“Purposeful music” is how Perry described this song. The sociopolitical lyrics are a rallying cry for society to stop living in a bubble and become more politically involved. Katy was a big supporter of Hilary Clinton during the Elections, and wanted to write a club banger. But she immediately felt depressed after Donald Trump won and wanted to write “Purposeful Music” Perry then channeled her frustration into music saying: “creating the track was a nice exercise of like writing a song that at first listen is a really fun song, but i guess the more you dive into it, it has a different sub-text.” The song is about people who live far away from difficulty or unhappiness and who aren’t willing to come down out of these bubbles to see real problems that need to be solved in the world. Perry is trying to wake the people up and put sense into them. The word “lens” in the song refers to seeing things the way only we want to see them, and the “white-picket fence” is a clear attack on the American dream and prosperous thinking. She wants people to fight back against wrongdoing, if all we are is “ornaments”, we’re not going to do anyone any good.
The song was written by Perry, her frequent co-writer Max Martin and his partner Ali Payami. Sia Furler also co-wrote the song with them.
Skip Marley, Bob Marley’s grandson, features on the song. In an interview with Billboard Magazine, he talked about how he ended up featuring on the song, he said: “My manager (Brandon Creed) called and told me that ‘Lions,’ which I made around election time, was being played at the studio in L.A. with Max Martin, and Katy heard it and said, ‘I want him to be a part of the song.’ She reached out in January, and I went to the studio and delivered the message that I had to deliver. I had free rein lyrically. Katy said, ‘Just do you.'”
Release Date: February 10, 2017
Songwriter/s: Katy Perry – Max Martin – Sia Furler – Ali Payami – Skip Marley
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song earned over 3 million streams in the first 24 hours of its release. It peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Danced Club Songs charts. The song was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales over 1 million copies. In the UK, it reached number 5 on the Official Charts Company and was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). ‘Chained to the Rhythem’ topped the charts in Hungary, Latvia, Mexico and Poland, and peaked at number 6 in Germany. It was certified Platinum in Australia, Canada, Italy and Spain.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson aka Katy Perry was 33 years old and Skip Marley was 21 years old when this song was released.
Cover Versions: Kurt Hugo Schneider – boyceavenue – Nicole Cross – Eli Lieb – Madilyn Bailey – Alexander Stewart – other amateur artists covered this song on Youtube.