The Nicki Minaj-featuring track dropped earlier that day and instantly sparked speculation that “Swish Swish” is Perry’s long-awaited response to Swift’s “Bad Blood,” a track assumed to be about Swift’s long-standing beef with Perry.
On Friday, host Jimmy Fallon asked Perry if “Swish Swish” is about “about anyone we know,” and the singer made no effort to deny the Swift speculation.
“I think it’s a great anthem for people whenever someone’s trying to hold you down or bully you,” Perry said.
“That’s kinda what this record is about. It’s just like 360-degree liberation. ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ was this political liberation. ‘Bon Appetit’ was this sexual liberation. And now this, ‘Swish Swish,’ represents the liberation from all the negative that doesn’t serve you.”
Perry also explained Witness‘ strange album cover, featuring the singer her eyes and opening her mouth to reveal a “third eye.”
“The music has allowed me to travel which has reeducated my mind and changed my perspective on so much,” Perry said. “So my education and my consciousness comes from my voice, and that’s how I see, and that’s how I witness you and that’s how you witness me and that’s why the eye is in the mouth.”
Perry will again appear on NBC when she serves as musical guest on tonight’s Saturday Night Live season finale.