Host Jimmy Fallon kicked off his interview with the Grammy nominee, 32, by asking if the Nicki Minaj-featured track is “about anyone we know.” After pausing for a moment, Perry responded, “I think it’s a great anthem for people to use whenever someone’s trying to hold you down or bully you.”
“That’s kind of what this record is about,” Perry continued. “It’s just, like, 360-degree liberation. ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ was this political liberation, ‘Bon Appétit’ was this sexual liberation’ and now I think this, ‘Swish,’ represents the liberation from all the negative that doesn’t serve you.”
As fans know, Swift, 27, told Rolling Stone in 2014 that her song “Bad Blood,” which is widely believed to be inspired by her feud with Perry, was about a fellow pop star who “tried to sabotage an entire arena tour” by hiring her backup dancers.
On “Swish Swish,” Perry warns an unnamed enemy to keep her name “outcho mouth,” adding, “You should retire / You’re ’bout as cute as an old coupon, expired.”
Swift’s longtime friend and music video director Joseph Kahn seemingly came to her defense on Twitter on Friday night, writing, “If you’re gonna do a diss track, at least put a decent hook on it.”