Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Katy Hudson/Perry

Back in 2002 I spent a few days on Loon Mountain in New Hampshire interviewing teens for a story for Seventeen about Christian rock. I haven't thought about it in awhile—about how fans of the band Skillet are called pan-heads, or about how I could count on a deformed baby's more-than-ten fingers the number of times I heard about people who suffered from a "Jesus shaped hole in their heart" or about the kid who told me he tried to commit suicide after engaging in premarital sex. My original draft of the story actually led with him—I couldn't shake the image—but, understandably, it wasn't quite right for the magazine's readership so I reworked the piece.

I also hadn't given any thought to a striking and gregarious young singer I interviewed named Katy Hudson until I saw her on Gawker tonight as Katy Perry. Man she's changed except kinda not at all.

Here's what I wrote about her then:

Katy Hudson is a charming 18-year-old singer-songwriter with big blue eyes and messy hair dyed jet-black. She has an effortless star quality, but she's also the kind of girl who makes you feel like her new best friend by whispering secrets in your ear and grabbing your arm to tell you something when she's excited. Katy recently signed with the Island/Def Jam label (ironically, home to Jay-Z and Ja Rule), and she'll be marketed in both the secular and Christian markets. She's worldly and rebellious in a cool-kid kind of way: When some of the cute, tattooed roadie boys walk by backstage, she flirts with them. "Hey, Ethan," she yells. "We're talking about sex!" This gets Ethan's attention. "I love boys," Katy says. "Being 18, you gotta love boys."

Katy has a steady boyfriend, but she doesn't believe in sex before marriage. "I know what it does to people," she says. "One night my boyfriend and I went a little too far and I felt like I'd fallen so far away from God. I doubted myself and my strength. I was so weak at the time in my relationship with Christ."

If someone is going to have sex, however, Katy absolutely believes that person should use a condom: "Some Christians think that if you use a condom, it's premeditated. So nobody uses a condom at all and they have sex and get pregnant the first time."

The original piece isn't online but I found it reprinted here.

I'm not sure how I feel about her image flip-flopping, I'd have to think about it more and the vigorous and less-than-honorable marketing of Christian music is a topic for another post, but I suspect I'm one of the few people who remembers this singer in her previous incarnation and/or has firsthand knowledge, hence this post.

Actually, you know what, I will talk about the marketing: I remember being frustrated by the way certain bands and their publicists got really slippery when you... wait, no, I'm actually not going to talk about this now. I'm too sleepy to hit all the points.


Toddrod said...

This is a very interesting to me. I went to a Baptist Christian school as a kid, and did not go to public school till I entered high school as a freshman (this was way back in early 80s). In my opinion, it is extremely difficult for many devote Christian kids to enter adolescence while sharing part of their time with their church social groups, and the other part with their secular social groups. While all kids have some difficulties, a lot of these Christian kids have the pressure that if they make any type of carnal sin, they have not only let down their parents, or themselves, but somehow they have let down God too. The guilt for having the natural sexual curiosity and desires that comes with adolescence is magnified, and it's not uncommon that once one has given into temptation that they feel they are no longer able to represent Christ to others without looking like a hypocrite or at worse, a fool. It can be devastating to some, where their church is a large part of their social network. Heaven forbid, if any rumors get out about someone "sinning." Young people in church social programs can be worse with gossip as any group of old ladies at a bingo hall. I think some churches know that this can be a huge problem, and do a decent job trying to deal with these issues. However, I am sure not all churches do a good job, and the result is a young person who suddenly feels like an outcast to all of society.

Rbastid said...

I have more of a problem with the fact she can't even come up with her own song title.

"I Kissed a Girl" was a sorta big hit back in the early 90's if I remember correctly.

So she has a fake image, steals a song, and worse does an interview with Gawker. How low can ya go? No seriously I have a limbo contest tonight and I need a ringer for my team.

Also whats with her "shameful" christian past, Gawker has a big problem with ruining stories by attacking someones faith, party of choice, or anything that doesn't suit them as "cool"

Ted from Accounting said...

I actually like P.O.D. and Reliant K...which are Christian Rock groups. I have such a wide taste of music, it scares me sometimes. The mixed cds in my vehicles have a little bit country, a little bit Angoras and a little bit rock & roll. I'm only going to pay you a royalty if you can confirm that you play the "steak knife instrument" in steak knife.

But for real, my favorite Angoras song is Sick Dance! That song should have been marketed!!!!!!!

Peace out your crazies!