The TRUTH About Taylor Swift And Katy Perry's Feud

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI
Summary Notes


In a deep dive into Taylor Swift's strategic use of her influence, the video dissects her feud with Katy Perry and how it reflects on Taylor's competitive nature in the music industry. The speaker, Zach, argues that Taylor's tendency to "weaponize her growing power" against industry rivals, such as Perry, is a calculated move to maintain her pop supremacy. He suggests that while Perry's decline in popularity can largely be attributed to her failure to innovate post-2012, Taylor's negative spotlight on Perry likely exacerbated her reputational damage. Zach also touches on the significance of their feud, the parasocial dynamics at play, and the broader implications on their careers, framing the narrative as a battle for the top spot in a cutthroat pop landscape.

Summary Notes

Taylor Swift's Imperial Phase and Use of Power

  • Taylor Swift has been known to use her influence in the music industry to her advantage, especially during her "Imperial phase" with the album "1989."
  • She often targets those who she perceives as having wronged her, whether it be in personal relationships or business dealings.
  • Swift is adept at leveraging the parasocial relationship with her fans to gain support in her feuds.

"Taylor's Imperial phase with 1989 I mentioned that she had a tendency to sometimes punch down or weaponize her growing power in the music industry against her enemies."

This quote highlights Taylor Swift's strategic use of her influential status in the music industry to challenge those she views as adversaries, particularly during the peak of her career with the album "1989."

Consequences of Public Feuds

  • Public disputes can have lasting impacts, with maligning someone's character having real-world adverse effects.
  • Even if allegations are not true, the mere act of stating them can cause reputational damage that sticks with the accused.

"Maligning someone's character on the world stage does actually have an adverse effect on them whether or not you walk it back a couple of years later."

The quote emphasizes the significance of public reputation and how damaging someone's character through public feuds can have long-term negative consequences, regardless of later retractions.

The Feud Between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry

  • The conflict between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift in 2014 is often trivialized as a dispute over backing dancers.
  • The feud is indicative of deeper industry tensions and the blending of personal and business matters for pop stars who write confessional songs.
  • Swift is not believed to have single-handedly derailed Perry's career, but her negative spotlight on Perry may have impacted Perry's reputation and opportunities within the industry.

"The incomprehensible feud between two of our biggest pop stars in 2014 Katy Perry and Taylor Swift... Taylor's continual negative Spotlight that she put upon her I think did negatively impact her reputation."

This quote introduces the feud between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, suggesting that while it was seemingly about backing dancers, it reflected deeper issues and had a negative impact on Perry's reputation due to Swift's influence.

Katy Perry's Career Post-Teenage Dream

  • Katy Perry's refusal to innovate led to a decline in her music's popularity after 2012.
  • Perry is characterized more as an identity, persona, character, and brand rather than an artist in the same sense as Taylor Swift.
  • Her projects following "Teenage Dream" received lukewarm responses, coinciding with the decline of the monoculture.

"Katy Perry did that all by herself she refused to innovate and kind of stuck to a formula of pop music that stopped working after 2012."

The quote criticizes Katy Perry's lack of innovation and adherence to a stale pop music formula, contributing to the diminishing success of her subsequent projects after "Teenage Dream."

The Evolution of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry's Friendship

  • In 2008, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry were new friends, with Perry being older and seen as a "cool chick" and "real rocker" by Swift.
  • The initial power dynamic favored Swift due to her music success, despite Perry's older age and more mature life experiences.
  • Perry's album "Teenage Dream" brought her to a new level of fame, altering the dynamics of their friendship and possibly fueling competitiveness in Swift.

"In 2008 Taylor and Katie were new friends... I think Taylor looked up to Katie as a cool chick and a real rocker."

This quote describes the early stages of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry's friendship, highlighting their age difference and Swift's admiration for Perry.

Industry Competition and Artistic Aspirations

  • The music industry is inherently competitive, with only one artist able to claim the top chart position at any given time.
  • Taylor Swift's desire to work with Max Martin may have been influenced by observing Katy Perry's success with him.
  • Swift focused on building her core audience and critical acclaim during this period, which may have contrasted with Perry's global reach.

