Katy Perry: Is She Changing Her Tune?

Katy Perry: Is She Changing Her Tune?



As Katy Perry announces a possible change to folk, Laura Kenelly considers the difficulties which artists face when dramatically changing their direction in music.

Katy Perry is ready to go folk. After years of gaining public popularity with her catchy pop music, Perry claims that she is ready for change and hopes to ‘turn into more of a Joni Mitchell’ after her upcoming album is released this month. Perry came onto the scene in 2002, and claims she was discovered by her producer because of her folky guitar tones, which she hopes to recapture in her fourth album.

It’s hard to believe that the singer of hits such as ‘I Kissed a Girl’ and ‘Last Friday Night’ was originally discovered through gospel singing at church in her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA. Perry is the daughter of devout Pentecostal pastors and was initially taken to Nashville, TN to develop her vocal skills and was taught to play country songs on guitar. After her first album was unsuccessful, Perry moved to Island Records who turned her into the pop princess we know today.

So, is this a smart move? There have been mixed reviews from the public when previous artists have changed their music genres. We’ve had Muse, Panic at the Disco, and Taylor Swift make dramatic changes to their music in recent years. Some fans embrace the change; others resent it.

It’s a bold move to change genres, and Perry must have confidence and faith in her fans to go ahead with it. Perhaps she is bored of pop music, or perhaps she has ‘grown out’ of it. Taylor Swift has recently done the reverse of what Perry plans to do, moving from innocent country girl to racy pop megastar. Whilst musically Swift is still popular, her controversial love life and indirect lyrics have raised eyebrows amongst the fans that have grown up with her.

Muse have also experimented with their latest album with lots more electronic sounds, and less guitar solos. Their album ‘The 2nd Law’ gained lots of attention due to the experimental styles that Muse dared to use, such as dubstep and futuristic electronic sounds. Whilst Muse didn’t lose popularity over the change, it appeared that many fans preferred previous albums and the original rocky feel to their songs.

So, are artists getting bored with their own music? Perhaps changing music genres is a necessity to keep fans interested in today’s society of rapidly changing music? Or perhaps Perry is doing us all a favour and toning down the excessive pop music industry we have today with some new mellow acoustic hits? Whatever the reasons are behind musicians swapping genres, a change in tune certainly helps to keep the music industry fresh and original, drawing in audiences that might never have paid any attention to the artist previously.


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