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Entertainment Weekly

Last Night on Late Night

Katy Perry explains meaning of 'Swish Swish,' calls it 'great anthem'

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The collective internet seems to have already passed judgment on Katy Perry’s new track, “Swish Swish,” which is raising eyebrows over its possible lyrical shots at Taylor Swift. Perry was even asked by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Friday whether this song, off her upcoming Witness album, was about “anyone we know.” While the pop diva remained cryptic, she explained the meaning of “Swish Swish” is “liberation” from bullies.

“I think it’s a great anthem for people to use whenever someone’s trying to hold you down or bully you,” she said. “That’s kind of what this record is about, it’s just like [a] 360-degree liberation.” If “Chained to the Rhythm” was about “political liberation” and “Bon Appétit” was a “sexual liberation,” then Perry calls “Swish Swish” “the liberation from all the negative that doesn’t serve you.”

Perry directed her fans to the segment on social media Saturday morning. “Here’s some of the tea and a biscuit,” she tweeted.

Since “Swish Swish” dropped on Thursday, listeners, including Swift pal Ruby Rose, pointed to the lyrics as a diss track. “I’ve always stood up for the people I love and against things I think are cheap or mean spirited. That’s not new. You have to follow your [heart emoji],” Rose wrote in a series of tweets.

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Perry and Swift have reportedly been feuding since an alleged spat over backup dancers a couple of years ago. Swift’s 1989 hit “Bad Blood” has long been rumored to be a strike against Perry, and when asked by Entertainment Weekly if Witness included a response to the Swift song, Perry said it was “not my question to answer — if it’s about me.”

She further explained, “I think [my new album is] a very empowered record. 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.”

Watch her latest explanation of “Swish Swish” on The Tonight Show above.