Perry is a fiercely intelligent young artist who is firmly in control of every aspect of her career, from her music to her carefully calibrated imaging.
As It Turns Out, Katy Perry Is Far More Than
Just a Pretty Face
Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about the brain trust surrounding Katy Perry, including EMI executives Greg Thompson and Angelica Cob Baehler; the management team of Martin Kirkup, Steve Jensen and Bradford Cobb; recently departed A&R man Chris Anokute; and writer/producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin. What hasn’t been widely discussed is that Perry is a fiercely intelligent young artist who is firmly in control of every aspect of her career, from her music—in which she plays a primary songwriting role, decides who she collaborates with and who produces—to her carefully calibrated imaging. In terms of doing things her own way, it’s hard to imagine any other pop diva going out on the Warped Tour, as Perry did in 2008. Thus far, her decision-making has been virtually flawless, resulting in wall-to-wall media visibility and massive anticipation for Teenage Dream, streeting Aug. 24 on Capitol/EMI. Meanwhile, the just-released title track poised to follow “California Gurls” (which hit 3m this week) to the top of the sales and airplay charts. Prognosticators are divided on whether Perry’s album will surpass Eminem’s Recovery, which bowed at 754k, to become the year’s biggest debut. Doubters feel the release date is problematic in the sense that it falls at a time when Americans are traditionally preoccupied with end-of-summer and back-to-school activities, with mass entertainment far down their priority lists… Not surprisingly, Perry’s current contract is being renegotiated, with respected attorney Jay Cooper in the process of doing a mega-deal for her… While Roger Faxon’s new business plan for EMI hadn’t been made public by presstime, insiders say that the new boss has dissolved the infamous “bucket” system instituted early in the Guy Hands era, which incomprehensibly separated A&R, "music services"  (marketing/sales/operations) and “support services” (finance/legal & business affairs) into their own fiefdoms. His spin, like that of every other new CEO in music business annals, is that “it’s all about the artist.”... Faxon’s elevation to overall chief of the company coincides with the heating up of EMI U.K., which had five of the British Top 10 albums last week, four of them from homegrown artists, including a pair of debuts, in an impressive display of artist development. This timely spate of hits puts some much-needed points on the board for A&R chief Nick Gatfield, who has long been rumored to be frustrated by the lack of stable leadership at the company… Word from inside Vevo is that there are merely “one or two outstanding points” to settle in the negotiations with MTV, which were reportedly contentious at the outset. The Rio Caraeff-led company has already completed licensing deals with AOL and CBS Interactive and is in the process of signing one with Yahoo, with another half dozen on deck. The same sources add that when Vevo partner Sony Music’s online deal with MTV.com runs out, the company will insist that the network use the branded Vevo player on all its online platforms as well. It now appears that MTV will agree to the use of the Vevo player, and that the lone remaining issue has to do with which company will control the advertising and content on the watch page... The entire music industry is fervently hoping that the Google Music Store launches before the end of the year, pointing to the increasingly bullying tactics of the powers behind iTunes. Wonderers are wondering how iTunes will react to Arcade Fire’s decision to allow Amazon MP3 to sell the band’s Aug. 3 release The Suburbs (Merge) at $3.99 for four days, with some expecting the album to be virtually invisible on the iTunes welcome page next week… What longtime inseparable label dynamic duo is in the midst of facing the music for the collective red ink being spilled under their watch? Insiders say this one is a classic case of the party being over… The recent Internet chatter about legendary record man Bob Krasnow (whom his biz buddies had nicknamed Ernie after Phil Silvers’ irrepressible title character in the ’50s sitcom Sgt. Bilko) has old-timers recalling the HQ of his Blue Thumb label on Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills. Krasnow’s office had formerly been a barbershop, and he’d retained the swiveling leather chairs, along with an apothecary cabinet, each drawer of which he’d filled with a specific mind-altering substance, including mescaline, peyote, Thai stick, hash, Colombian marching powder and several different forms of acid. Those were the days… In a more recent historical note, Bill McGathy, who became the most important Active Rock indie radio promoter in the pre-Eliot Spitzer era, has successfully reinvented himself as a manager, while contemporaries like Jeff McClusky and Lenny Lyons have all but vanished from the game. McGathy’s In De Goot Entertainment, which he launched, with great foresight, back in 1993, has turned into one of the premiere hard-rock management firms in the country. His client roster now includes a solid mix of veteran acts such as Chevelle, Shinedown, Saliva, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust and Theory of a Deadman, along with promising major label newcomers like Island’s Neon Trees and Capitol’s Adelita’s Way, as well as in-demand rock producers Steven Haigler and Mike Watts, among others… Names in the Rumor Mill: Andria Vidler, Judy McGrath, Scott Rodger, Kanye West, Mo Ostin, Darryl Eaton, Robert Kondrk and Rick Rubin.
Whoa (7/14a)
A "Moon" shot. (7/10a)
Is a Best New Artist nom in the cards for acclaimed writer/artist? (7/13a)
The gradual ascent of a gifted, prolific artist. (7/13a)
Baby-faced killer is crushing it. (7/14a)
Would you like some Swiss cheese with your nachos?
Oh, sorry--we were just singing to ourselves.
Family is everything.
Are they coming for Kanye? Yes.

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