Bursting onto the music scene in 2010, “California Gurls” by Katy Perry quickly became a summer staple. Today, it continues to bring a taste of California’s glamour and excitement to listeners around the world.
The song’s irresistible pop beat and Katy Perry’s signature vocals take you on a musical beach trip. It’s a fun-filled, dance-inducing anthem that transports you to the land of palm trees and ocean breezes.
Katty Perry explains, “‘California Gurls’ talks about all those iconic things that you’ve seen on postcards and on TV. And I wanted to do a homage to the Beach Boys.”
@koolfmbarrie Ok … but where are all our Canadian Gurls at? All weekend we've been playing nothing bu the best Summer songs. #summersong ♬ California Gurls – Katy Perry
The Story Behind The Song
Released early after a copy of the song was leaked online, the lyrics of “California Gurls” are as sweet as the candy-themed wonderland described in the song. Katy Perry invites us to join her in paradise where everything is carefree.
Adding to the song’s charm is the appearance of Snoop Dogg. His laid-back flow complements Katy Perry’s energy, creating a perfect blend of styles. The collaboration was Snoop and Perry’s response to “Empire State Of Mind” by Alicia Keys and Jay Z.
Perry once shared, “Everybody was holding their drinks in the air and dancing, and I thought, ‘We’re not in New York, we’re in Los Angeles! What about California? What about all the homies, the gin and juice, the swaying palm trees, the sun-kissed skin 24-7.’ I decided that we needed to make a response. I want people to want to book a ticket to California the first time they hear it!”
Making The Music Video
Willy Wonka and Candyland inspired the accompanying music video, which takes place in the fictional land of Candyfornia. It follows Katy through the land trying to take down the evil “Dugar Daddy” … Snoop “Doggy” Dog.
The idea came from director Matthew Cullen. He wanted to find something that was more metaphorical to complement the very literal lyrics. The idea stood out to Katy Perry so they went with it.
He once told MTV News, “Candyfornia is this place where desire can always be fulfilled, but where pleasure can turn dark. The kind of place where Gummi Bears aren’t your friends. I also tried to inject some California iconography into the landscape: the Hollywood Hills made of ice cream, Sunset Boulevard as Sundae Boulevard, the Capitol Records building as pancakes, and the Walk of Fame as a gingerbread path.”
The frosting cannon bra, however, was all Katy’s idea.
“We got it in two takes. I was surprised,” Cullen explains. “We shot it at the end of the first day, and it had everybody rolling on the floor. She was so great to work with. A total pro, and really into it.”
“California Gurls” has become a timeless summer anthem. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, cruising with the windows down, or dancing at a beach party, this song sets the mood. Its carefree and playful spirit makes it the perfect soundtrack for those warm, sun-drenched days when you just want to let loose and have fun.
“California Gurls” by Katy Perry spent 6 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went 4x Platinum in Canada. So, next time you’re yearning for a taste of that California sun, give this track a spin and let its infectious energy transport you to a world of endless summer and carefree vibes.