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John Mayer Dishes on Relationship With Katy Perry, Loves Frank Ocean’s Sound

John Mayer
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

John Mayer opened up about his relationship with Katy Perry — sort of — in a lengthy conversation with Rolling Stone that also touched on his vocal surgery, the music of Frank Ocean and Mayer’s declining commercial success.

When asked how dating Perry was going, he replied, “It’s been . . . I mean, I’m quite happy. I’m happy in all aspects of my life. I’m very happy in all aspects of my life.” He then proceeded to change the subject to the issue of media coverage and getting used to the paparazzi.

Mayer said he’s not listening to a lot of current music but did name M83 and Frank Ocean as recent favorites. “I love Frank [Ocean]‘s stuff. Frank is such an interesting, deep, touched, wonderful guy. They don’t make a lot of other Frank Oceans, and the guy is looking for another. And the way that his mind works is craving the same frequency that he’s able to communicate on, and I think he’s just searching for that kind of depth that he has inside of himself in someone else. He’s fascinating to me. He’s so great.”

The guitarist said his singing voice is totally different after multiple throat surgeries: “Everything changed about my voice. I don’t have the projection. My laugh changed. The way I used to laugh is kind of like that ‘I’m embarrassed’ high-pitched laugh. I don’t really laugh that way anymore. I’ve found new ways around everything – new ways to talk, new ways to laugh. Now I wonder if I can go right back to the shape of my voice that I had when I was singing once I can do what I want to do with it.”

Mayer also spoke about the commercial failure of his last album and was surprisingly candid about the fact that he may never be a Top 40 radio mainstay again.

“The music that was on the radio when I first came up in 2001 would never make it today. It was Norah Jones and Jack Johnson and Coldplay and me. It’s just different now,” he said. “The kind of stuff I like is not very popular anymore. I’m moving into another part of my life. I have gray hair on my temples, you know? Am I going to throw that aside and say, ‘I want to make sure I play Jingle Ball every year?’ Or do I say, ‘That’s cool, I’m going to go gracefully into the next chapter of my life, and grow older with my audience’ and be OK with not chasing hits … I’m ready to experience whatever the result of the music I make is, whether people like it or not.”

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