Katy Perry vs. Kesha

This hot off the press gem was just brought to my attention by Iselin

I can’t resist imagining this conversation going on in my head:

Dr. Luke: You know that “Tik Tok” song I produced for that Kesha girl that sounded a lot like Kylie Minogue’s “Love at First Site”? Let’s write one of those types of songs.

Max Martin: Yes! Oh, and let’s make sure there is some sort of “oh oh oh” thing at the end of the choruses. The kids LOVE that sort of thing.

DL: About this “California Girls” song title. Isn’t that a Beach Boys song? We don’t want to confuse the world AGAIN with a catchy original song title [“I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry (2008) and “I Kissed a Girl” by Jill Sobule (1995)] so let’s change the spelling of “Girls” to something fun and goofy like “Gurls”. Let’s also claim the name change was in tribute to the band Big Star.

MM: Your’re a genius! So when I Google it or search for it in iTunes it’ll come up on top! But what about building some cred in the hip hop community? Our numbers are down.

DL: Oh oh oh oh! This will be a great time to pull out clips from that session we did last year with Snoop Dogg.

MM: You mean the one where we had him record random hip hop phrases and things like “California” and “West Coast” that we thought we would need to use later on if we needed to add additional hip hop cred to a new song?

DL: You got it Max. I think there’s a rap about California on there too. Oh, and we might as well also pretend the album is leaked so we hit the blog community. That’ll make them think they’re posts are HOT and FRESH.

MM: Done! Let’s not alienate those east coasters either. Make sure we tell everyone in the behind the scenes Rolling Stone shoot that the song’s inspiration came from Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind“.

DL: Genius.

Ke$ha - "Tik Tok" (2009)

Katy Perry - "California Gurls" (2010)

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41 Replies to “Katy Perry vs. Kesha”

  1. Ron

    This dialogue is identical to the one which took place at Long-Term Capital Management, shortly before I initiated a series of events which led to the collapse. There will be no bailout this time. Just a Black Swan song.

    Here’s the deal. I get the girl. But, only on condition she has nowhere else to go. She needs to appreciate her situation. I offer absolute equality, and she is free to negotiate all terms, at all times.

    In exchange, everyone else gets to believe what they want. (Where are your panties, Einstein?)

    Joy to you, Rose.

  2. Amanda

    The first time I listened to California Gurls, I noticed how similiars they are!

    TiK ToK is better! Katy Perry will be flop, it’s a very weak song… Shame… I like her singles from “One Of the Boys”!

  3. chelsea

    I noticed this on the COMMERCIAL for the mtv vmas and it was just in the background.
    I was honestly wondering why they were showing Katy Perry clips to Tik Tok and then realized the subtle differences and went online to listen to the full song.

    Wow, when you have a clone you have a clone.
    Reminds me of the new Christina Aguilera “comeback,” aka, “britney-went-crazy-and-mariah-got-married-and-fat-so-i-ran-out-of-people-to-copy-until-gaga-came-out-and-now-i-can-resume-my-copycat-career.”

    1. TheGiggler

      Is there a site that has mashed or will mash those songs along with “raise your glass and your love is my drug”?

  4. Kelly

    THANK you for posting this. I thought I was the only one who noticed and thought I was going insane.

  5. Ron O.

    Katy Perry’s a hack. Sucks too because I liked her, cant stand Kesha either. But Katy stole from Kesha, why would she do that?

  6. lorenzo

    The first time i heard tik tok it reminded me of Love at first sight, kesha fail. katy fail. Kylie win.

  7. xxx

    There is a difference, Kesha always has that annoying talking quisitive voice. She also has a permanent trashy persona about her.

    She hums out her vocalizations while Katy belts them out.

    This song has blown up way faster and it will probably be even bigger.

  8. Terence F

    I think calling one weak (and insinuating the other is strong) misses the entire point of the dialogue (at least in my opinion). They’re all produced by the same people who work for the pop music hit making machine that basically resembles an industrial assembly line… they may be put in a different context with a different name or character, but it’s the same toy they sell every Christmas. And the general public buys it as musical artistry.

    It’s just entertainment, it’s not music in the sense of it being an art form. And everything released by these hit-making machines are the same thing in a different package, no one better or worse than the other… in fact, one will always be just as bland and void of any real expression as all the others.

  9. zakdwyer

    Kesha’s is catchier and more melodic. But it’s sad how similar these songs are… creativity fail.

