Who is Katy Perry? According to her recently updated Twitter bio, she is an “Artist. Activist. Conscious.” Perry, who hasn’t had an album since 2013’s Prism, has slowly been building up to her next project, delighting eager fans. Last year for the Olympics she released “Rise” an empowering anthem about overcoming diversity, and now we welcome “Chained to the Rhythm” the first official single from her upcoming, as yet untitled fifth studio album. In the midst of all this, the world has reached levels of unprecedented tension, fear, and anger, influencing Perry’s new sound and attitude. Some artists have used their music and performance to express their political feelings, while some have offered their music as an escape from the madness. Perry’s passion has brought her to the former; fans and critics have been picking apart the message of the both the song and the video. “Chained to the Rhythm” isn’t trying to be shocking, but is simply a request for awareness of what is really going on in the world.
It keeps its politics subtle, twisted in an irresistible disco beat that will be keeping parties alive all year. Perry has become frustrated with the state of society, and wants people to be frustrated with her, which carries over in the songs theme of living in a bubble. This theme was visualized first in her Grammy’s performance, where she moved in and out of a picture perfect house in a white picket fence as she sang “Living our lives through a lens/ Trapped in our white-picket fence”. In the second half of the retro track, Bob Marley’s grandson Skip makes an appearance, with an inspiring rap verse about connecting and breaking down walls. The song marks the start of a new era for Perry, and fans are counting the seconds until her next move.