Song Analysis – Katy Perry “Roar”
written by Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie Mckee, Henry Walter
produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkut
You gotta give Katy Perry props for having a large diversity in sound throughout her songs. They all retain a sense of sugary pop but the texture and feeling in each one is very individualized.
This new single represents a Phoenix like rebirth, complete with teasers that show her literally burning her old personality. AWESOMENESS!!!! Trailers like these excite me as an artist challenging themselves to something new.
The theme of the song is very “Im not gonna take this anymore and you goddamn right. Im gonna do something about it.” Kinda like Katy’s version of the Twisted Sister hit, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
“I stood for nothing so I fell for everything.”
Realizing vulnerability. and then not willing to accept it anymore.
It’s very cathartic cause the feeling of saying “FUCK THE WORLD” is very universal. A lot of us are tired with the way things are and how everyone is treating us, so this theme is always gonna be a hit.
One thing I really wanna point is the where she puts the emphasis of her words.
I GOT the EYE of the TI-ger.
Cause IM a CHAM-pion, and YOU’RE gonna HEAR me ROAR
It’s natural. When you say it in real life, those are where you would stress the words.
Clap along to it as well and you’ll hear where the stresses of the 1 2 3 4 count in accordance to the lyrics are.
I GOT the
1 2 3 4
EYE of The TI-ger
1 2 3 4
YOU’re gonna HEAR me
1 2 3 4
Placing the right stress points really allows for maximum emotional impact.
The start of the song reminds me of Jay Z’s Hard Knock Life. The bass synth adds a very dirty feel to it, adding to the whole theme of “this will all change cause Im gonna do something about it.”
The snare of the chorus is a pretty standard loud, reverbed battle snare designed to make you want to punch something. Take note of the way the claps and the somber sounding snare alternate during the verse. It adds a very interesting contrast.
How do you add diversity to each one of your songs?
Make sure to add variety by switching tempos. If you normally write songs at 120, try it at 80 or double timing it at 180. If you normally do a C to G chord transition, which we all do, try an A to D.
One way to really add variety is the idea of doing “ghost songs” where you take the hook or verses of a pop song and write your own lyrics to it. kinda like a Weird Al parody. This exercise helps train your ear in melodies that work and engage the audience’ s interest.
If any of the things I’ve written have helped you, feel free to donate as that money helps feed me and pays for gas so I can play shows !