It takes a hitmaker to know a hitmaker, and with four platinum albums under his belt, John Mayer is definitely a hitmaker. So it didn't take long for him to realize that girlfriend Katy Perry had one of the biggest songs of the summer in "Roar."
"I remember hearing it, going like, 'Wow, what an interesting experience to hear something that you identify as massive before it's massive,'" the 35-year-old singer/songwriter tells Billboard in a new interview. "I thought it was a really sweet, unforgettable sort of experience to hear someone's work while they still have a very nascent relationship with it."
"In a way you get swallowed up by it, it's so big," he adds of the single, which leaked early on Aug. 11. "Because it's such an incredibly big song that it doesn't need you to tell anybody while you're eating lunch [that] millions of people are going to be dancing on tables to that."
Mayer -- whose sixth studio album, Paradise Valley, drops on Aug. 20 -- also talks to Billboard about collaborating with his girlfriend on the duet "Who You Love."
"I started singing, 'And my girl, she ain't the one I saw coming / Sometimes I don't know which way to go / And I tried to run before, but I'm not running anymore.' In 2013, modern-day times, that's sweet," he explains of the song. The idea, he says, is something like, "I love you based on the fact that I've tried to run and I'm not running and I give up."
One could speculate that the tune parallels his relationship with Perry, whom he has dated on and off since shortly after her divorce from Russell Brand was finalized in February 2012. "I immediately thought about Katy and I was like, 'What a cool voice. What a cool artistic personality to have on,'" Mayer tells Billboard. "It was a really fun opportunity for her to write, like, her answer to that. So you get these two sides to this relationship that are brutally honest but no less universal."