixed at MixStar Studios (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
  • Sony/ATV Songs, LLC/ House of Gaga Publishing, LLC (BMI), BIRB Music (ASCAP) All Rights Administered by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC, Imagem CV/Songs Of Zelig (BMI), OWSLA Music Publishing, LLC/Check Your Pulse, LLC (ASCAP)
  • References

    A-Yo (Lady Gaga song) Wikipedia