How This Katy Perry Hit Was Inspired by a Norwegian Singer

Katy Perry had a hit on her hands in 2019 with “Never Really Over.” But it may have never existed without Norweigan singer, Dagny. In 2017, Dagny dropped “Love You Like That” which became a Top 40 hit and certified platinum in her native country. The electronic pop bop tells the story of a woman who admits that she’s slow to open up, but has finally found the one who makes her feel safe to be vulnerable as she proclaims in the chorus, You know how they say you got the real thing/When nothing else matters/I love you like that.

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Michelle Buzz teamed up with Dagny and Jason Gill to pen the intoxicating track that later caught the ear of Perry. It all started with a friend of Buzz’s who would post videos of herself belting out the Dagny song when they were going out drinking on the weekend. Buzz’s friend is also an artist and happens to be friends on social media with some of the writers and producers of Perry’s song. Buzz’s friend’s obsession with “Love You Like That” turned into a major opportunity for Buzz.

“At some point, the producers and writers that wrote that [Perry] song were like, ‘We just love that, can we kind of do the cousin of that?'” Buzz recalls to American Songwriter about how “Love You Like That” ended up in Perry’s lap.

[RELATED: Did You Know Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” Was Inspired by a Famous Actress?]

From there, Perry, Zedd, Hayley Warner, Anton Zaslavski, Leah Haywood and Daniel James got into the writing room to pen “Never Really Over,” the opening track and second single off the superstar’s 2020 album, Smile. Buzz, Dagny and Gill are all credited writers on Perry’s song, even though they weren’t in the room with her and the team when it was written.

“Some writers pulled that song as a reference and were highly inspired by the Dagny song to the point where it was like, ‘We need to have a conversation,'” Buzz says, adding that Perry and her team were “super transparent” about the fact that “Never Really Over” was “an interpolation” of “Love You Like That.”

Perry took Dagny’s song to new heights, as “Never Really Over” earned both critical acclaim and chart success. “Never Really Over” debuted and peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. It was also a Top 30 hit in Norway. “Dagny’s song got another little life,” Buzz observes of the track that was her first Top 15 radio hit. “Really wild.”

Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Katy Perry

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