In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Katy Perry described her upcoming fifth LP as both "definitely a change" and within her usual sonic wheelhouse: "It's fun and dance-y and dark and light," she said. "It's all of these things."
The singer said she began work on the record, which follows 2013's Prism, in June 2016, inspired by the "Zen-like" atmosphere of her Santa Barbara, California home base. She wound up with roughly 40 songs, which she trimmed to 15, and the end project reflects a personal maturation in recent years.
"I left my 20s, and I've gone to my 30s," she said. "I've embraced. I've surrendered. I've healed some of my issues with my family, with my relationships. Today I'm sober, but I don't know about tomorrow! One day at a time, right? [Laughs] It's all kind of beautiful. I built up Katy Perry and she was so fun. And I still am Katy Perry, and I love her so much but at the core, I'm Katheryn Hudson, and I think that's being revealed as I embrace who I really am."
Though Perry didn't unveil the full track list, she teased a track called "Bigger Than Me," inspired by the result of the 2016 presidential election, and an upbeat dance song titled "Swish Swish." The as-yet-untitled LP will also include recently released singles "Chained to the Rhythm" and "Bon Appetit."
Perry also denied that the album is a response to Taylor Swift's 1989 hit "Bad Blood," which is rumored to be about Perry. (In a 2014 Rolling Stone cover story, Swift said the song is about a female musician who "tried to sabotage an entire arena tour," though she didn't specify the person by name.)
The Prism singer said it's "not [her] question to answer" whether Swift wrote "Bad Blood" about her – and that her new songs are more concerned with "healing" and "vulnerability" than bitterness.
"I think [it's] a very empowered record," she said. "There is no one thing that's calling out any one person. One thing to note is: You can't mistake kindness for weakness and don't come for me. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. And that’s not to any one person and don't quote me that it is, because it's not. It's not about that. Honestly, when women come together and they decide to unite, this world is going to be a better place. Period, end of story."