LADY IN RED: KATY PERRY
“Thirty-eight,” Katy Perry is saying.“I still have about 90 to go.” She’s not talking about finishing a book; rather it’s how many concerts she has completed on her Prismatic world tour, which kicked off in May. Thirty-eight nights of Kissing-a-California-girl-Birthday-Fireworking it, now on a two-night stopover in Boston. And 90-something of those are left, finishing in Stockholm on March 22 next year.
At 2 p.m. (Perry’s morning, her “working hours” run from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.), she’s sitting on the sofa in her penthouse suite in black workout clothes, her hair (presently “Oscar the grouch green”) slicked back, oatmeal in hand, and a precisely applied blob of pimple cream on her chin. “I wore it for you,” she announces grandly.
This, in a nutshell, is how Perry (total sales, more than 13 million albums and 72 million digital singles; total number-one singles, nine) plays to the grown-ups. While she has a fan base of “eight to 80, that’s what we call it,” she is funny, sardonic, in on her own joke. A conversation with Perry has the rat-tat-tat rhythm of word play and a wry humor—she puts the broad in “broad.”
But she’s a little low on mojo today. Last night’s concert was “okay,” she says. “It was the first time in this run that my voice was a little hoarse. I think I tried to overperform for the president.” Perry was at the White house two days earlier at a dinner for the Special Olympics, but now she’s looking down on a genteel Boston square, scooping her “boring breakfast” out of a plastic tub. “When I don’t feel like I have my whole range, I really can’t spread my wings. It gets me down a little bit.” She’s right: in between last night’s pyrotechnics, Perry looked most comfortable having a quieter moment with the audience and bestowing a large pizza on two eight-year-olds, one of whom she zippily noted, “dressed like a Deadhead.” [Read More]
Photo Session by Camilla Akrans
“I’m not, like, a crazy ‘I’m gonna die for my fans’ type,” Katy Perry says in her new Rolling Stone cover story, which hits stands on Friday. “Some people are so dramatic about it, and you’re like, ‘Honestly, you’re not the Second Coming. You’re just an entertainer!’… I’m very grateful for fans’ support, but I’m not thirsty or desperate.” But Perry is the most consistent hitmaker of the last half-decade or so, and in her third appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone (photographed by Peggy Sirota), she offers a generous peek at what’s going on inside her head.
Senior writer Brian Hiatt followed Perry from city to city on her current Prism tour, witnessing just how hard she has to work. “Every show day, from the moment I wake up, it’s just prep for that night,” she says. “It’s like I’m a Kobe beef cow.” Here’s an advance look at the wide-ranging, revealing interviews, which took place in New York, New Jersey and Montreal:
After coming under fire for alleged cultural insensitivity (largely for having big-bootied mummies dance in her tour and dressing up as a geisha at the American Music Awards), Perry offers a passionate defense of her intentions.
“As far as the mummy thing, I based it on plastic surgery,” she says. “Look at someone like Kim Kardashian or Ice-T’s wife, Coco. Those girls aren’t African-American. But it’s actually a representation of our culture wanting to be plastic, and that’s why there’s bandages and it’s mummies. I thought that would really correlate well together… It came from an honest place. If there was any inkling of anything bad, then it wouldn’t be there, because I’m very sensitive to people.”
She knows the rules are changing, that “cultural appropriation” is increasingly uncool, but she’s not thrilled about it. “I guess I’ll just stick to baseball and hot dogs, and that’s it,” she says. “I know that’s a quote that’s gonna come to fuck me in the ass, but can’t you appreciate a culture? I guess, like, everybody has to stay in their lane? I don’t know.”
Perry would like to have a baby someday – and she doesn’t “need a dude” for that.
“I want to be doing that in the right time,” she says. “And that’s not in the next two years, you know? Maybe it’s in a five-year plan, but I need to really be able to focus 100 percent of my attention on it. I don’t really want to take the child on tour. Not until, like, birth through five is over.” And there doesn’t necessarily have to be a man in the picture, she adds, mentioning her friends Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. “I don’t need a dude. I mean, Neil and David, their twins are beautiful. It’s 2014! We are living in the future; we don’t need anything. I don’t think I’ll have to, but we’ll see. I’m not anti-men. I love men. But there is an option if someone doesn’t present himself.”
Perry was teased in school.
“I’m the class clown’s assistant,” she says. “That’s what I was in high school. I mean, they called me ‘over-the-shoulder boulder holder,’ and I wasn’t that cute. I looked like a square – a rectangle, actually – because I was going through my teenage awkward phase.” [Rolling Stone]