“Swish Swish” is the third single off of Katy Perry’s fifth studio album, Witness. It marks the first song featuring vocals from both Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. It is a self-empowerment anthem that calls out haters.
Katy has mentioned that her album is about a “360° liberation” and this song is about escaping pointless negativity. The central hook uses the image of a basketball player consistently scoring points, imitating the ‘swish’ sound of the hoop’s net.
Fans speculated the song to be a response to Taylor Swift’s 2014 hit “Bad Blood,” citing many lyrical references.
This was later confirmed when she starred in James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke interview. Katy explained:
She started it and it’s time for her to finish it. Now, there is the law of cause and effect. You do something, there’s going to be a reaction, and trust me, daddy, there’s going to be a reaction.
The song was indirectly confirmed days prior by EDM artist and ex-Taylor flame Calvin Harris, who said he “wasn’t involved” in a now-deleted tweet.