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The Katy Perry Album
By Mick O'Shea
Plexus PublishingCopyright © 2012 Mick O'Shea
All right reserved.
Katy fell into LA’s party scene with wild abandon, intent on drinking and dancing her woes away. 'My music wasn’t happening,’ she subsequently confessed to Christian Music Central. 'I just felt kind of slow in everything, and my relationship with God slowed down.’ To the casual observer it would have looked as though 'carefree Katy’ was having a rare old time as she drank and danced till dawn, but inside she was hurting. And it wasn’t only her pride that had taken a beating, as her reckless lifestyle was also impacting on her bank balance. Having suffered the indignity of having to repay Columbia’s advance, she also faced the mortification of having her car the symbol of her supposed success repossessed. Glen Ballard did what he could to help by getting her occasional bits of work, but while cameo appearances in promo videos put food on the table for a time, they were never going to pay the rent. And the final humiliation came when her cheques began to bounce. 'I’d write cheques, and in the memo section, I’d write "Please God!”’ she joked to E! Entertainment. 'My Rolodex was filled with numbers to the brim, so why isn’t this happening? I said to myself, "If I don’t make it by twenty-five, I’m gonna refocus.”’
'I came close to quitting when I couldn’t pay my bills,’ she told Star Pulse. 'When I had already been through being on a big label and them telling me, "You’re going to have a record out,” and then finally there would be complete silence. That ultimately meant that it wasn’t happening after all the hard work that I’d put into it. It’s like completing your debut movie and it never being able to come out, it’s all you’ve worked on in life.’
But as the weeks continued to roll by without any sign of a reverse in her misfortunes, Katy was forced to face the reality of her situation: if she wanted to remain in LA to pursue her dreams, she would have to take a nine-to-five job. Thankfully, getting a job in LA is much easier than getting a break, and she found a position with Taxi Music, an independent A&R (Artist and Repertoire) company which not only aimed to set aspiring musicians up with publishers and record labels, but also gave impartial advice on how to maximise their chances. Ironically, given that Katy considered herself a failure, her job was to critique and mentor those who’d suffered similar disappointments.
'That was the most depressing moment of my hustle,’ she told The Guardian. 'I was sitting there in a cubicle with twenty-five other trying-to-make-it failed artists in a box listening to the worst music you’ve ever heard in your entire life. Having no money, writing bad cheques, renting a car after two cars had been repossessed, trying to give people constructive criticism and hope, when all I really wanted was to jump out of the building or cut my ears off and say, "I can’t help you! I can’t catch a break. What am I gonna say to you? And you sing out of tune.”’
While it’s a well-worn cliché, once you reach rock-bottom the only way you can go is up, but try as she might it seemed as though the angels had abandoned Katy to her fate. For whilst doling out platitudes and career advice to her fellow failures, she continued writing songs and sending demo tapes off in the hope that someone would rescue her from her nightmare. For a heartbeat it seemed as though her prayers had been answered when Capitol Records who would subsequently sign Katy expressed interest before then refusing to take further calls. 'I had someone say to me, "Psst, you should probably go home because you’re never gonna get signed again. You’re pretty much damaged goods, and you should be in the defect aisle [the bargain bins in supermarkets],”’ she told Entertainment Weekly. 'And I’m twenty at this point. I’m like, "I’m defective goods already?”’
Excerpted from The Katy Perry Album by Mick O'Shea Copyright © 2012 by Mick O'Shea. Excerpted by permission.
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