2017 was an odd year for Katy Perry.
She earned a top 5 with comeback jam ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ and snagged a $25 Million check for her judging services on the upcoming reboot of ‘American Idol.’
However, it proved to be the most trying year of her music career.
Singles came and went with little impact, housing album ‘Witness’ tanked, and she somehow seemed to lose the ever elusive “cool” that so many clamour for. In many ways, she became the definitive meme of what’s not popping in the pop cultural sphere.
This reality isn’t one that went unnoticed by the head of her label, Capitol Records exec Steve Barnett.
See what we mean below…
Speaking in an interview with Variety, the industry vet wrapped his enthusiasm in Perry’s ability to reverse her fortunes in refreshing candidness. Indeed, he said of her underperformance:
“It’s an interesting story. I love her and have forged a great relationship with her. I talk about how engagement is so important and I don’t believe you can have big cycles between projects [as Katy did]. I think that’s changed. And so you sit down and have tough conversations with her and management. As successful as you’ve been, you learn. Personally I’ve learned more from our mistakes than our successes and I believe our artists are in the same category as that. But she has a plan, and we have a plan, and I feel good about it.”
All the image and sonic missteps aside, he makes a strong point about artists not being afforded the luxury of long gaps. And we’d argue that that’s especially the case for cookie-cutter Pop acts such as Katy.
The mass of music and endless means of accessing it are more plentiful than ever, hence it’s just not possible to disappear for years between projects with the guarantee that there’ll be an audience waiting when back.
We’re not sure we share Barnett’s enthusiasm when it comes to Katy, as regaining one’s “cool” is difficult when the quality itself is so relative and intangible by nature.
What’s more, climbing back to the heights she once enjoyed after the knock-down she received will be an uphill struggle in today’s climate. Not impossible. But definitely difficult.