Katy Perry's 'Swish Swish' Director Dave Meyers Talks Singer's Work Ethic, Nicki Minaj's Cameo & More

The legendary music video director Dave Meyers also admits he didn't think the track was about Taylor Swift but another person from Perry's past.

As Katy Perry gears up to host and perform at this Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards, the Witness singer's hilarious video for her single "Swish Swish" dropped on Thursday just in time for Katy Kats to keep pawing at the refresh button before the show. Billboard caught up with legendary music video director Dave Meyers, who directed her latest visuals, to chat about Perry's work ethic behind the camera, Nicki Minaj's scene-stealing cameo and how this new chapter of Perry's life -- both professionally and personally -- affected his approach to the project. 

"She's a commander in chief, she's really a force to be reckoned with," proclaims Meyers who also directed Perry's 2011 MTV VMA video of the year-winning "Firework" visual. "You roll camera and suddenly she plays the doughy-eyed underdog. And then it's consistent with who I understand Katy to be which is an empowered woman who's basically saying, 'I know you're coming for me,' you know, brushing it off. This is Katy's 'Dirt Off Your Shoulders.'"

Meyers went on to note that due to scheduling conflicts for both Katy and the record's high-profile collaborator Nicki Minaj, it was nearly impossible getting the dynamic duo to shoot a scene together but it was important for the fans to have that empowering moment between two pop icons, emboldened by the moment Nicki literally passing the ball to Katy on the bench. 

While Meyers has worked with Minaj in the past directing the videos for her collaborations "Where Them Girls At" alongside David Guetta and Flo Rida and Bebe Rexha's "No Broken Hearts," he's never worked with the Pinkprint MC on a solo project but had nothing but praise for how the rap icon's vision for the record complemented Perry's perfectly.

"She was so all in on this," says Meyers. "She gave us a lot of extra time than I think she would have given a normal cameo. She was very passionate about the song, about Katy's journey and about what this song means to Katy. She was even trying to offer creative insight."

After a very revealing car ride interview on "Carpool Karaoke" with The Late Late Show host James Corden back in May and a revealing therapy session during Perry's 72-hour Witness live stream in June, there's no escaping the fact that listeners instantly associated the track's lyrics with her alleged longstanding feud with pop superstar Taylor Swift. But Meyers admits he originally thought the song was about somebody else from Perry's past.

"When I listened to the song, I didn't even know about the Taylor feud," Meyers laughs. "It doesn't seem like it should have that kind of momentum honestly. It seems like that feud is manufactured by the press mostly... Lyrically, you'd have to ask Katy. I really don't know. When I heard the song I had put together it was about Russell [Brand]."

Watch the full Billboard News interview with Dave Meyers above and check back for more from the director about developing a close working relationship with Kendrick Lamar and the process it took to bring the "Humble" and "Loyalty" videos to life. 


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