Katy Perry is a household name, most of us grew up listening to her most iconic releases (queues teenage dream). But at 35 weeks pregnant with her fiancé Orlando Bloom, she is getting ready to release her newest album smile. We were lucky enough to be invited to participate in a recent press conference Universal Music Group’s °1824 hosted with Katy Perry and also sent some of the unreleased tracks to sample.
Katy Perry discussed the influence behind smile as she said she battled with clinical depression while working on it. Often finding she was unable to get out of bed or plan for the next day in what she calls the darkest time of her life “ what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but you have to walk through hell to get stronger or layout in your bed for a few weeks” said the pop sensation. The album balances melancholy with hope and puts an emphasis on resilience.
“I wasn’t taking myself seriously when I was spraying whipped cream out of my boobs” laughs Perry, as she discusses using humor as a way to bring levity to the seriousness of life "we use it as a way to survive". The artwork of smile is satire, it features Katy Perry dressed as a gloomy-looking clown while the title states to smile, pushing the overall theme of clownery. Perry used fan art to create an alternative album cover as she tells us “the people have the power” and remarks on the immense creativity of her fans.
Self-empowerment is somethings Katy Perry keeps constant in her work, “Cry about it later” has hints of escapism as it observes drinking too much champagne and getting under someone to get over someone else. Perry does not deny she has failed in the past but instead insists it takes courage to face your failures, “I am growing as an adult, a human, as a woman, as a soon-to-be-mother and I’m always constantly sharing my journey," Katy Perry believes this growth has given her a greater foundation in herself and her character and gave her more depth as a person which she portrays through her music in smile.
A heavily pregnant Katy Perry smiles as she discusses the inspiration behind ‘what makes a woman’ stating that it is actually a trick question as it is impossible to define what makes a woman, and those who believe they can define it are most likely not a woman. The song aims to capture the beautiful complexities that women are made of, Perry says how she is a strong believer in “God made men and women and they are both supposed to learn from each other, we both exist for a reason however there is a lot of equality that needs to happen” as she runs through the feministic messages throughout her album.
Katy Perry reflects on the ten year anniversary of her third studio album teenage dream, as she discusses her growth as a person she makes a point of expressing her gratitude for the experience of growing up with her audience as she says “it’s like we’re raising each other” and urges fans to fight for justice and equality especially in these times by starting local with friends and family.
As Katy Perry readies to release her fifth studio album and become a mother it is clearer than ever the journey and growth she has been through. Smile is optimistic and uplifting and as said by Katy Perry herself “hope and resilience are running themes”. We look forward to continuing to watch Katy Perry grow into her new role as a mom and can’t wait to stream smile this Friday the 28th of August