Kamis, 23 Juni 2011

Katy Perry in Elle Magazine

There is much that’s paradoxical about Perry. Old YouTube footage of her early performances shows a dishwater-blond teen as different from the raven-haired, larger-than-life pop vixen sitting across from me as black-and-white Kansas is to Technicolor Oz. Born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (she later took Perry, her mother’s maiden name, to distinguish herself from Kate Hudson) in Santa Barbara in 1984, she says, she was “a stereotypical attention-seeking middle child” who grew up in a sheltered household presided over by born-again-Christian parents. When she was nine, she started taking vocal lessons, and at 13 began to play guitar and write her own songs. “All I really knew at that time was contemporary Christian music, so I wanted to be like Amy Grant,” she says. At 15, her mother chaperoned her on trips to Nashville, where she recorded a gospel album, Katy Hudson, that was released in 2001 but sold only 200 copies. Disappointed but undaunted, she left high school and moved to L.A. to try her luck on the pop circuit, a switch she attributes to “just becoming aware that there’s more to the world than what I had been brought up with.” Her parents didn’t entirely support her decision, but, she says, “we agreed to disagree and move on.”

Perry remembers the next few years as an “endless hustle” in which she managed to get signed and dropped by both Island Def Jam and Columbia Records. She was championed by producer Glen Ballard, who had discovered Alanis Morissette, and recorded songs for an album with production team the Matrix, known for working with big names including Avril Lavigne and Shakira, but nothing was ever released. “I had two cars repossessed, and I was writing bad checks,” she says, “but I gave myself a timeline. I thought, Okay, if I don’t make it by 25, I’m just going to get married and pop out some babies and do some crafts.” Her breakthrough single—the bubblegum bi-curious anthem “I Kissed a Girl,” which topped the charts in 15 countries and catapulted Perry into the public consciousness—was released when she was 23.

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