Katy Perry talks the Grammys, her Spotify-sponsored Grammys party, the new album and more.
Katy Perry will host a black-tie dinner to celebrate her peers’ musical accomplishments on Saturday.
Perry is sharing hosting duties for the exclusive dinner with Greg Kurstin and Sia ahead of the Grammys which she’s calling “An Evening to Celebrate the Creators.” It’s invite-only to artists, producers and songwriters and excludes the PR/industry execs who clutter up award shows. “Artists are always looking for a way to connect with each other, but we don’t get that authentic connection because we’re either being pulled or pushed,” Perry said.
Interestingly, Spotify signed on as a sponsor. Their director of artist services, Mark Williamson, says “We bought into Katy’s vision that if we can work together to create these relationships, we’re going to benefit long-term, because we’re helping to improve their community.”
Taylor Swift and Adele famously barred their latest studio albums from appearing on the streaming service, but it doesn’t mean they’re excluded from the event. “It’s just up to their schedules,” Perry admits.
It’s rare for Katy to give interviews these days, but her latest offered insight as to what she thought of the latest Super Bowl halftime show, her upcoming album and who she’s rooting for at this year’s Grammys. See these excerpts from her chat with the New York Times.
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.
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.
Coldplay at the Super Bowl:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.