"There's only one number one spot on the chart at any given time... Taylor certainly had the upper hand as a musician."

This quote underscores the competitive nature of the music industry and suggests that despite Perry's rise to fame, Swift maintained an advantage as a musician, potentially setting the stage for future competitiveness.

Taylor Swift's Early Career and Artistic Control

  • Taylor Swift faced resistance from her management and label regarding her transition to pop music.
  • Her management team and Scott Borchetta were particularly controlling, as seen in "Miss Americana."
  • They wanted to maintain her conservative, young audience and avoid a rush into pop stardom.
  • Despite resistance, Taylor's album "Red" marked a significant move towards pop, especially with the single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together."

"Conservative and rather young audience and surrounded by a team that was very focused on keeping her with that core audience and not letting her rush into being a pop star..."

This quote highlights the tension between Taylor's artistic desires and the strategic decisions made by her management to maintain her existing fan base and image.

Taylor Swift's Aspirations for Pop Stardom

  • Taylor observed Katy Perry's success, particularly with "Teenage Dream," and aimed to emulate it.
  • She collaborated with Max Martin, known for his pop hits, on three songs for "Red."
  • The album "Red" and its singles signaled Taylor's ambition for pop dominance but did not achieve the same impact as "Teenage Dream."

"By the time 'Teenage Dream' had racked up its five number one hits, Taylor still had none..."

This quote illustrates Taylor's observation of Katy Perry's success and her motivation to achieve similar pop stardom.

Competition and Strategy in the Music Industry

  • Taylor Swift viewed Katy Perry as her main competitor in the quest for pop stardom.
  • She believed that to reach the top, she needed to neutralize threats like Katy Perry.
  • Taylor's approach to competition is strategic and not personal, as seen in her current actions towards other celebrities.

"Taylor studied Katy's formula and applied it to what she was doing for 1989..."

This quote emphasizes Taylor's strategic analysis of Katy Perry's success and her efforts to integrate those strategies into her own career.

The Red Tour and Pop Ambitions

  • The Red Tour showcased Taylor's big pop ambitions with larger venues and production compared to previous tours.
  • Reviewers noted the clear pop orientation of the Red Tour, foreshadowing Taylor's future direction.
  • Concurrently, Katy Perry's Prismatic Tour was happening, and the personal relationship with John Mayer may have contributed to the conflict between Taylor and Katy.

"Red is very clearly a pop-oriented show... and it's playing a lot bigger venues throughout the world."

The quote indicates the scale and pop-centric nature of the Red Tour, highlighting Taylor's evolving musical direction.

Taylor Swift's Perception of Industry Peers

  • Taylor Swift acknowledges the competitive nature of the music industry and the stress of performing at award shows.
  • She views her peers as competitors selling competing products and feels the pressure of their expectations.

"They are competitors selling competing products."

This quote succinctly captures Taylor's view of her relationships with other artists in the industry, emphasizing the competitive aspect over personal relationships.

The Feud with Katy Perry

  • The feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry became public during the 1989 era.
  • Taylor hinted at the feud in a Rolling Stone interview, and Katy responded with a cryptic tweet.
  • The conflict was rooted in business, specifically the alleged poaching of dancers from Taylor's tour.

"She did something so horrible... she tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me."

This quote from Taylor Swift describes the business-related conflict that escalated the feud with Katy Perry.

The Impact of 1989 and the Bad Blood Music Video

  • Taylor Swift's album "1989" was highly successful, but did not match the number of number one hits from "Teenage Dream."
  • The feud with Katy Perry influenced the promotion of the single "Bad Blood," which was a strategic move to generate interest.
  • The music video for "Bad Blood" featured many celebrities and was a direct response to the feud.

"Bad Blood was always destined to be a single... that was a significant driver of interest."

This quote suggests that the feud with Katy Perry was used as a marketing tool to promote the single "Bad Blood" and generate public interest.

Bad Blood Remix and Music Video

  • Zach dislikes the Bad Blood remix and prefers the regular or reputation tour versions.
  • Taylor Swift's music video for Bad Blood features many celebrities, but Taylor herself is barely present.
  • The dramatic ending of the video shows Taylor in a red wig, symbolically beating a Katy Perry lookalike, played by Selena Gomez.
  • The video's violent theme of celebrity conflict is at odds with the public's enthusiastic reception at the time.
  • Despite the star-studded cast, Zach questions the video's number one status, suggesting it may not reflect genuine popularity.

