From “I Kissed a Girl” and “Teenage Dream,” Katy Perry pumps out pop anthems. VALLEY had the chance for an exclusive press conference to hear right from Perry herself on how her new album reflects her pop past and her personal struggles.
Katy Perry’s new album, “Smile,” gives her fans a deep look into her past struggles with mental illness with honest and powerful lyrics. She explained this album is still very much a pop album with a lot of truths about her personal life.
Katy Perry prefaces the beginning of the conference with being completely transparent about mental illness and dealing with her depression. She touches on how she was clinically depressed and how this new album reflects that part of her life, “I wrote this record in one of the darkest times in my life where I didn’t really plan for the next day or didn’t necessarily want to. I was very flat-lined” Katy says.
This record contains themes of clownery, humor and self-deprecation. Perry explained how these themes helped her deal with her depression. She states how some of the music shows her choice to live and come out on the other side of her mental illness. Perry goes on further explaining how humor helped her escape the place she was in at the time.
Katy Perry’s music speaks to many people and she always seems to reinvent her music and image. She spoke about playing with sonic landscapes in order to create something new while still staying in the pop genre.
There are other major inspirations in “Smile” like Katy Perry expecting her first child. The song “What Makes a Woman” was written because of all the emotions she was feeling about being pregnant and preparing to give birth. She spoke about the meaning behind the title, “It’s almost a trick question, it’s so expansive and so beautifully complex. It’s hard to measure.” She spoke about how being a woman isn’t just one thing and how that’s something she’s had to fight against in her career.
“Smile” is an album filled with growth, Perry explains. It shares a lot of her personal experience that she feels her audience can relate to. Her fan base has grown with her from “I Kissed a Girl” and “Teenage Dream,” Perry feels this album shows a new perspective of her life that fans can enjoy and appreciate.