I broke down the Katty Perry Interview from Billboard Mgazine for ya....just the good stuff!
What was your first reaction to being chosen Billboard's Woman of the Year?
Katy Perry: "I'd thought my year was over, that it was time to pass the baton. But I guess I get to hold onto it until the end of the year. It's truly a lovely compliment. Seeing who has been honored in the past-Beyonce, Taylor Swift and others-I'm in good company."
With such an honor comes talk of being a role model. How does that make you feel?
Katy Perry: "I'd like to change the phrase 'role model' to 'inspiration.' 'Role model' puts you on a pedestal that no one can really live up to. For me, aspiring to be an artist at a young age, I didn't think about being a role model. But I definitely thought about being an inspiration. So I hope that I am an inspiration, especially with my work ethic and my ability to overcome obstacles. It might mean inspiring someone to be more creative, more honest or have more integrity. All I want to do is encourage people and make them feel. It's not always going to be feeling good. Sometimes it's going to be, 'We need to push that out, we need to get through that.' And the only way we're going to get through that is a bucket of tears."
Which female artists inspire you?
Katy Perry: "Patti Griffin and Jonatha Brooke are among my favorites. And I'm really into Bonnie Raitt right now. I tried to cover 'I Can't Make You Love Me' for a couple of charities: the Hammer Museum and AMFAR. I listened to a couple of her records when I went to Asia for a few weeks. There was an opportunity to take a three-hour hike up this volcano. And the whole time I was hiking-starting at 3 a.m. and seeing the sun rise at 6 a.m. on the mountaintop-I was only listening to Bonnie. I listened to a lot of Edith Piaf when I was growing up; my mom speaks French. There was a very weird 'hall pass' with Piaf, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald-that type of music-because there was this idea that that music is more harmless than Madonna. But really, Billie singing about heroin-and Edith was probably singing about that or something of that nature even if was in a different language."
"In terms of current artists, there's Sia and another new artist I love, Jessie Ware. She's English and has the most incredible gospel kind of voice. One of my friends is in this side project called JJAMZ, lead vocalist Z Berg from the Like. She's a frank person. I love her style. And I've always loved Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette. Those are my heroes."
Why are they your heroes?
Katy Perry: "Fiona because she's a little bat-shit crazy and not afraid to show it. We're all a little bat-shit crazy: She just takes the words out of your mouth. That's the thing with songwriters. When they succeed it's because it's on the tip of everybody's tongue; everybody is feeling the same thing. And Alanis has always been one of my favorites because Jagged Little Pill was the most perfect female record ever made. There's a song for anyone on that record; I relate to all those songs. They're still so timeless."
You've announced plans for your own label. Any details yet?
Katy Perry: "There are some artists in mind, but I'm not ready to talk about the label just yet. I don't have time to sign whatever is popular at the moment and see if it sticks. People are offering me a lot of K-pop, J-pop, Z-pop, whatever pop is happening. I'm like, 'That's cool,' and I enjoy the fun factor of it. But I need the music to translate. I need the music to be able to be sung. I want lyrics where it doesn't matter what language you speak. Those are the songs I want. Those are the artists I want. I'm open to a lot of stuff. But I will be really selective."
So at this point are you even thinking about the next album?
Katy Perry: "I have lots of songs and ideas. I know exactly the record I want to make next. I know the artwork, the coloring and the tone, but I'm not in the studio yet. So it's a little like painting the baby's room blue before knowing it's actually a boy. I have to let the music take shape first. I even know what type of tour I'm doing next. I'll be very pleased if the vision I have in my head becomes a reality. But I have to honor the music."
"I won't try and duplicate what I did last time. That would be silly. It's not of any interest for me to try and outdo myself at every corner. Eventually you just like pop, explode. It's like a Jenga game. How tall can you get before you just fall the f*ck over?"
"I am doing little things here and there. I was just in the studio with another artist and it turned out all right. I'm going to start dusting off the wheels just a little. I'm going in with a couple of people and try out fun collaborations that maybe people wouldn't imagine."
Looking back, what was the best and the worst thing to come out of the last two years?
Katy Perry: "The best thing was being able to see my vision realized, the thing I stood by for so long that was constantly knocked. Not all of my songs are important because they're not. Some are just fun, bar-hopping songs. But I know 'Firework' is important. I know those nuggets are really why I've written all the other songs and gone through all this other stuff."
"I see the effect it has on people. I love that I'm able to dream up things and make them reality, whether it's pink cotton candy clouds floating across the audience or that I get to donate a quarter of a million dollars to MusiCares."
"The worst was it being a test of my sanity. You just have to always keep one foot out and be aware of all the people you're putting around you, their intentions and motives. I try to never let my intuition be muddled. I keep all the same people I've had around me. I love my family, and my sister is a ball-buster. She's my warden. She and my best friend, Shannon, are why I have lived through this year. It's a bit of an estrogen fest with me. I keep a lot of females around me. But I love that. I love a woman who can be friends with a woman and isn't afraid of another woman. I believe in sisterhood."