It’s been a good seven years since we last had American pop star Katy Perry perform on our shores at the opening ceremony of the Indian Premier League in 2012 in Chennai. So when the “I Kissed A Girl” hitmaker tweeted this past August that she would be headlining the first edition of the OnePlus Music Festival on November 16th at Mumbai’s D.Y. Patil Stadium she sent her Indian fans into a frenzy. Perry tweeted at the time, “I am so happy to be returning to India and excited to headline my first-ever performance in Mumbai. I am looking forward to seeing and singing with all of my Indian KatyCats at the OnePlus Music Festival.”
When we asked Perry in this exclusive interview for Rolling Stone India what made her want to be a part of the OnePlus Music Festival, she says, “I’m always looking for opportunities to see fans around the world, especially in places that I don’t get to tour regularly.” Perry adds, “When OnePlus came to me with the idea for this festival, it was an easy yes, and about time I got back to India.”
Although we now know Perry as a mega superstar who has had tremendous success in record sales, sold-out shows and countless accolades, her career began as a Christian rock artist. Perry’s 2001 debut album Katy Hudson was filled with songs about her childhood and faith but didn’t garner much mainstream attention. She says, “I grew up in church where gospel music was played, which has a lot of emotion and soul in it. To this day, I’m drawn to writing these types of emotional songs. My early years also involved a lot of guitar playing and songwriting. That’s the foundation on which I built my entire career. You have to write your own songs to truly tell your story.”
That story truly began to take shape when Perry started to become heavily influenced by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, especially her 1995 critically acclaimed album Jagged Little Pill. The record which houses an alternative rock sound was more aggressive than the Christian rock Perry was working on. “At the time, Jagged Little Pill was the most honest, soul-baring, relatable female record that encompassed a medley of emotions. She [Morissette] was a powerful female voice when there wasn’t a lot of that around, and as a young artist, that really inspired me to speak my truth as well.”
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