Katy Perry's album Prism reflects her life's happiness, pain

Pop star Katy Perry talks to CBC about the different facets in her new album, inspired by both happiness and pain in her own life, and straddling the line of being appropriate.

Katy Perry on Prism and making honest music

8 years ago
Duration 6:12
The pop star talks about the different facets in her new album and straddling the line of being appropriate. 6:12

Many people — even Katy Perry herself — expected that her newest record would be a darker release, given she had started working on it after her much-publicized split from ex-husband Russell Brand. But life and inspiration can change in an instant, says the pop star.

"When I started, it was seemingly going to be a moodier record, maybe with a little bit more angst. I was in a different place in my life. All of a sudden, my life took a right turn," she told CBC News in Toronto on Monday. 

"Through that, a lot of wonderful things happened that influenced my songs — positive things that happened. The songs became more joyful, hopeful, more full of love, more full of colour and life. They became very prismatic. That's why I named my album Prism: I let that light in and now I get to beam it out."

The result is an album that blends her trademark bouncy confections and soaring pop ballads with songs that tackle relationship issues — from her much-publicized late 2011 split from British comedian Brand (in the track By the Grace of God) to feelings inspired by her current boyfriend, fellow singer John Mayer (Unconditionally).

Since Prism's release earlier this fall, Perry has made headlines on different occasions. A performance of Unconditionally sparked controversy and outrage when Perry — clad in a pan-Asian costume and surrounded by a Japanese-influenced set — opened the American Music Awards last month. On a more positive note, she captured a social media crown when she overtook Justin Bieber as the most-followed person on Twitter.

In the attached video, Perry talks to CBC's Deana Sumanac about her writing different types of songs, striving to be honest in her music and straddling the line of what's appropriate. Tune in for Sumanac's report on Perry's ties to Canada on The National later this week.


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