Katy Perry is “Chained to the Rhythm”


William DeMuria, Pop Culture Editor, Writer

Katy Perry is back and better than ever with her brand new single, “Chained to the Rhythm,” which was released on Feb. 10.

“Chained to the Rhythm” is Perry’s first single since the release of her promotional single for the Olympics, “Rise,” which was released this past summer. This song is also expected to be the lead single off of her upcoming fourth studio album. “Chained to the Rhythm” is a mix of pop and disco, and is written by Perry, famed songwriter and producer Max Martin, and singer/songwriter Sia. The new single also features a verse from Bob Marley’s grandson, Skip Marley.

The song, though it is meant to be reminiscent of fun 80’s disco songs, is nothing less than a political statement. Throughout the song, Perry’s singing is a “rallying cry for society to become more politically involved and less complacent,” said Nick Levine of NME. In “Chained to the Rhythm,” Perry sings, “So comfortable living in a bubble, bubble. So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble,” and many people have speculated that Perry is referencing the newly inaugurated President Trump after she publicly opposed him during the 2016 Election. Either way, the song is fun to jam out to and will easily get stuck in your head.

Perry literally dropped the ball while promoting this new single by placing disco balls around the country prior to the release of “Chained to the Rhythm,” allowing fans to listen to the new song in advance. After posting the whereabouts of these disco balls on her social media, fans raced to their locations, plugged in their headphones to the disco ball, and got a sneak peek at Perry’s new music. This is not the first time that Perry has gone to far lengths to promote her music a funway. For her previous album, “Prism,” Perry had a gold truck with the title of album on it drive around the country for fans to spot. Also, for her single “Rise,” the title of the single was put in skywriting for all to see, prompting people to listen to the new song.

Perry also performed “Chained to the Rhythm” for the first time at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards which were held on Feb. 12, two days after the release of the single. Many viewers noted that Perry’s performance was more “stripped down” compared to her past performances, yet they also believed that she made a bold political statement in the process. During her performance, Perry wore a white pantsuit, which many thought was a subtle nod to Hillary Clinton. Also, at the end of her performance, Perry and Skip Marley sang in front of a backdrop of the United States Constitution. This performance definitely marked a departure from Perry’s past colorful performances, and it surely is not one that will be forgotten anytime soon.

Along with her new single and performance, Perry also released a unique lyric video for “Chained to the Rhythm.” The video, which was directed by Aya Tanimura, centers on an unseen person cooking micro-meals, such as a hamburger, only for it to be revealed later on that they are being cooked for a hamster to eat. Fans are not completely sure as to what the hamster in the video is meant to symbolize. However, many have theorized that it is a subtle preview for what is to come on her forthcoming album. Right now, though, all we can really focus on is seeing the hamster devour its little meals all by itself.
This new song will without a doubt have you, as Perry sings in the song, “dancing to the distortion.” In preparation for her new album, go out and listen to “Chained to the Rhythm,” which is available on all music platforms now!