News / Arts & Entertainment

Katy Perry Shows Vulnerability, Maturity on New Album 'Prism'

Cast member and singer Katy Perry poses at the premiere of
Cast member and singer Katy Perry poses at the premiere of "Katy Perry: Part of Me" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California June 26, 2012.
Reuters
Singer Katy Perry has shed her cotton-candy pop image and reveals a vulnerability and maturity on her new album Prism, which she said reflects changes in both her personal life and her music.
 
Released on October 22, Prism is Perry's fourth studio album and the follow-up to 2010's phenomenally successful Teenage Dream. It is also the first album since the 28-year-old singer split with her husband, British comedian Russell Brand, in December 2011.
 
“I went through a lot of experiences in my life that I think built more character. I had to find own self identity the hard way. But I did. I came out alive and stronger, a little bit stronger,” Perry said in an interview.
 
From “By the Grace of God,” the first and darkest song on the album, to the empowering lead single “Roar,” or “Birthday,” a rousing, catchy dance tune, Perry said each song tells a story.
 
“I think what Prism is, is an evolution and a maturity,” she said. “I think you can hear growth as a songwriter. I hope you can hear the growth as a person.”
 
Teenage Dream produced five No. 1 singles, making it only the second album after Michael Jackson's Bad to achieve that milestone, and the first by a female artist. It also sold 5.7 million copies worldwide.
 
But Perry made it clear she was in a new place with Prism, with early teasers showing her burning the blue wig she wore in the music video for her hit single California Gurls and holding a mock funeral for her peppermint swirl outfit.
 
“I'm into different things,” she said. “It is my most present album so far. I think I am living very consciously right now. I think I am very aware, more aware than I have ever been.”

Having fun, taking chances
 
This photo provided by Capitol Records shows the cover of Katy Perry's new album, This photo provided by Capitol Records shows the cover of Katy Perry's new album, "Prism."
x
This photo provided by Capitol Records shows the cover of Katy Perry's new album,
This photo provided by Capitol Records shows the cover of Katy Perry's new album, "Prism."
Perry reunited with music producers and songwriters Max Martin, Dr. Luke and Cirkut for Prism. Most of the 13 tracks, all co-written by Perry, were recorded in San Diego, or with Martin and record producer and songwriter Klas Ahlund in Stockholm, where club anthem “Walking on Air” and the hip-hop tinged “This is How We Do” were both made.
 
The personal ballad “By the Grace of God,” co-written with Greg Wells, reflects where Perry was emotionally late last year, the “stuff” she was working through and the blow to her self confidence.
 
“It had really gotten to me and I wrote this song out of a very sad place. I was hearing these negative thoughts and battling these negative thoughts,” she explained.
 
Since splitting with Brand, Perry has moved on in her personal life and is dating singer-songwriter John Mayer.
 
Although she had initially expected to make a darker, more acoustic record, Perry said the opposite happened and she became much more upbeat, which is reflected in the album's title.
 
“I let a lot of light in my life during the spring of this year, which is when I made most of the record and it influenced my songs in a very positive way,” she said. “All these beautiful colors of light and love came out and hope and joy and even just fun party songs.”
 
“Unconditionally,” the second single and Perry's favorite song on the album, is a big, soaring ballad with a heavy drum tribal influence. Its lyrics speak about an all-accepting love.
 
Perry wrote “Roar,” a thumping pop tune and her 10th No.1 Top 40 track, after becoming complacent in a relationship and not speaking up for herself.
 
“Double Rainbow,” a collaboration with producer Greg Kurstin and songwriter Sia, is about finding someone and a rare, magical moment.
 
“You can tell I am having fun and taking chances, musically with the different textures that I am showing in the songs,” said Perry. “I'm painting with more colors this time. I think people can adopt certain anthems for the messages or they can make them their own.”

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”