One minute Katy Perry is bent double in the pain of heartbreak walking to go on stage, and all of a sudden a smile glosses over her face, her arm raised in her power stance. She is about to perform one of the biggest nights of her Teenage Dream tour. The Brazilian crowd are chanting ‘Katy te amo’ as they wait, but ironically she feels like the most unloved, lonely person in the world. This is the most devastating scene of Katy Perry’s documentary, and one of the reasons why I believe she is a pop goddess.
Katy has come a long way from squirting cream out of her bra and singing about kissing girls. She’s released 4 albums, become the first female artist in history to produce five consecutive number-one hits from one album: Teenage Dream. And she released her autobiographical documentary Part of Me in 2012, grossing $30million in box offices.
She is a pop genius. Every single song on Teenage Dream is perfect. She has the massive pop hits, songs to make you motivated, songs to make you sad, songs to help you wallow in your own sadness and/or happiness. Katy has the flawless combination of classic girl power, pin-up and pop.
She is a business woman. Her part-biopic, part-concert documentary was so well filmed that she makes the audience feel they are really getting an inside view to her ‘personal life’. The film makes her look human and real in a way that Beyoncé’s Life Is But A Dream disappointingly failed to do so. There are no close-ups of Perry asking herself why God gave her her talent. Perry just is. But was this just a classic Hollywood money-making trick? After watching the film twice, I now feel I know everything about her personal life, background and childhood. When creating your own documentary it’s very easy to edit it in your favour.
Whatever – the motivations of the film may be – one thing is clear: Katy Perry is brave. She went through with filming the documentary and touring whilst her marriage was falling apart. The tears and heartbreak on film are genuine: a great popstar she may be but an actress Perry is not and she needn’t be. She uses her life as the basis of great pop music – for example Ghost on new album Prism acts as a two fingers to Brand for all the world to see: ‘You sent a text, // It’s like the wind changed your mind’.
Her music is both endearing and empowering; even a room of hipsters will go crazy if you play Firework. And her new album Prism proves that she still has much more music to make. The 16 track album has new approaches and new influences. Walking on Air has an awesome 80’s feel, Dark Horse has elements of dub step and of course Roar is just an incredible, feel-good, motivational pop song. The video too is of course a gem.
As a fan, I really hope her documentary is genuine, and she was brave enough to let the world get a glimpse of her life. It’s part of her appeal. But, either way, she is a smart, successful lady who rules pop in 2013. Bring on the Prism tour – the world is waiting.
Lilly Bailie is a student at the Edinburgh College of Art. She studies costume design. Unsurprisingly Lily is a huge fan of Katy Perry – however, if you were to meet her, you’d probably mistake her for Lorde. She has looks a lot like Lorde; her hair is equally great. Lily is also obsessed with Irish bands. Two Door Cinema Club are her favourite.
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