Page last updated at 07:55 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 08:55 UK

Talking Shop: Katy Perry

Katy Perry
Perry was delighted to discover Madonna was a fan

US singer Katy Perry has attracted both controversy and huge global record sales with her faux-lesbian single I Kissed A Girl, currently at number one in the UK charts.

Her breakthrough in the US came with the release of her Ur So Gay EP.

The title track was loathed by some gay rights groups and loved by Madonna, who said it was one of her favourite songs.

Perry, 23, discusses controversial lyrics, strange dreams and Freddie Mercury.


How did I Kissed A Girl come about?

I Kissed A Girl was born as an idea in my head. The chorus actually popped into my head when I woke up. It was one of those moments where you hear artists talking about songs they get in dreams or in the middle of the night.

Cathy Dennis
Cathy Dennis, who has written a plethora of hits, co-wrote the single

I was like 'wow, what an interesting subject matter to kind of pop into the head' and I didn't do anything with it for about a year-and-a-half.

Then all of a sudden at the very, very end of making my album, I literally had two days left in the recording studio with my producer, Dr Luke.

We just said, 'we're gonna finish it - it's so catchy because it won't get out of our heads'.

We brought it to the record label and they didn't even wanna put it on the record and we were like 'you're crazy, you need to put this on the record, you need to put it out as the first single'.

And how did you enjoy working with co-writer Cathy Dennis?

Cathy Dennis is amazing by the way. She's like one of the best singers I've heard in my entire life - she has such a beautiful soft, sultry, sexy voice.

Why do you think it's been such a massive global hit?

I think that musically the song is catchy. I think that it's one of those subject matters that is, you know, like 'oh my god I can't believe she said that, that someone came out and said it'.

I think that, whenever anyone writes something that is different than, like, your plain peanut butter and jelly song, 'I love you, you love me', everyone kind of perks up and says 'what's this?'.

The song Ur So Gay is also controversial. Do you think writing such controversial lyrics helps to sell records?

I think my life is very, you know, very spontaneous and sometimes with a spontaneous life you try all kinds of different things.

I think that my life is a bit more radical than others maybe. I think it's always been that way before I had a record deal, before I had a bit of success and I've always been spontaneous and had a bit of a wild streak.

I think my life is very, you know, very spontaneous and sometimes with a spontaneous life you try all kinds of different things.

I never wrote anything for the sake of being like, 'ooh let's be shocking or wild or rebellious'.

I just kind of wrote about my life.

Madonna has said Ur So Gay is one of her favourite songs. How does that feel?

It's crazy because you have the poster of the person that you idolise in your bedroom growing up and you look at that person before you go to sleep.

You almost wish that it would come to life and, for me, it kind of did.

How did you get into making music?

They're very opinionated, of course, as most parents are so I'm sure they have their opinion on certain subject matters but, in general, they are very supportive

I got into making music because I was singing in church.

I grew up singing in church - both my parents are travelling ministers. There's always a lot of music in church and I always kind of followed along.

How do your parents feel about your controversial lyrics?

My parents are really supportive of me and my career. They were just on tour with me for the past few days, on stage watching the show.

They're very opinionated, of course, as most parents are so I'm sure they have their opinion on certain subject matters but, in general, they are very supportive. They do their thing, I do my thing and there's an equal level of respect.

How did you feel when your mother reportedly said she was disappointed in your actions?

I think everything can be exaggerated and I saw some of the quotes and I'm like, 'I don't know whose Mom you're talking to but you weren't talking to mine'.

Tell us about your love for rock band Queen?

Katy Perry
Perry's album One of the Boys is out in the UK next month

Freddie Mercury was a bad ass. It was kinda like he didn't care what anybody thought about him, he always brought the entertainment value to the show.

Who would have thought that you would write a song about girls with big asses? [Fat Bottomed Girls].

And everybody would sing along to it and, I don't know, he seemed like he had a good sense of humour in his life and was smart and intelligent and, basically, said exactly what was on his mind and I respect that.

He never censored himself for the sake of anybody.

Katy Perry's album One of the Boys is out in the UK on 15 September. She was talking to BBC News entertainment reporter Liam Allen.




SEE ALSO
Perry denies Script chart double
24 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Perry plants kiss at number one
10 Aug 08 |  Entertainment

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