The interview article of Katy Perry for Harper Bazaar magazine is finally published. We have also added non scan photoshoots from the magazine as well. Check them out!
“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.”
When she’s overdone it vocally, Perry has to wear a nametag that says, I’m quiet. Which, as you can imagine, is not the easiest for the proclaiming queen of pop. Katy Perry has to roar.
At 29, turning 30 this month, Perry sits astride an empire like Miley Cyrus on a hot dog. Every key decision on the 127-person tour,“from catering to dancers,” is made by her. She has a crack management team, but “it is overwhelming to know what you’re doing in 2015 already,” she says, sighing. On tour she does two shows in a row, then has one day off—she’s big on visiting art museums—then it’s on to the next. She meditates “five to six times a week and has an “act-out day about every four to six months. I’ll have a cigarette, which I know is absolutely horrible for me, after a few drinks when I’m having a week off. I don’t do black tar heroin.”
Of course, Perry’s not digging ditches—the Prismatic tour is expected to gross at least $100 million, and further consolidate her position as the top of the pops. But how does a girl live a real life among all of this: seeing family, meeting men? (Perry is currently single.) “I spent four days at home last week,” she says, whipping out an iPhone and showing of her equally giant-eyed five-month-old niece, Stella: “We need eye agents,” she quips. As for suitors: “Well, I’m not really on the street,” she says. “It’s usually just through friends of friends. We have a lot of dinner parties. I’m definitely not on Tinder, even though I joke about it. Sometimes I feel like a sense of humor does not translate into print.”
After her divorce from Russell Brand in 2012 and breakup with John Mayer earlier this year, Perry retreated a bit, and started doing therapy. “What I’ve learned is that if you don’t have the foundation of self-love first, you really have nowhere to pull love from to give it away. I had to learn about taking care of myself before I could take care of others. I want to mommy everyone. I want to take care of them. I want to save them, and I forget myself in the meantime. I learned that through therapy.” All of this self-help-speak is delivered suitably rat-tat-tat. “Oh,” she adds, laughing, “I have an oracle of a therapist.”
Perry now characterizes herself as “Open. As I’m heading into my 30s I have less time for bullshit. I look for the same characteristics: a sense of humor—someone who makes me laugh off the charts— someone who is sensitive, someone who loves and understands music, and who is really smart. A lot of times I’ve ended up with people who have been intimidated by me, unfortunately. They say they’re not, but it comes out in the long run. They’re threatened, or there’s resentment because they don’t know how to handle it.”
Yes, sometimes it’s tough being a … “boss lady,” she finishes the sentence. “I’m looking for someone who’s inspired and could be inspiring with me.”
Perry can inspire herself just fine. “When I was starting out, I always had a visual for every song I wrote,” she recalls. “When I’m writing, I would say about seven out of 10 times, I have a music video in my head.” And when the best-laid plans go amok, she improvises. In 2010, she was due to wear a Viktor & Rolf dress to the Met Gala, “and one of their factories burned down or something a week before.” She remembered something she’d found online, a super-camp glow-in-the-dark dress—with an extra set of batteries—by a brand called Cute Circuit. She woke up the next morning on the couch (“obviously I had turned it up too high,” she drawls) to her stylist, Johnny Wujek, throwing a copy of Women’s Wear Daily at her. “We made the cover. The anarchists of the Met!”
As she gets older, Perry gives “less of a shit. I hear that the 30s are a better version of your 20s, because you know what you want for yourself.” She does have the confidence, however, to admit what she doesn’t know. “I’ve always been very attracted to gentlemen who have quite large vocabularies,” she explains. “One of my favorite apps is the Dictionary.com app. In my late 20s, I’ve educated myself more than I did growing up because I wasn’t able to have a great education. I was taken out of school, put in these weird, janky, kind-of-not-really schools.” So there’s not just texting or sexting, for Perry it’s “intellexting.”
Asked about her number of Twitter followers, the most in the celebrity kingdom, Perry picks up her phone and checks: “54.9 million.” She likes Twitter but doesn’t live for its validation. “I can go a week without tweeting and be fine. Like I don’t have to say, ‘Goodnight,’ to my followers.” She rolls her eyes.
Perry has a love-hate relationship with the Internet. “When I do these interviews, a lot of these clips people pull out are like, ‘Katy Perry doesn’t want a man to have babies. I’m like, ‘I didn’t say that. I just said, I’m good.’ Why am I a baby machine? Why can’t I be a mogul? I want to have a baby, sure, but I want to have a career. I want to have a record label. I want to have an incredible tour. So I’m going to have all of those things. Let’s talk about that. It’s like, get out of my ovaries, okay? I’ll do it in time.”
When she’s having an off day, Perry gets “quieter. I can snap a little bit, be a little bitchy to the couple of people around me. Tamra, my assistant, is my closest punching bag. But she’s strong and understands that I have a lot of pressure on me sometimes. But, you know, I went to Santa Barbara, which is my hometown, the other day, and I just drove there, laid out on the beach in my bikini like a starfish, and nobody cared.” Perry’s also big on bicycles, on which she is sometimes snapped cruising around New York. “The bike is the greatest thing because people don’t have enough time to put it together in their heads. I’m like a ghost.”
Of course, being the very opposite of a ghost—the rainbow-bright girl’s girl who plays from eight to 80, from high to low—is the great allure of Katy Perry. She’ll put on a show for her fans, but she will listen to herself. She loves the style of the ballsy girls, “from Chloë Sevigny to Björk to Daphne Guinness. Whenever the Internet will put me on blast about whatever I wore, I’m like, ‘I ain’t dressin’ for you. I don’t dress for you bloggers who are still wearing bandage dresses.’”
She laughs. “If you’re wearing Alaïa, that’s fine.”