By Patricia Carranza
Katy Perry, the 35-year-old singer has sold more than 45 million records throughout her musical career. She spoke to Metro about a new stage in her life, as she is expecting her first child, a girl, with her partner Orlando Bloom.
How do you feel at this point in your life and career?
I feel different, I think the whole world feels very strange now. I refused to rule out everything this year because I have a baby in my belly that will be born very soon. So I want to stay optimistic and I’m very excited. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions, it’s been a time of finding balance and I’m excited to tell that through my record. I want to share some messages of hope, resilience and joy through music.
Can you tell us about the creative process behind your album? How did the concept of the red-nosed clown come about?
For me, music is hope, resistance, some redemption and finding my smile again. Because in 2017 I felt I lost it a little bit. There was a change in my life, and I was very depressed about it. My whole career has been very playful, fun, and joyful, and I guess I got too serious and with that seriousness came the loss of innocence and fun. I appear as a clown on the album cover because it is part of a story about a clown, who lost the smile or innocence. He is not in a good mood, so he wants to find his joy again. I think I’ve felt like a funny clown now, not a scary one, but an innocent little clown.
How have you evolved since your first album?
This album is a reminder. If I ever get into that depression again, or that darkness, I just need to lean on the tools I have adopted. Mental tools that have really helped me to take my mind off a routine or a way of thinking. In each album, I write songs about how I feel, how I see the world and how I observe what is happening. What this album has is similar to a screenshot, but I call it a sound capture of the last two-and-a-half years. It’s a hope for the future. I’m sure I’ll make another album after I have my daughter and I’ll be inspired by this new connection and beauty. But, in itself, this album is about coming out of the darkness.
Did you dedicate any song to your baby and Orlando?
I dedicated “Never Worn White,” which isn’t on the album. But that’s how I was able to announce that I was pregnant, which was a perfect song for that. There’s actually a song that talks about the love that Orlando and I share that’s called “Champagne Problems” and it’s on the album. Basically it’s about all the difficulties we’ve gone through to get to the place where we are today, where there are things that we have between us that are really annoying, little fights that come up when you live with someone. I’m very tidy, I go around cleaning everything up and when I see that he leaves a plate on the sofa it blows my mind. But that’s not really a problem, it’s just a champagne problem. I think I unconsciously wrote a song for my future baby when I wasn’t even pregnant. It is at the end of the album and is called “What Makes a Woman.” It talks about how women should not define themselves by certain activities or tasks because they are so versatile, beautiful and they don’t have to be just one thing or be pigeonholed.
You collaborated with Daddy Yankee on a remix. Would you like to collaborate with other Latin artists?
Yes! Right now a lot of beautiful music comes from Latin artists, I mean, they’re changing the whole game. So I think I would love to do something with Bad Bunny, I love him very much, and I would love to do anything with Rosalia. I would like to go out with her not to talk, but just to watch her because she’s an angel.
Tell about the filming of the “Smile” video.
It is what I call a performance video. It was a chance to do fun things with the green screen and it’s like the movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” where everything is bigger than you. That’s kind of inspiring. But I have another music video coming out very soon that is very exciting and has video game components.
What was the biggest challenge in creating this album?
Luckily I was able to do most of the heavy work before the world changed, but I was putting the finishing touches on the album in March, so I set up a studio with my brother-in-law, who is a producer, and finished the vocals on the song called “Only Love.” Then I did a mix and mastering of the album which is like icing a cake from a sound point of view. And I did it from my car parked outside the beach! I did it for a few weeks. I think that was the most challenging but fun part for me because I love adventures.
In the last few months, social movements were on the rise all over the world. What do you think about that?
I think everything that is unfair or not equal or not kind or not compassionate should come to the surface so that we can deal with it and we can all live as well as possible, that’s what I think God has for us. The reason we come here, to this planet, is to have a full life and to achieve our dreams, whatever they may be. So if there is something that stands in your way, that must be addressed and spoken about. So I’m all for change and for the revolution of the mind.
Katy Perry’s new album “Smile” is set to be released on Aug. 28. It will also be available on digital platforms.
This story first appeared on our sister publication philly.metro.us.