Inside Katy Perry's 'Never Really Over' Fan Event -- Tattoos, Fire Alarms and New Music!
By Desiree Murphy
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Katy Perry's love for her fans will never be over.
The 34-year-old pop star gave a group of lucky KatyCats the surprise of a lifetime Wednesday night when she invited them to a private fan experience. Hosted by Capitol Records at YouTube Space Los Angeles, the event kicked off with a sneak peek listen at Perry's new single, "Never Really Over," along with a first-look of the music video, before both drop on Friday.
Fans inside watched in awe, cheering and applauding the dreamy visual as they sipped on special "Katy cocktails" -- the Kissed Goodbye martini, Losing Self Control margarita, Such a Mess mai tai and Rewire the Brain mojito -- along with vegetarian-friendly appetizers like meatless lasagna and Impossible burgers.
Moments after the video played, an excited Perry hopped back onstage for an intimate Q&A session moderated by famed choreographer Kyle Hanagami. The California native explained the meaning behind this new musical era, telling fans that she wants this world to be up to their own interpretations.
"Everything I do, I really try to put my whole heart into it," said Perry, whose last album, Witness, was released in 2017. "This time, or this video, or things that I'm touching on is kind of a time like age of Aquarius, new age, esoteric, California, healing, hippie, medicinal, plant-based… all those keywords. There are many things like that, and honestly, these are the words that I've come to live by and incorporate these types of things and way of life in the past few years. So, I just wanted to put that in my music and my video."
Perry also spoke about the meaning behind the video's new logo, which is like her own version of the yin and yang symbol. "I'm always trying to inject layers into storytelling," she explained. "It's got some bright light, it's got some darkness, it's got some color… everything is inside of it. The yin and yang is about acceptance in light and dark. So, you can't ever get rid of the dark. But you can accept that maybe it was a lesson for you to get to the light."
“The Yin Yang is about acceptance in light and dark...”
As fans will see once the video is released, there is plenty of dancing from beginning to end, something Perry admits didn't come easy. "This choreography was definitely more unique than other choreography [I've done]. For me, I'm not really a pas de bourrée-type girl, I'm more of a pass the burrata girl," Perry joked. "I have to learn kinda like on the fly, it's harder for me, it doesn't come naturally."
"I didn't grow up in the dance world or grow up having dance lessons, so everything looks a little awkward and sometimes I get very publicly shamed for my awkwardness," she continued. "I'm like, 'That's who I am!' But this was more ethereal, it's very interpretative and it tells a story if you look at some of the movements. It's incredible."
Ironically, the fire alarm in the venue went off just moments after Perry joked about her dance skills, but she had no problem keeping the party going. She started busting out some dance moves from her chair, and freestyling an impromptu "too hot" tune to save the mishap:
Everyone then proceeded outside, where Perry and two lucky KatyCats (chosen from a raffle) headed into a bus to get matching tattoos (yes, real ones!) from Shamrock Social Club artists. "Outside is a tattoo bus because in this video there's an incredible little symbol of a tattoo that was inspired by the director, Philippa Price," Perry explained. "It was her personal story, and we did a little twist on it. It says 'Miss you' and hers says 'f**k you' and I respect that so much."
"So, we're going to get matching tattoos," she added. "Because to round it all out, this song is called 'Never Really Over' and with that, I truly believe that what we have will never ever really be over."
ET exclusively spoke with raffle winners Matheus Rodrigues and Kathy Thai just minutes after they got inked, where they gushed about what it was like getting to spend a full hour on the bus with Perry.
"This is my first one! I thought it was going to hurt so much but it was actually a good pain," Rodrigues, who traveled all the way from Brazil, revealed. "We talked about life in general and it [was] awesome. Katy always wants to bring her fans close and she always cares so much about her fans. So, it means so much for me!"
Thai was equally ecstatic, telling ET, "I got a matching tattoo with Katy Perry. No big deal, just the best night of my life!"
"I have three [tattoos], so this is my third one," she shared. "My other one was inspired by her, I got it when I was 18, and I also got another one -- so, Katy all over!"
"It was very overwhelming, so surprising, I didn't think any of this would happen to me," she continued. "I'm going to go back to work tomorrow and act like nothing happened, but this is going to be what I'm talking about for the whole year."
"Never Really Over" drops Friday at 12 a.m. ET (Thursday at 9 p.m. PT) with a music video premiere hosted by YouTube Music. Fans awaiting the video will be able to participate in a live Q&A ahead of the premiere, as Perry discusses the new single and answers questions from fans. KatyCats can follow right here, starting at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT: