Katy Perry Isn't One of the Boys
BY Advocate.com Editors
June 23 2008 12:00 AM ET
Three months ago Katy Perry was merely an Internet sensation. The YouTube video for “Ur So Gay” -- taken from her EP of the same name -- had fans clamoring for a full-length release. Now “I Kissed a Girl,” the lead single from Perry’s debut, One of the Boys, is becoming a radio staple and has pushed the middle child of two Santa Barbara, Calif., pastors into the Billboard top 5.
While Perry might appear to be an overnight sensation, her album, released June 17, was five years in the making. Since joining forces with Glen Ballard (most famous as the producer of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill) at 17, she has tapped musical tastemakers from Dave Stewart and Butch Walker to Dr. Luke, the hit machine behind Pink’s “U + Ur Hand” and her own “I Kissed a Girl,” for the project. Before hitting the road on the Vans Warped Tour, Perry talked to The Advocate about her strict upbringing, the inspiration for “I Kissed a Girl,” and what it's like to name Madonna among her fans.
I can’t think of another artist with two buzzed-about gay-themed songs. It was very coincidental. I remember going to the record label when they really wanted to go with “I Kissed a Girl” thinking, I can do that. I know I’m strong enough and prepared to do that, but I feel like people will think I can only sing about this angle when the record is really full of lots of different shades. I guess it is a subject that is close to my heart. I have a lot of friends who are gay, and I have kissed a girl. I grew up in a very strict household where that was considered what you call “an abomination” -- and I fucking hate that word.
Many gays might relate to coming from a religious background like you and having to find their own place within their faith. My platform in life isn’t necessarily to preach or anything. I respect everybody’s faith. For me, honestly, it took a lot to get to that point of respecting everybody’s opinion. I was raised in a household where that wasn’t necessarily allowed. There’s no such thing as respecting everybody’s faith in my kind of upbringing. I hold nothing against anyone. Like I said, you don’t pick where you come from, you’re just born. I’m in the business of rock 'n' roll. I make mistakes. I’m human. I’m flawed. I accept that. I’m not here to preach the Gospel right now other than to be a good fucking musician. That’s all. Maybe down the lane, you know… It’s so weird. I respect the artists who want to be role models. I think Miley Cyrus and all them want to be role models, but I’m not here to be a role model. I’m here for the rock 'n' roll.
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