Katy Perry: Yeah, I only ever went to one semester of my freshman year of high school, but now more than ever I’m thirsty for education in any way, shape, or form that it comes. I’m soaking up information constantly. I want to know more. I never want to stop learning.
Madonna: I think you have to, in order to stay relevant and continue to be creative. I’m a big ballbuster about people reading and asking questions. I don’t see how there can be any other way. It’s about information and digging deeper and investigating. Pending back the layers. Speaking of Christianity. Like where it started or how it began.
Katy Perry: My dad is very Pentecostal and emotional and excited and dramatic with his preaching, but my mother studied at Berkeley and speaks French. The approach with her style was more educational, and I was always more drawn to that. I liked knowing the true hard facts, because it took more than just the idea of faith for me. I wanted more.
Madonna: There needs to be a balance of both, and I think that works in all areas of life. You need the heart and the brain to be married. At a certain point you have to have faith. You can’t explain everything. Some things are inexplicable. You need to intellectually understand things, and I think that’s a big problem with religion. The idea of religion and science. People feel like there has to be a separation.
Katy Perry: No. I wish they would be married.
Madonna: I agree. I think if they were married and if people did understand that there was an interface between religion and science, we wouldn’t be in the situations that we’re constantly in. Wars over religion. I believe that the evolution of our species can coexist with the story of Genesis, Adam and Eve.
Katy Perry: When people don’t know the facts, they feel inferior and get defensive. Then they react in a way where they’re more passionate about something they don’t understand.
Madonna: I agree. So are your parents supportive of your work?
Katy Perry: It’s very strange dichotomy. They love me and support me, of course. But I think they do a turn bit of a blind eye and don’t necessarily agree with everything I do. Thankfully we have come to a wonderful place of agreeing to disagree.
Madonna: Yeah, that’s where I am with my dad too. He spent many years just freaking out. Being a very traditional Italian Catholic father and not really understanding why I had to do the things I had to do. I would always say, “Dad, I’m an artist, I have to express myself. You don’t understand.” I think he finally come to terms with it. It’s only taken 30 years. He’s like, Do you have to simulate masturbation on the bed? Do you have to? Yes, Dad, I do.
Katy Perry:I haven’t gone that far yet, but maybe under your great mentorship I might reach that point.
Madonna: [laughs] Well, one doesn’t discover these things until becoming a parent. Now I have huge amounts of admiration, respect, and sympathy for my father. So the last question, which is kind of connected. Obviously you were the curator for Art for Freedom for a month, which I hugely appreciate. I don’t know how much of a dent it is making on the world, but I do believe that we are responsible as artists to not only reflect what’s going on in the world but also to shape it. I believe that wholeheartedly. Do you agree ?
Katy Perry: I do. I think that it’s something that you realize along the way. Sometimes that’s the initiative for becoming an artist, and then sometimes you are… what’s the word… a messenger, and you don’t even know it.
Madonna: You’re the channel.
Katy Perry: Yeah, you’re channeling and you’re not conscious of it and then suddenly you become conscious of it. I feel that my music is more on the inspiring-joyful-light front. Not light as in lighthearted, but bringing light to a dark world. I believe that we can offer light, love, inspiration, and equality through these songs.
Madonna: I think of all the art forms music is the most accessible and healing and universal.
Katy Perry: One hundred percent healing.
Madonna: Alright, let’s end on that note. The healing energy and capacity of music. Whilst looking at pictures of the heel of your shoe in my mouth. I love the paradox. I really enjoyed working with you on the photo shoot. People always expect when two divas get together that there might be weird vibes or a strange competitiveness, but this was nice and easy and fun.
Katy Perry: If you ever come to the show, there’s a little wink for you. I’m paying my dues!
Madonna: I’m looking forward to it.
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