I've never stood outside a hotel waiting for a pop star before.

But with all the commotion just down the road from the TimeOut offices at the Stamford Plaza where Lady Gaga was staying this week, I took the chance to hang out and feel the excitement of her fans.

I admit I didn't stay as long as most of her devout followers because, well, it was raining and it was cold.

There were people like Josh and his mate John who were a little too late for her fleeting meet-and-greet early on Tuesday morning.


However, they did make friends with her bodyguard Ed.

"He's quite little actually. He's a good guy though. But when he gets angry he really gets angry," said John. They implored him to ask her to come out and meet them but to no avail.

"She's classy. She's above musical talent," said Josh of the star.

And circulating among the other little monsters I found the other qualities they love most about Gaga, are that she's "inspiring" and she "relates to her fans better than a lot of other artists do".

But perhaps Alyssa from Auckland summed Gaga up best with this: "I think she's so unbelievable, that she's kind of believable."

"Yeah," said her mate Michelle, managing to justify her friend's profound statement with a single word.

"And," continued Michelle, "she challenges everyone. That's what I think is so amazing about her. No matter who you are, she makes you push the envelope, she pushes everyone to get creating.

"And she pushes herself. That's where the brilliance comes from."

And then there was shy 21-year-old Alex who believed: "She's trying to do a lot of good - and to stop bullying, which is good."

Now then, before I went to the hotel to meet her fans I dug deep in the TimeOut vaults of recorded interviews to listen to a chat I had with her in 2008 (in person I might add, and yes, she touched my knee).

And young Alex hit the nail on the head. Four years ago, around the release of debut The Fame and before she was the phenomenon she is today, Gaga talked enthusiastically about inspiring and instilling self-confidence in "everyone".

"How can I f***in inspire these kids?," she said. "How do I inspire a young person to self-proclaim their own fame and understand that it's really not at all about the cameras or the magazine, or the frenzy or the buzz, it's about deciding what you choose to express and making choices, and knowing things, watching movies, and reading things that stimulate you.

"And yes, I do have a certain self-confidence, but I want everyone to have that confidence."

I didn't think too much about her self-help sermons back then. Hey, I seriously had no idea she was going to be the biggest star on the planet in a year's time and I just wanted to talk about her unashamed push to be famous and, um, humping a blow-up whale in the video for Just Dance.

But in hindsight, Gaga's main message back then was about self-confidence and self-belief - and she continues to push that message today.

I have written about my meeting with Gaga in this column before, but that was more about me, me, me (sorry Gaga). So this time, to finish, let's hear from the Lady herself in what is kind of like a revealing Gaga out-takes interview. Kind of. Take it away Gaga ...

On interviews: I always listen to myself in interviews and think, 'What an egomaniac I am.' But I just believe it and why not?

On her inspiration: I tirelessly slave over the internet, over books, and movies for new ideas. How can I make it new? I always want to be about discovering the future.

On what music means to her: I try to make myself feel better by saying, 'I wouldn't die if I didn't do music', but I think I would. It's romantic. It's been my life ever since school.

On working hard: My work ethic is my beating heart. Everything I do is for my work.