  10. The Daw

    Why are we assuming this wasn’t intentional? It clearly was…

    Moreover, smart guys, the “GURLS” spelling was a tribute to “September Gurls”

  11. Mike

    Also DJ Got US fallin’ in Love, Who Dat Girl, Evacuate the Dancefloor, California Gurls and We R Who We R… so no, the music industry doesn’t even try any more.

  12. TheGiggler

    well i feel like im listening to the same frickin song whenever “California Gurls, Tik Tok, Raise Your Glass or We R who We R” comes on. And that guy from ONE REPUBLIC is cashing in on the same song over and over again. he wrote “Halo”, “Already Gone”, “Secrets” and that stop and stare song from his album which is just a watered down version of the three. but i guess if u got a hit u milk it!
    and GOD BLESS Taylor Swift, shes also a repeat offender!

  13. TheGiggler

    California gurls does sound similar to Tik Tok, as well as Raise Your Glass by Pink, and Your love is my drug by kesha. Also that guy from ONE REPUBLIC just keeps cashing in on the same song over and over again. He wrote Beyonce’s Halo, Kelly Clarksons Already Gone, One Republics Secrets, as well as that stop and stare song from his album which seems to be a watered down version of the three songs. lol i guess it makes the fading process easy for a dj. oh and GOD Bless Taylor Swift, shes also a repeat offender!

  14. Way West

    Tik Tok- Produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco
    Your Love is my drug- produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blaco

    Katy Perry:
    California Gurls:Max Martin and Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco Again.

    Raise Your Glass:P!nk, Shellback, and Max Martin Again.

    That shows you the similarities between the songs. The same producers. That’s what I like to call Bubblegum pop.

  15. Mediummedium

    I also think that old song “tarzan boy” by baltimora sounds like these songs, especially for the “oh”s at the beginning of tarzan boy, and those off tik tok. But it may be just me.

  16. dave

    I don’t get what the big deal is. The same writers wrote and produced both tracks within the same period of time. It is perfectly reasonable that they might sound similar to each other. This is nothing new in any genre of music.

    You don’t think that Haydn doesn’t have a bunch of string quartets that sounds the same? Or Rogers and Hammerstein didn’t write musicals where songs are completely interchangeable? Or Led Zepplin didn’t make the same riff-based blues jams (many ripped off from earlier blues aritsts) over and over again? What about the Motown hit-making machine that produced tons of songs and artists that we consider “classic” today?

    You guys rip on Luke and Max alot on this site, and you miss the fact that these are probably the only guys in the biz right now who continually put out songs that are high-quality and are liked by a mass audience. And because they do write so many hits, and the songs are so out in the public’s eye, of course some similarities will be found. It doesn’t take away from how talented, hard-working, and professional these guys really are.

    1. Mark Adams

      You’re absolutely right, it’s more the rule than the exception that music written by the same people will sound similar. Whether it be Motown or other major companies recycling their material, such as Stax recycling Green Onions; or John Fogerty with The Old Man Down the Road, which he stated had a Run Through the Jungle groove (his old record company pounced but they lost the case against him and he sued for attorney fees) to Bon Jovi, Green Day etc. When a band is still in its early days and their songwriting is still limited, their songs can all sound the same. A fan of anyone can probably attest to this.
      Some songwriters have written hundreds of songs and classical composers would even write over a thousand of one kind of composition and hundreds of another, which makes it easy to lose track of what you’ve written and not realise you’ve written something similar before. Also, songs that are less melodic can sound much the same and a riff can easily enough sound like another riff. I’m sorry about this, I suppose I am preaching the converted just a little.

      1. Mark Adams

        And their was also Robert Johnson using the same riffs (though probably not in one performance), Chuck Berry recycling riffs and melodies, plus Prince and their was a video on Youtube titled New Metallica Inspired by Old Metallica?.

        1. Mark Adams

          And Michael Jackson, like Body by The Jacksons (1984) sounds kind of like Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (1982) and in the instrumentals of Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough, you can hear the beginnings of Thriller.

  17. Steve

    Every era has it’s “trend” in the arts. In design, we saw every other logo having an incarnation of the Nike “Shoosh” applied to it. ( Think Capital One ).

    Originality cannot keep up with the insatiable appetites and demands of the consumer. In order to feed the beast “variations” are thrown out until something different can be devoured.


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