In an exclusive fan meet, Katy Perry surprises unassuming KatyCats with an intimate conversation that spilled all the tea and then some.
“Can you hear me?”
As common as this phrase is thrown around in many virtual meetings, with people having to repeat everything they have just said over the course of a few minutes as they fumble for the unmute button or silently curse at the intermittent third world internet connection we have to deal with on a daily basis, this is perhaps the last thing we would imagine hearing from someone like say, Katy Perry. Sitting on the opposite end of the screen, vibrant in an off-shouldered pink dress with flicks of multi-colored paint and undulating ruffles, she is radiating with a glow that can only be accounted to the adrenaline rush of finishing multiple interviews as her night draws to close and of course, the fact that she is nine months pregnant. But she wasn’t the only one recovering from a heady rush of energy and excitement, because on the other end, some considerable distance and time zones away, a group of fans were losing it, realizing that Katy Perry herself was in the same Zoom room as they were.
Led to believe that they were to be interviewed by the media, as part of efforts to drum up the release of Smile, the sixth album release of Katy Perry, the fans (or KatyCats, as they like to call themselves) were unassumingly but passionately answering questions, underscored by videos of Daisies and Smile that were threaded throughout the session. “She really embodies her art, her work. It’s something that’s raw, it’s real. It’s something that mirrors the reality,” explains a fan, detailing what the Teenage Dream and Firework singer means to them personally. “As you can see, the album cover is her not really smiling. Somehow it’s just that message that even if there are [tough] times, adversity, uncertainties and problems, we can still learn to look for that light, we can still find back our smile.” Little did they know that in a blink of an eye, there would be more reason to smile, and for some, tear up, with the mysterious interviewer finally revealed.
“Katy is that you?”
“Oh my God!”
“I’m gonna cry.”
“I love you so much!”
“Mahal kita, Katy.”
When things finally settled to a state of considerable calm, Katy Perry switched the conversation into high gear, encouraging her beloved fans to get to know her more. “Ask me the hard ones, honey. Ask me for the other fans, ask me the tea. The tea that I see right on Twitter,” she prodded. And they certainly didn’t disappoint, because in between questions asking if she would have fans create collaterals for her (the answer was yes, as will be seen in an exclusive vinyl release designed by someone she found on Twitter) to wondering how she is preparing for the birth of her child, Katy Perry really left no stone unturned in this delightful conversation. “It’s a lot of things. I don’t know, but they are a lot of work,” she says of internalizing the anticipation of being a mother. “But thank God I like to work. And anyone that says that I don’t promote…Honey, don’t come for me. I’m nine months pregnant and I’m promoting, okay. I am doing the most, alright?”
Her charming candor and searing sass aside, Katy Perry would go on to reveal the songs that is dedicated to her fans. “Daisies it’s like, you know, the lyric about, ‘Is from me to you… ‘ It’s like, in a way, I see such an incredible creativity, especially with my fans, this time around. It’s so amazing and mind blowing in their own way. And I love seeing that so I love the like involvement. And I just really like I want like I want to hear stories about you guys in 10 years being, you know, checking off the boxes of life and like living your best life and more fulfilled lives, and like, following your dreams, no matter whatever situation,” she says. “And then Teary Eyes, there’s a line because you haven’t heard this song—yet. It says, ‘Have you ever lied. Just replied, I’m fine.’ So, it’s a lyric that I think we all go through and the chorus says: ‘just keep on dancing through those teary eyes.’ So, it’s kind of like, fuck. 2020. I’m gonna just keep dancing…I may be crying, but I’m okay. Just because I’m crying doesn’t mean I have forfeited my life.”
In this regard, Smile couldn’t have come at a better time, despite it being planned and produced way before the public pummelling of the pandemic. “You know, I was trying to bring the frickin’ circus to town with a K,” she reveals. “It doesn’t mean it can’t come next year, or it can expand in a different way in 2021. No one’s doing anything this year, so I’ll be out there.” With every larger-than-life undertaking grounded and waylaid for the time being, people are desperately finding more ways to connect, Katy Perry most especially. Through her music, the pop star is hoping to bridge distances, physical and otherwise, to somehow anchor a weight of purpose to an otherwise blur of an unequalled chapter of the world’s history.
While there isn’t a necessarily slow song or soaring ballad in the vein of Thinking Of You, The One That Got Away, Grace Of God, and Save As Draft, but there’s still a whole lot of sentiment, perseverance, and resilience to lose yourself to in a trance of dance. “You know, again, Teary Eyes, and there’s a song called Cry About It Later…Those two songs have this kind of European 90s, a little bit of Britney, a little bit of like, Robyn. It’s just like, it’s fun, but thoughtful, I guess,” details Katy Perry. “I like to always like write songs that have good messages on them, but sometimes I want to write music that I can just drink to, you know? All this thinking makes me want to like, you know, go have fun with my friends and just be a little escapism, because it’s just like there’s just too much stuff to think about, especially this year. It’s intense, so that’s why I would love to have a cocktail after I give birth. And just lose myself in the music—but there’s a time and a place for everything.”
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For Katy Perry, the ushering of this new musical era in both her career and personal life is extra special and significant, not only because of the meaning and milestones that along with, but rather because this is proving to be such a ray of light and draw of exhale for her. “I guess that means my heart is not aching as much, which is a good thing, but it does have its moments. So, we’ll definitely be crying in the future. I’m not exempt from tears, but there are fun songs about crying like this kind upbeat [ones like] Teary Eyes or Cry About It Later,” she enthuses. It is at this point that Katy Perry posits a thought she promptly christened, K-Theories. “Tears are made of salt, and salt water heals you. Like we take saltwater baths so that our body can be healed. So, it’s your body’s way of saying, ‘I’m going to heal you. Right now, I’m going to take over. I’m physically going to give you a gift, and make you feel better,’” she explains. “So, anyone that’s crying and crying a lot, great. They’re just healing themselves.”
That’s just the thing with tears. After a cathartic cry, there is an immediate sense of feeling much lighter, where as you wipe away the smearing of saltwater tracks from your cheeks, you feel this swelling liberation from the chasms of your heart. Right here and right now, and with more reasons to, you cannot help but smile as well. If Katy Perry can grin and bear it, so can you, too.
We hear you, Katy Perry—roaring loud and clear.