Katy Perry releases new album “Smile”


Katy Perry’s sixth studio album, “Smile,” will release Aug. 28 Photo credit: Kristen Kanopka: Universal Music Group

Erin Haynes

Katy Perry is releasing her 6th studio album, “Smile,” which she believes details her resiliency through serious life instances. With the album’s release on August 28th, supporters will learn Perry’s experiences with clinical depression, creating mature themed music, becoming a mother, and her interpretation of womanhood.

Since the release of her 2008 studio album, “One of the Boys,” Perry has earned a reputation as a whimsical musical artist that appeals to younger audiences. But as a new mother in her mid-thirties, “Smile” serves as an album that journeys through Perry’s depression, past experiences and highlights her personal growth.

Perry initially thought her depression was something she could “get over,” but she said the diagnosis in turn allowed her to learn new things about herself and incorporate it into the album.

“I didn’t really plan the next day or didn’t necessarily want to. I was very flat lined. I was clinically depressed, which I’ve never dealt with before,” said Perry.

During her twenties, Perry said she built her stage persona based off of humor as an outlet “to survive sometimes” and balance the seriousness of life.

“I wasn’t taking myself seriously when I was spewing whipped cream out of my boobs. I knew that, ‘Hello! I’m in on the joke,’” said Perry.

Once Perry entered her thirties, her body and mindset began to change. She wanted her music to too, but she felt stuck in her personal life and career.

“I was in this negative loop, and I had to snap out of it. It wasn’t as easy as snapping my fingers. But once I found out there was another way to look at life, I started seeing it,” said Perry.

Perry believes that healing her clinical depression felt like “coming out alive,” and she used her resiliency as inspiration to write “Smile,” to give hopefulness and escapism to her audience.

“I have fought being one thing for a long time. From 2008 to 2016, it was this one thing, right, and I was like, ‘Actually honey, there’s a lot of layers here, and I’m going to start showing them off more,’” said Perry.

Perry enjoys experimenting with different sonic landscapes and often showcased it in pop anthems such as “E.T.,” “Teenage Dream,” and “Roar,” but she said “Smile” is the start of her introspective songwriting.

“In the song, ‘Smile,’ I talk about that ego-check that saved my life, and I had a piece of humble pie. The universe served me— it served me. In the moment, I wasn’t excited for it or happy about it. But once I zoomed out of it, I understood that I was going to have a greater foundation, character and depth because of going through those peaks and valleys,” said Perry.

Growing up in a conservative family, Perry said she had to redefine the meanings of equality, womanhood and motherhood for herself.

“I think you have to start with your family, the rewiring of that and your friends. It’s amazing to want to go out there to change the world but if your shit at home is whack, you got to deal with that first,” said Perry.

Now that she has broken out of her traditional mold, Perry believes that womanhood is expansive and undefinable, that men and women were created to learn from each other and she wants to use her platform to talk about complex topics with her maturing audience, especially members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“I’m excited to bring life into the world, choose to live and make plans,” said Perry.

Perry hopes that her tenacity will serve as a light of hope that is felt globally, amidst the pandemic and an increasingly polarized political climate.

“Life gets real the longer that you live it, but it gets more expansive the longer you survive it,” said Perry.