6 August 2020 #617



When one of the world’s biggest pop stars is on the line, you don’t expect her to start asking about your pregnancy cravings. But Katy Perry is no ordinary diva, as music editor Sarah Smith discovers in this candid interview.

In the latest edition, Katy opens up about navigating through dark times and learning to smile again – ahead of a new album and new baby.

“A lot of Smile is about growing through that pain. And now, obviously, I’m hopeful [about the new record], but I think I’m not putting everything of my worth into this basket,” she tells The Big Issue. “I think that this journey is about getting my smile back and getting my playfulness back and getting that purity back.”

Also in this edition:

• We remember and say goodbye to Street Cat Bob – the ginger cat who rose to fame by James Bowen’s side, as together they sold The Big Issue in London. Their tale of friendship, hope and second chances became a bestselling book and a film, and their story inspired and empowered so many around the world.

• Melbourne vendor Cheryl reveals how a meeting with James Bowen encouraged her to get her own ginger cat Cougar: “Bob rescued James, and James rescued Bob. That’s pretty much like Cougar with me.”

Christine Anu talks turning 50, Black Lives Matter and achieving her childhood dreams in her Letter to My Younger Self.

• Singer-songwriter Megan Washington tells how she found a silver lining in lockdown, letting loose on her new album Batflowers.

• Author Victoria Hannan could never have foreseen how the real world would end up mimicking the storyline of her new novel, Kokomo. We chat to her about its central themes of isolation, family, music and love. 

• We speak to director Shalini Kantayya about her new doco Coded Bias, which explores the ways AI technology further entrenches the gender and racial prejudices already present in society.

• In Tastes Like Home, French-born chef Guillaume Brahimi shares his version of childhood comfort food – Bresse Chicken with Mushrooms and Paris Mash.

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