A few weeks ago I was given the generous opportunity to have my first ever press conference experience with the amazingly talented Katy Perry. During this Katy allowed time to answer questions from fans of multiple different media organizations and Her Campus chapters. This was my first time in a press conference which made me incredibly nervous, but once Katy came into the room it was like seeing a friend who I have known forever. Just off of first impressions she seems like a loving, thoughtful, and motivated person which greatly reflects onto her fifth studio album ‘Smile’.
The album shows how the superstar is ready to face the world and herself. The album is her first in 3 years since Witness, her fourth album released in 2017. Witness was a hit or miss album among fans and the general public, despite it having mega-hits such as “Chained to the Rhythm”. The new album has been compared to her most notable and iconic piece of music the Teenage Dream album era.
During the Zoom Q&A, Katy answered questions from fans ranging from motherhood to her childhood connecting to this album. She revealed that the purpose of creating this album was to reflect her recent journey of clinical depression she stated, “This record speaks about walking through all of that and coming out stronger”. The special thing about Katy’s journey is how she describes her growth not only personally, but growing alongside her fans. Recently, Katy’s team allowed a competition for fans to create alternative album covers for Smile. She reflected on her connection to fans’ heartfelt by stating how she knows most of her fans have grown up with her music and continue to support her. She joked about being able to create multiple layers in songs for fans of all ages.
The main message behind the album is empowerment and growth. She talked about one of her newest songs, “What Makes a Woman” and how it can be a trick question that constantly evolves. She recognized her influence within women, minority, and LGBTQA+ allyship and empowerment stating, “When I see inequality, I think to myself okay it’s time to fight” and how proud she is that Generation Z is going to be “…the one’s who get things done.”
One important aspect to recognize that directly influences her album is Katy’s experience with motherhood, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In March 2020, Katy stopped the entertainment world when she announced that she was pregnant. Her pregnancy announcement was nothing short of pop-icon status as she announced it with her pre-album single “Never Worn White”. The song was a slow-paced song focusing on her vulnerability yet confidence about her relationship with fiancée Orlando Bloom. During the pre-album era, she also released the catchy single “Harleys in Hawaii”.
Moving forward to May 15th, 2020, Katy released the first single titled “Daises”. The song was a completely different feel from the previous single as “Daises” showcased a more upbeat, hopeful, and self-confidence anthem. This song was just what 2020 needed as she relates to the average listener’s struggles and rising through hate and discouragement. From this song, interest began peaking in her then-unnamed KP5 album and it was only the beginning of the rise of Smile.
The album was released on August 28, 2020, and the universe made it so perfect to have Katy and Orlando welcome their first child Daisy into the world on August 27, 2020. It seems divine timing to be a Katy Perry fan and supporter as she seems to truly return to having a sense of herself and her music. As for the album, it is nothing short of being a perfect album. It has something for every fan and it is worth escaping reality with. As for myself, I have returned to my Katy Perry phase once again and currently have “Daises” and “Never Really Over” stuck in my head constantly. As a fan, I am not only lucky to have the Zoom experience but to see a pop-icon return to her rightful status.
You can find all the links to purchase Smile here
Thank you to Universal Music Group and Her Campus for this experience!