Jonatha Brooke Discusses Writing Music For Katy Perry

04/11/2014
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(Radio.com) When singer-songwriter Jonatha Brooke decided to put her record and tour on hold once her mother was diagnosed with dementia, she didn't think her time as caretaker would turn into an Off-Broadway play, but that's exactly what happened. My Mother Has 4 Noses, which runs through May 4 at New York's The Duke on 42nd Street, tells the tale of Brooke's experiences caring for her mother during the final two years of her life. In an interview with Radio.com, Brooke explained how the play came together and what it's like writing with Katy Perry.

In addition to penning all the music herself, Brooke has recently written with Katy Perry on her latest release. Brooke co-wrote "Choose Your Battles" with Perry and Greg Wells off Perry's 2013 release, Prism.

"That was so much fun. I had gotten word from friends over the years that she kept mentioning me in interviews as an influence and I thought, 'Well, that's wicked cool. How sweet is that?' I'm a huge Katy Perry fan. Finally a mutual friend at ASCAP hooked us up," she explained. "We spent three days in the studio [and] that was the first song we wrote. I brought this kalimba, which is a tiny wooden thumb piano. I thought, 'I'm going to go meet Katy Perry, what can I bring that's a little unusual and would be fun for the session?'"

Brooke said jamming on the kalimba kicked off the writing session and producer Wells began building a rhythmic bed around the song. "The song materialized and was pretty fun and immediate. I'm psyched my kalimba is still a very big part of the track. The main way it changed from our initial demo is that Katy added awesome unbelievable vocals, especially at the end. She started stacking vocals. I'm just a fan of that. That was very, very exciting. And that it made it on the record at all was cool."

She added: "Greg heard the kalimba rhythmic thing and started building this really deep track around it and it just inspired all of us. It was like we were finishing each other's sentences in the room. When that happens you're pretty psyched. Once in a while it's like bad dating. Sometimes something happens and you're like, 'Oh God, when will this be over?' Luckily we were all inspired by each other." A lot more.

Radio.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.

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