October 23, 2013 1:49pm PT by Kevin Rutherford, Billboard
Katy Perry Premieres 'Prism,' Reveals Influences at Album Release Party
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.
Katy Perry dished on her new album Prism, revealed the two people she'd invite to a dinner party and performed a number of new songs at a special album release party with iHeartRadio Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
The singer, whose Prism was officially released on Tuesday, Oct. 22, sat down with host Mario Lopez to discuss the new album in between performances at the iHeartRadio Theatre to a crowd of adoring fans, who were treated to intimate, stripped-down renditions of "Roar," "Unconditionally" and more.
Along the way, Perry revealed the inspirations behind a number of her new songs -- such as "Dark Horse," which she says "reminded [her] of the moment I heard [Teenage Dream single] 'E.T.'" The pop star claimed she was inspired by the 1996 film The Craft for the song, which is "about warning a guy that if you're going to fall in love with me, make sure you're sure because if not, it's gonna be your last."
Perry also spoke to the general feel of Prism, especially after originally intending on making a new album that would be "an acoustic record with depressive shades." Instead, the Californian found inspiration in more positive places, and it showed with the final product. "All the light hit me and it influenced the songs," she said.
The pop star also called second single "Unconditionally" the "crown jewel" of the album, referenced the video in which she burns her signature blue wig ("I wanted to make a clear metaphor... we are going into a new era") and raved about her connection with fans on Twitter, calling it "fantastic I can communicate with them one-on-one or on a broad level."
Perry answered a number of questions from the fans in attendance, many of which skirted the subject of Prism in favor of fun answers. When asked who the most famous person in her cell phone is, she answered "Miley Cyrus," noting that "she's the most famous person in the world right now," and later related a story at the Grammys during which she obtained a lock of both Miley and Taylor Swift's hair to keep in her purse. Also, the two guests at a fictional dinner party she'd throw, living or non-living? Freddie Mercury and Cher.
Performance-wise, Perry was flanked by backup singers and musicians playing largely acoustic instruments, including a piano and stand-up bass -- giving each performance a more intimate, toned-down vibe ("I get to strip them down and they're still songs," she later noted). "Roar" started the evening, and other renditions included "Dark Horse" (minus Juicy J), "Unconditionally," "By the Grace of God" and "This Moment," the latter of which Perry revealed was being performed live for the first time. Meanwhile, Lopez made a claim of his own before "Unconditionally," picking it to become Perry's next No. 1 single.
If "Unconditionally" does reach the Hot 100's peak, it would become "Prism's second No. 1 single, following the reign of "Roar" last month.