"I hate the Bad Blood remix... this video was a waste of time Taylor's barely in it... it's actually kind of crazy how we all just okayed this and cheered her on... the video is literally about simulating getting into an actual war with Katy Perry and destroying her with arms and weapons."

The quote expresses Zach's dislike for the remix and the music video, as well as the irony of the audience's positive response to its violent imagery.

Taylor Swift's Public Image and Feuds

  • Taylor Swift's 2015 VMAs conflict with Nicki Minaj over body representation in music videos is discussed.
  • Taylor's response to Nicki's criticism is seen as misplaced and condescending.
  • Katy Perry's comment on Taylor's hypocrisy for using the narrative of female unity while simultaneously benefiting from the "takedown of a woman" is highlighted.
  • Taylor's portrayal of her girl squad as a tight-knit, non-confrontational group is challenged as unrealistic.
  • The contradiction between Taylor's public feminist stance and her actions in the Bad Blood video is noted.

"Taylor really messed with the wrong person here... Taylor's sense of righteousness... she gets into such dramatic tensions and feuds... it's never really just like a subtle disagreement, it has to be a total dissociation."

This quote discusses Taylor's tendency to engage in high-profile conflicts, often with a moralistic tone, and her inability to maintain a low-key disagreement.

Taylor Swift's Moral Code and Media Relations

  • Taylor judges people based on their moral code and distances herself from those she perceives as lacking one.
  • An incident where Katy Perry was described as "calculating" by an acquaintance causes Taylor to become defensive.
  • Taylor's dislike for the term "calculating" is tied to her concern over her public image and media portrayal.
  • The quote reflects Taylor's strong stance on personal values and her sensitivity to how her strategic thinking is perceived by others.

"I judge people based on their moral code... I've trusted people before in relationships or friendships and felt betrayed... if you will betray your friend, if you will talk badly about them behind their back, if you will try to humiliate them or talk down to them, I have no interest in having you in my life."

This quote underlines Taylor's emphasis on loyalty and moral integrity in her personal and professional relationships.

Taylor Swift's Response to Rolling Stone Interview

  • Taylor Swift's attempt to control the narrative around the meaning of her song Bad Blood is analyzed.
  • She denies that the song is about Katy Perry, despite earlier hints to the contrary.
  • Taylor is accused of being a "revisionist historian," altering her statements to reshape public perception.
  • The discussion highlights the inconsistency between Taylor's past interviews and her later attempts to redirect the song's interpretation.

"You're in a Rolling Stone interview and the writer says who is that song about... you say that was about losing a friend... but then people cryptically tweet about what you meant... I never said anything that would point a finger in the specific direction of one specific person, and I can sleep at night knowing that."

The quote reveals Taylor's strategy to deflect the true subject of her song by providing vague responses, despite previous implications that the song was about a particular individual.

Control of Public Persona

  • Taylor Swift was losing control of her public narrative.
  • She tried to counter rumors by spreading an alternative one to make her song more interesting.
  • Public perception is crucial, and deception is generally not well-received.

"You can't make people believe things are true when they are patently not true and especially when there's a paper trail the public is smarter than you think they are."

This quote emphasizes that the truth is difficult to obscure, especially when evidence exists, and the public is adept at discerning the truth.

The Impact of the Word "Calculating"

  • The term "calculating" struck a chord with Taylor Swift, suggesting it may have held some truth.
  • Public figures are sensitive to how they are perceived and labeled.

"Why did the word calculating affect her so much you wonder because maybe there's an element of truth to it."

This quote suggests that the impact of the word "calculating" on Taylor Swift might be due to it resonating with some aspect of her behavior.

Katy Perry's Silence and Response

  • Katy Perry largely remained silent until her own album cycle in 2017.
  • She occasionally posted vague, potentially related tweets but didn't address the feud directly until later.

"So what's Katy doing in all of this time by and large not much she doesn't really talk about it until she's on her own record cycle in 2017."

