Katy Perry spoke with V Magazine about collaborating with Alesso on “When I’m Gone” and her Las Vegas residency PLAY.
V MAGAZINE: Alesso, when you started creating the beat for the song, what plans did you have for it? And why did you want Katy to sing vocals on it?
ALESSO: It’s been many years since I heard a really dope dance record with a big chorus. And I made this one and it’s just about having fun and dancing with your partner and it’s very sexy and groovy and all this kind of stuff that I love that dance music can bring. The song started coming together and obviously, Katy was already in my mind to have on the record. I always wanted to work with her for a long time. So the opportunity came to present the song to her and luckily she liked it. She nailed it. She crushed it and I have always been a big fan of her but even more of a big fan when she does dance records because I think she has that really strong vocal strength that you need in these kinds of songs. It’s hard to sing on a dance record, so you need to carry that song with your vocal to turn into something great. I’m very happy that it turned out the way it did.
V: Yeah, the resulting song is so infectious. Katy, I understand that you get sent hundreds of collab requests over the year – what made Alesso’s track stand out and want you to be a part of it?
KATY PERRY: It was so immediate. I love making dance music and I’ve done a couple of different clubs with DJs like Calvin Harris and Zedd. They come every so often and it is always about the song. We made the song during COVID, I think in October of 2020. I just had my baby in August and he had sent me the song and I really wasn’t ready. But I knew I was going to have a Vegas residency and I knew I would go back to work eventually–I didn’t know anything because nobody knew anything during COVID. But that was the plan. I knew that the moment I went back to work, and the moment I started putting out new music, I really wanted this one to be the first. I wanted it to be celebratory and fun and sexy and really match what the audience in Vegas wanted. They just want to lose control and have that buzz like, ‘I’m hot. You suck for dumping me,’ vibe. I don’t typically do those types of songs. I’m usually more in the inspirational catalog, but every once in a while, I love playing the sexy straight-up pop star card. I’ve been on a Britney Spears trip and listening to all those major pop hits. I love C+C Music Factory. I’m a big fan of Alesso and I was just like it’s time to lean into being a pop star for a hot second.