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Feb 16
February 11th, 2016  /  KatyPerry
INTERVIEW: Katy Perry talks to New York Times!

Q. So how does someone score an invite to this very exclusive party?

A. Well, you have to be a creator — it’s artists, producers and songwriters. And it’s a mixture of new and familiar artists, a combination of the past two years’ Grammy nominees and also [acts] from the Spotify Discover playlist. It’s Kacey Musgraves, Karen O, Miguel, Tove Lo, Shirley Manson, Max Martin. Then up-and-coming songwriters like Blood Pop and Bonnie McKee all under the same roof as Diane Warren. In some ways, I’m trying to start the Met Ball of music.

But publicists and managers aren’t welcome?

They are not creators. They’re important to the creation, but it’s only artists, producers and songwriters. There’s a press opportunity in the front, like a red carpet, but if you want to be more low-key you can arrive via garage. I’m trying to keep it as pure as possible because in the eight years that I’ve been going to these things, I am just always so exhausted.

Why partner with Spotify?

I actually went to Spotify to get informed on the world of streaming. Two years ago, it was like, “Streaming, streaming, streaming!” And I was like, what is streaming and what does it mean for me? Being in between records, I just want to educate myself on what I’m going to do next and how I’m going to present my music. So I went in there, and they were really transparent with me. You hear some things, but until you ask the questions and get informed and educated, it’s a totally different thing. One point of this night is to be able to help artists get more informed about the future, as well.

Does that mean you’re aligning yourself with Spotify in the streaming wars among Tidal, Apple Music and so on?

No, because I’m a member to all of them. I just hadn’t sat down with Tidal or Apple, even though I’m going to be partners with them in the future. It just so happened that six months ago I sat down with Spotify and had this idea.


How far along are you on a new album?

I’m in the research and development phase. I’ve been going at it for eight or nine years in the spotlight, and then before that there’s that decade of hustle that never gets recognized but still shows up in your wrinkles. So right now I’m taking a little time. I don’t want to jump on any trends. I just need to evolve.

I do my records in a more traditional way, where the cycle is three years, so that once I start writing them, I know exactly where I’ll be in spring of 2018. That can get a little bit like “Ugh.” I need a little bit more freedom, especially when I’ve been doing it for this long.

You’ve been nominated for 13 Grammys without a win. Are you gunning to be up there next year?

The only thing that is on my mind when creating music is being authentic and vulnerable and making sure that it connects. And I know that it does connect because numbers don’t lie. I know that might sound a little sassy, but all I want to do is stay true to myself and dig deep to pull out some of the messages or perspectives that I have on the world.

You’ve always been relatively open on social media and you tweeted about enjoying Kanye West’s recent Wiz Khalifa rant. Do you ever have to hold yourself back on Twitter?

I do this thing where I just save as draft. Save as draft and sleep — and then wake up and go, “Nah.” It’s not worth it, you know? Or I just book my therapist.

As the reigning Super Bowl halftime performer, what did you think of Coldplay this year?

I thought it was cool. I always knew they were going to do a bit of a retrospective and bring back some artists that had done it in the past. I know how intense it is to do the Super Bowl and how much it takes. There are a lot of restrictions. It’s not as easy as saying like, “Hey, I want Rihanna up there with me.” I tried to get Dolly Parton out there. It’s more of a communal process with the N.F.L. and all the different artists. But I thought it was cool.

What did you make of Beyoncé using that enormous stage to make a political statement, with Black Panthers-inspired costumes and lyrics about race?

I think our world is becoming more transparent, and I encourage it. We need the transparency more than ever.

Who are you rooting for at the Grammys?

The Weeknd has come a long way, especially since the very beginning when he put out all those records himself. He took a chance and went a little bit more pop. To see that growth happen so quickly and knowing his evolution is a pretty cool story.

What else are you listening to lately?

I love Tame Impala so much. I love Purity Ring, I love Years and Years, I love the Jamie xx record from last year. Caribou, Rationale. I can’t wait for the new Rhye record. I love the “Magnets” song [by Disclosure] with Lorde.

And where will you be watching the Grammys?

In my pajamas, eating matzo ball soup. No makeup, glad I’m not in a corset. Vicks cream on.

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