This quote indicates that Katy Perry did not publicly engage with the feud extensively until it coincided with her own promotional activities.

Calvin Harris's Tweets

  • Calvin Harris's tweets after his breakup with Taylor Swift hinted at her desire for control and credit.
  • His tweets suggested Taylor Swift might be looking for a new person to target after their breakup.

"I know you're off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy Etc. but I'm not that guy sorry I won't allow it."

Calvin Harris's tweet implies that Taylor Swift might have a pattern of targeting individuals, such as Katy Perry, and he refuses to be part of it.

Snake Gate and Its Aftermath

  • The "snake gate" incident significantly impacted Taylor Swift's image.
  • Katy Perry used the opportunity to respond, which was deemed fair considering her previous experiences.

"Naturally when Taylor is down and out Katy takes her opportunity as is totally fair given what she had to endure to respond."

This quote suggests that Katy Perry felt justified in responding to Taylor Swift's actions after having been negatively affected by the feud.

The Origin of the Feud

  • Katy Perry and Taylor Swift's feud started over backup dancers.
  • Katy Perry's account of the situation differs from what was publicly understood.

"Katy confirms that the feud started over backup dancers that performed in both Taylor and Katie's tours."

This quote outlines the purported origin of the feud between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, rooted in a professional dispute.

Narrative and Communication Breakdown

  • Katy Perry tried to communicate with Taylor Swift but was met with silence.
  • The narrative around the dancers' departure was contested.

"I tried to talk to her about it. and she wouldn't speak to me it was a full shutdown."

Katy Perry's quote indicates an attempt at resolving the issue directly with Taylor Swift, which was not reciprocated.

Ending the Feud

  • Katy Perry expressed a desire for closure and to share her side of the story.
  • Both artists have spoken about the importance of character and the negative impact of the feud.

"No one has asked me my side of the story and there are three sides to every story one two and the truth."

This quote from Katy Perry highlights her perspective on the feud and the complexity of the truth behind it.

Strategic Release Timing

  • Taylor Swift's strategic release of her back catalog coincided with Katy Perry's album launch.
  • The timing was perceived as intentional and spiteful.

"There is just no reason why this had to be released on the same day as Katy Perry's album other than I Hate You Katy Perry and I want you to fail."

The quote implies that Taylor Swift's timing in releasing her music was a deliberate attempt to overshadow Katy Perry's work.

Lessons Learned and Image Rehabilitation

  • Taylor Swift reflected on her actions and the importance of positive change.
  • She aimed to revise the narrative of the feud and shift blame away from herself.

"Taylor learned some lessons about being the change you wish to see in the world and treating people how you want to be treated."

This quote suggests that Taylor Swift has taken away life lessons from the feud and sought to improve how she interacts with others.

Reconciliation and Public Image

  • Katy Perry and Taylor Swift publicly reconciled, symbolized by an olive branch and collaborative gestures.
  • They both discussed the importance of forgiveness and setting a positive example.

"Katy sends Taylor a literal Olive branch and it has a note from Katy that starts with hey old friend."

The olive branch is a traditional symbol of peace, indicating Katy Perry's initiative to mend the relationship with Taylor Swift.

The Feud's Impact on Careers

  • The feud may have had tangible effects on both artists' careers, with Taylor Swift seemingly coming out ahead.
  • Katy Perry's relevance was discussed in the context of the feud and her own actions.

"Katie's loss of relevance is certainly her own fault mostly."

This quote suggests that while the feud had an impact, Katy Perry's waning relevance may be more attributable to her own decisions.

Industry Dynamics and Artist Competition

  • The music industry often pits artists against each other, exacerbating feuds.
  • Taylor Swift used the feud strategically to neutralize a perceived threat.

"Naturally the industry pits artists against each other and the media does overblow feuds but Taylor really utilized this Feud for a specific reason to neutralize a threat and it worked."

This quote acknowledges the role of industry dynamics in artist competition and suggests that Taylor Swift used the feud to her advantage.

What others are sharing

Go To Library

Want to Deciphr in private?
- It's completely free

Deciphr Now
Footer background
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon

© 2024 Deciphr

Terms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy