"'Daisies' is an empowering ode to Katy Perry's personal resilience. Released on May 15, 2020, the California native wrote the song prior to the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak as she reflected on staying "true to the course you've set for yourself, regardless of what others may think."
As Coronavirus spread worldwide, the song took on a new meaning for Perry "in light of what the whole world is experiencing." She added: "Each of us is one in more than seven billion, with our own story of strength and resilience to tell."
Speaking in a Facebook live stream, Perry explained it's a song about achieving your dreams. "We've had a lot of time to reflect and think about possibly what we took for granted in the past and how we'll change for the future," she said. "This song is kind of about doing that, about going and getting your dreams, and not letting anyone or anything stand in your way."
The song title comes from Perry's declaration to her doubters that she will walk her own path under her own terms until she's pushing up daisies.
They tell me that I'm crazy, but I'll never let 'em change me
'Til they cover me in daisies, daisies, daisies
"Pushing up the daisies" is an expression meaning someone's dead and buried with daisies growing over their burial plot. The phrase was first recorded in a World War I poem by Wilfred Owen.
Perry wrote the song with Michael Pollack, Jon Bellion, Jacob Kasher and The Monsters and the Strangerz production duo. The same five songwriters previously collaborated with Adam Levine to pen Maroon 5's smash hit, "Memories
Perry explained to PopCrush Nights
that she penned the song coming out of a dark time in her life, "where I lost all of my outward validation and didn't meet my own personal expectations professionally I had to go through a real emotional, psychological journey and a reset, for sure."
"Daisies" was one of the last songs Perry wrote for her album. It came out of a nugget of inspiration that she need not change and can stay true to her past. She decided to release it as the album's lead single as it sets the tone for the record. "It's a cousin to 'Firework
' or 'Roar
,'" she said. "It's empowering, it's resilient, it gives you that 'I can do it!' feeling. It really is a song about staying true to the dreams that you have for yourself no matter what anybody says or comments on your Instagram."
Katy Perry delivered her debut live performance of "Daises" on The American Idol finale held on May 17, 2020. She sang it inside a digitally-enhanced environment using new technology with augmented reality and virtual reality on a green screen.
Director Liza Voloshin shot the music video, which showcases Perry in an artsy setting. The singer revealed to Connecticut radio station KC-101's Adam Rivers that the clip wasn't the original plan, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial shoot set to happen on March 13, 2020 was canceled. Instead, she went for a more naturalistic visual shot while on a hike in California, just before parks were closed for visitors.
"That was the only option," Perry said with a laugh. "It was like, 'Do you want to put out a visual while putting out the song or not?' 'Cause of course I didn't plan for it to be that naturalistic and that raw. And I guess it's a blessing in disguise. I think I'll look back at it in 10 years and go, 'Oh I gave myself a little gift to let my guard down and kind of be vulnerable and naturalistic, 'cause I'm not that - I love glam, I love more is more. I'm a crow, I'm attracted to the shiny objects and the big things, you know?"
Katy Perry released "Daisies" as the lead single from Smile. The album was conceived during a difficult couple of years when the singer suffered depression after her previous record Witness failed to gel with the public and critics. Aptly, one day before the album's release, the superstar started a new season in her life when she gave birth to her first child, Daisy Dove.