Unconditionally

Album: Prism (2013)
Charted: 25 14
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Songfacts®:

  • This big power ballad was released as the second single from Prism, and was the follow-up to "Roar."

    "It's a love song and it's different from 'Roar' - it's not eighth-notey," said Perry. "I think it's a universal love song that everyone's going to be able to relate to no matter the age, no matter male or female. It's my favorite song off the record."
  • Perry penned this ode to falling in love with Swedish hitmaker Max Martin, American producer Dr. Luke and Canadian songwriter Cirkut. The same trio also contributed to "Roar." During a discussion at the 2013 ASCAP "I Create Music" Expo in Los Angeles, Perry said as a team they have certain strengths. "With Max, it's melody choices," she said "Luke is production and I'm topline and melody."
  • The song finds Perry singing about looking past her beau's flaws and loving him for who he is. "There is no fear now... I will love you unconditionally," she belts over woodblock percussion and a dramatic bass line. It is one of two tracks on Prism that were inspired by Perry's boyfriend John Mayer— the other one being the Deluxe edition bonus track "It Takes Two."
  • The song's lyric video was helmed by photographer, screenwriter and director Aya Tanimura, who is a member of Mensa. It features a lesbian couple who are played by models Janell Shirtcliff and Erika Linder.
  • Perry spoke about the song's meaning during an interview with KIIS FM. She explained: "Not only is it about those different varieties of loves, it's about when you are in love with someone and there's full acceptance. The highs and the lows. All the flaws. The zits. The smells. The whole gamet, you know? Sometimes I remember being scared to be accepted in relationships and I know that everybody else goes through that and, 'Will they love my true self? Will they love all the things that I do when nobody's looking?"

    Perry added: "You know because we are weirdoes. We pick our nose and we make disgusting noises with our body and we're not always the most presentable things but someone's gotta love us and it's about that unconditional love. It's about that high, almost spiritual type of love."
  • Perry felt inspired to pen the song as a result of a visit to Madagascar with UNICEF. She decided to write lyrics about what it means to care for someone in the purest form. "We live in such a world that is run by social status and material possession, and it can get really overwhelming and tiring to keep up with that - people are actually turned on by the amount of likes they have; it's crazy that our minds think that way these days," Perry explained.

    "And so I went to the top of this mountain, I saw all these children, and the love that they had towards each other, they had no idea what Twitter or Facebook or any of that stuff was, they didn't care about it," she continued. "It was this unconditional love between all of them. It was that kind of pure love that's unaffected by the trends of the world."
  • Perry singled out this as her favorite Prism track as it passed the "goose bump test." She explained to MTV News: "There's this test that I do in the studio, after a song's complete and you've tracked some vocals. It's kind of like the goose bump test. If, every time you hear it, it gives you goose bumps, it's hitting a chord inside of you that's really important,. It's an emotional chord inside of you."

    "I love this song because not only can it be a romantic, intimate song, but it can be about the type of love that a mother has when she sees her first child, or best friends or partners," Perry added. "It's a transcendent love, it's not just relationship status."
  • The Brent Bonacorso directed video is centered around an elegant Renaissance-era ball. The clip explores the impact of love using dramatic imagery and was influenced by such films as Dangerous Liaisons and Anna Karenina. "It doesn't have a complete narrative. I do that all the time; I usually have quite a big story line," Perry told MTV News. "This time I wanted to give a lot of gorgeous, beautiful looks, which I don't usually go for. But it's mostly just a beautiful video that is supposed to evoke this power of love."
  • Bonacorso explained to MTV News how he attempted to capture the song's lyrical concepts in the video. "When she sings this song she doesn't sing it lightly. This love that she speaks of is like a force of nature, epic storm and a tempest, and that's definitely something I wanted to capture," he said, adding that he wanted to capture a "more mysterious, elegant and sophisticated world to live in... less about a time period and more about creating an impression and a feeling."

    That "feeling" is expressed using various images, including a car crash, which is a visual metaphor for the power of true love. "One of the key images that I think was pivotal in the video and just a very important concept to me. I once described the experience of falling in love like being hit by a car; suddenly your world is just so violently and dramatically changed. It hits you out of the blue," Bonacorso explained. "I shared this with Katy and she really loved that concept and really identified with it immediately, that she felt the same way."

