Is this what a catfight sounds like?
Katy Perry‘s new album, Witness, is now available for pre-order ahead of its June 9 release. Fans who pre-order the digital album will instantly receive “Swish Swish” featuring Nicki Minaj, plus the “Chained to the Rhythm” (featuring Skip Marley) and “Bon Appétit” (featuring Migos).
The song was released at midnight, and fans are already speculating that it’s about Perry’s nemesis Taylor Swift . Last week, Perry danced around the notion of responding to Swift’s “Bad Blood” via song, insisting in an Entertainment Weekly interview it’s “a very empowered record.”
Perry added, “There is no one thing that’s calling out any one person.”
“One thing to note is: You can’t mistake kindness for weakness and don’t come for me. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. And that’s not to any one person and don’t quote me that it is, because it’s not. It’s not about that,” she continued. “Honestly, when women come together and they decide to unite, this world is going to be a better place. Period end of story. But, let me say this: Everything has a reaction or a consequence so don’t forget about that, OK, honey.”
Perry, who vowed to “keep it real,” assured the magazine that Witness “is not about anyone else! This record is about me being seen and heard so that I can see and hear everyone else!” Plus, she said, “It’s not even about me! It’s about everything that I see out there that I digest.”
And yet, the possible Swift references in “Swish Swish” are hard to ignore.
In September 2014, Perry referenced Mean Girls and tweeted, “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing.” The tweet was written just after Swift told Rolling Stone another pop star—and former friend—had allegedly stolen one of her backup dancers. In the first verse of “Swish Swish,” Perry sings, “A tiger / Don’t lose no sleep / Don’t need opinions / From a shellfish or a sheep / Don’t you come for me / No, not today / You’re calculated / I got your number / ‘Cause you’re a joker / And I’m a courtside killer queen / And you will kiss the ring / You best believe.” Some Twitter users think that “Swish, Swish” could stand for “Swift, Swift.”
Perry later confirmed the tweet was written about Swift. In a February 2015 Billboard article, she explained, “If somebody is trying to defame my character, you’re going to hear about it.”
Minaj, for her part, had her own public feud with Swift—which was resolved before the singer-songwriter joined the rapper onstage at the 2015 MTV VMAs to sing “The Night Is Still Young.”
Perry has not said the song is about Swift, and the former country artist has not commented.
“Swish Swish” was produced by Duke Dumont.