On Monday, Taylor Swift dropped the music video for her latest single, “You Need to Calm Down,” drawing attention not only for its pro-LGBTQ message, but her evident reconciliation with former frenemy and fellow pop star Katy Perry.
In a BBC Radio interview that aired Tuesday, Swift revealed that it all started with a text.
“When I thought of this concept for the video and I wrote the treatment, I thought, ‘I’m just gonna ask her if she’d be interested in this, but I would be totally fine if she’d rather keep it private,’” she recalled.
To her delight, Perry accepted.
“I sent it to her and she was like, ‘I would love for us to be a symbol of redemption and forgiveness!’”
At the end of the three-and-a-half-minute video, Perry and Swift ― who are dressed as a burger and fries, respectively ― are all smiles as they embrace each other with a warm hug, an evident end to their multi-year feud.
However, Swift admitted the makeup happened long ago.
“We have been on really good terms for a while,” she said. “The first time we saw each other was at this party, and ... it was just very clear to both of us that everything was different, that we had grown up. ... Both of us have been in a really good place for a while, but I don’t think either of us really knew if we were ever going to talk about it publicly.”
As for the duo’s whimsical costumes, Swift said she drew her inspiration from Perry’s Met Gala burger outfit, which she donned for this year’s “camp” theme celebrating exaggeration and artifice.
“I was like, ‘That is amazing,’” Swift said of the moment she saw Perry’s outfit. “I was thinking we’re going to have this moment in the video ... and if it’s too us wearing normal clothes and hugging, it won’t really fit into the video ... So I was like, ‘Can we do a a burger and fries as a metaphor for two people who belong together and people who are a perfect pair?’ And she thought it was really funny, and so we did it.”