Comments: 2

  • Thomas Babineau from Kiln,msI Wrote the Lyrics to UNCONDITIONALLY.
    I can tell You She didn't discuss this song with Me.
    But to Hit Home.
    I have A partner guy I've been with 17 years at that time. 3.9 Grade Average never brought a Book home Then He found Himself Johnathon in Self Destruction he hated his life where he was Kiln,MS home of Brett Favre nothing else. Drug infestations at all three convenience Stores. They'd Drop drugs off in His lap. Call him made sure they almost Ruined my Love of my Life.
    So I tried being Kind to him to get him to Quit. I Tried being Hateful. I locked the Rod iron Gate to my Farm and He smashed the Gate bent it real good with His Jaguar. Then he Overdosed I sat with him sent him to Detox $4,000
    A week after release high as a Kite again peaking through the Windows barely down.
    We moved to my Sisters he Had drug dealers deliver there.
    I called the Police. They asked what do you want me to do as small towns we know Everyone I said Make him leave if he's going to Get High. Go to the Beach in Waveland MS.
    didn't work night after night I'd go out to the car knowing one day of find him Dead.
    So I Tried to Write a Song That night before I played down Lyrics.
    "How to Love Like Jesus"
    I got Writers Block for the First time.
    So I layed my notebook down.
    Said a Prayer God I want to Love Like Jesus I almost Hate Johnathon right now I've tried everything I can't Stop Him. Said my Prayer went to sleep.
    Woke up around 2:30 a.m.
    Notebook near And Out Came UNCONDITIONALLY.
    GOD PUT EVERY WORD IN MY ?.
    THE INSECURITIES are the Sin Nature of Our Flesh because I didn't want to offend anyone. So God Told Me Basically I got to Love Him UNCONDITIONALLY look over his insecurities how he was troubling me Hurt like a drowning Friend only I couldn't Rescue Him. But to love UNCONDITIONALLY is how to like Jesus Christ.
    I told Johnathon that night I love You UNCONDITIONALLY and I want you to read These Lyrics he said no I'll read them tomorrow may I lay down and go to sleep with you just one more time. I said go take a Shower get that Poison off of You put on some clean Clothes.
    I Sang the Song and Recorded it that night as The Spirit of God Was in Me.
    I Played it for my Sister Jeanne Babineau Kilpatrick that morning i told Her this isn't my Best Song but its Got the most Meaning it Will Make it to #1!
    I Was not Hopeful I was Certain.
    So Thanksgiving Day that year Johnathon goes to Bahamas to get away and clean his life up.
    I got a job At A Gay Bar "The Oz in NOLA"
    I got a poor man's copy and kept the SD card from me Singing UNCONDITIONALLY.
    and i wished as i was driving for Katy Perry to come in as Famous people Frequent NOLA BARS.
    I didn't know her from Adam.
    But this eloquent Strawberry blonde walks in on a Quiet Day and Belts out a Tune like Greatness echoes through the Bar.
    I got introduced to Her ElIzabeth and She had An older Prestigious lady with blonde hair as well.
    Asked her if She'd be interested in looking at one of my songs.
    Copyright all over all pages date and time I wrote it signed by Me.
    She reads it. I thought she Left it on my Bar as there was only 3 Customers.
    Shs Hugs me as I come around most classy girl I've met. Puts coat on her manager or mom and I asked Her to hug the Colored guy at the other side of the Bar as he seemed saddened.
    As I walk back behind the Bar She walks out the Doors to Bourbon St says Thanks for the Song.
    I did not give it to Her to have.
    But I couldn't watch the Bar and Chase her down.
    But when I was in Huntsville AL I HEARD IT.
    It was bitter sweet.
    Only thing I got was a nude picture from her sent to me.
    Broke my heart that simeone so eloquent could not call write facebook contact me somehow
    to say congratulations thanks I owe you big time nothing. But a nude picture for a gay guy.
    Kathyrn Ekizabeth Hudson I still want to get compensation for my lyrics which trigured off your tour.
    There is No logical Reason She cannot get in touch with me or Her record label or her Manager please.
    She said on Her Interview about the Song;
    " I was going through a Dark time."
    No I told her I was going through a Dark time. And She thinks Her Depression was bad lately so was mine after all that and not even a CALL... Tommybabineau
    "The Truth Shall Set You Free Elizabeth
  • Venus from UsaMy absolute favorite song, lyrics and video to date by Ms Perry. Her "Wide Awake" is a close second and " Firework" which is the first song I ever heard from her, has THE most profound place in my heart! My youngest daughter with whom I've been sadly estranged from, reached out and asked me to watch it in 2010. Simply STELLAR lyrics, production, arrangements, and cinematographic conceptualizations for all three projects! Her vocals and wardrobe choices in the first two videos I mentioned are fantastic!!! It would be a dream come true and an honor to meet her with my daughter one day...WELL DONE Ms Katy!

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