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"Walking on Air"
Promotional single by Katy Perry from the album Prism
Released September 30, 2013
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
(Stockholm, Sweden)
Length 3:42
Label Capitol
Producer Åhlund

Background and development[edit]

In July 2012, Perry revealed in an interview with L'Uomo Vogue that after the release of her documentary film, Katy Perry: Part of Me, she would take a hiatus in order to become inspired again to record her next album, saying: "I'm going into hiding. I want to go and write songs in the woods or something. I'm gonna unplug, take my hair extensions out, feel my head again. I'm gonna unplug and recharge, if that makes any sense. I'm gonna go away. I'm sure you know it's time for me to go the fuck away."[1] In December of 2012, Perry reiterated these statements in an interview with Billboard, saying that that she wanted to take some time off before starting to record:

"I'm an adult and what I'm not going to do is hurry up to fail, to shoot myself in the foot. I need to live so I have something worth singing about. That's always been the case for me..... I know exactly the record I want to make next. I know the artwork, the coloring and the tone..... I even know what type of tour I'm doing next. I'll be very pleased if the vision I have in my head becomes a reality."[2]

In April 2013, Perry announced that she was halfway done the album.[3] "Walking on Air" was written by Perry, Max Martin, Klas Åhlund, Caméla Leierth, and Adam Baptiste, while production was handled by Åhlund.[4]


On August 20, 2013, two new song titles were revealed: "Dark Horse" and "Walking on Air".[5] In collaboration with Pepsi, fans were given the ability to listen to the snippets of each song, then to decide which one would get an early release by voting on Twitter.[5] On their official website, Pepsi released a press statement saying:

"To build excitement and anticipation for Katy Perry's forthcoming new album, PRISM, MTV and Pepsi today are launching a pioneering tweet-to-unlock and social voting program that encourages fans to decide on one of two new Katy Perry songs from the new record that will be released early on iTunes. Fans who tweet #KATYNOW will unlock clues around two of the album's tracks, including the song titles and select lyrics. Once fans have unlocked the song clues by reaching a certain number of tweets, Pepsi and MTV will unveil the two never-before-heard preview clips via Pepsi and MTV give fans a chance to sample the songs and decide which one will be released early by tweeting, using one of two unique hashtags to vote. The winning song, which will be released on Tuesday, September 17 via iTunes album pre-order, will be revealed live on MTV just moments before Katy's VMA performance."[5]

Speaking of working with Perry, the Senior Director of Marketing for Pepsi, Chad Stubbs, said: "We're excited to support a talented and iconic artist like Katy Perry to offer her fans these amazing opportunities, we hope through the continuation of our Iconic Summer program to give consumers a VMA experience that they will never forget."[5] On August 25, 2013, Perry announced the winner through her official Twitter, "YO what a day! #ROAR-ing @ the #VMAs, Tweeting w/POTUS, & now happy to announce U chose #DARKHORSE FT @therealjuicyj to come out Sept 17th!"[6] However, Perry later decided to release "Walking on Air" as the album's second promotional single on September 30, 2013.[7]


The song, a classic disco rager with a propulsive beat and party-all-night lyrics feels custom made for late nights at the club, not to mention plenty of high NRG remixes.

— Gil Kaufman, on the song's composition, MTV News.[7]

"Walking on Air" has a length of three minutes and forty-two seconds.[4] Musically, it is prominently a deep house song.[8] Andrew Hampp of Billboard felt the song was Perry's take on 1990's Eurodance, while MTV News writer Gil Kaufman called it "a classic disco rager".[9][7] "Walking on Air" opens with Perry singing in her lower register over stacatto synths until the song's "propulsive" beat begins.[7] Speaking on the song's composition, Kaufman said:

"Between her wailing diva vocals, a gospel choir that kicks in during the final minute and the driving beat, Perry has captured a unique sound that both recalls the classic 1970s disco era as well as the EDM thump of today's clubs."

Critical reception[edit]


  1. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (June 29, 2012). "Katy Perry Inspired By Madonna For 'Darker' Next Album". MTV News. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Katy Perry Won't Rush New Album: "I Know Exactly The Record I Want To Make Next"". Capital FM. Capital FM. December 1, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ Gallo, Phil (April 18, 2013). "Katy Perry Is Halfway There on Third Album, Talks New Songs Like 'Double Rainbow'". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Dark Horse – Single". Capitol Records. iTunes Store. September 30, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Pepsi And MTV Team Up With Global Superstar Katy Perry For Special Finale Performance From Undisclosed Location In Brooklyn During The 2013 "MTV Video Music Awards"". Pepsi. PepsiCo. August 20, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ Toomey, Alyssa (August 26, 2013). "Katy Perry Debuts "Dark Horse" and "Walking on Air" Teaser Tracks—Listen Now!". E! News. NBCUniversal. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Kaufman, Gil (September 30, 2013). "Katy Perry Makes 'Angels Cry' On New 'Prism' Track". MTV News. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ Lansky, Sam (September 30, 2013). "Katy Perry Goes Deep House In New ‘Prism’ Track “Walking On Air”". Idolator. Buzz Media. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  9. ^ Hampp, Andrew (September 30, 2013). "Katy Perry, 'Prism': Fall Music Preview 2013". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 1, 2013.