"Hot n Cold" is a song by American singer Katy Perry. The song was written by Perry, Dr. Luke, and Max Martin and produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco for her second studio album, One of the Boys (2008). The track was released as the album's second single on September 9, 2008. The lyrics address an unstable romantic relationship caused by a partner's mood swings.
The song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Perry's second consecutive top three single, following "I Kissed a Girl". It also became Perry's second top five single in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, and topped the charts in Finland, Germany, Canada, Norway, Spain, and Denmark, among others. To date, "Hot n Cold" has sold over 5.7 million copies in the US, making it one of Perry's highest-selling singles in the nation.
To promote "Hot n Cold", Perry marked the song's live debut with a performance on NBC's Today. She also performed the song at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, which she hosted. The song's music video, which was directed by Alan Ferguson, was released on October 1, 2008, and features Perry as a bride who is about to get married to her fiancé, who experiences a daydream in which she pursues him after he flees from the wedding. "Hot n Cold" was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. Perry also performed the song on the Hello Katy Tour, California Dreams Tour, and Prismatic World Tour. It is also a regular part of the setlist of Perry's Witness: The Tour as a mash-up with her song, Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F) from her album, Teenage Dream.
Background and composition
"Hot n Cold" was written by Perry, Dr. Luke and Max Martin and produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco. It was recorded in December 2007 in three studios: Dr. Luke's Studios in New York City, Conway Recording Studio in Hollywood, California, and Legacy Recording Studios in New York City. It was mixed in MixStar Studios in Virginia Beach. The collaboration between Perry and Dr. Luke was set up by record executives at Capitol Records, who felt that One of the Boys was lacking an "undeniable smash or two" at the time, and the two co-wrote "I Kissed a Girl" and "Hot n Cold" as a result. Perry revealed that the song was originally considered for release as the album's first single, before "I Kissed a Girl" was chosen.
Written in the key of G major, "Hot n Cold" is a pop and dance-pop song which utilizes guitars and synthesizers. It has a length of three minutes and forty seconds (3:40), and runs at a moderately fast tempo of 132 beats per minute. The lyrics of the song address a lover of Perry whose mood swings are affecting the couple's relationship. The song opens with Perry confronting her former partner over his frequent changes of mind, singing "You change your mind like a girl changes clothes / Yeah you PMS like a bitch". In the chorus, she uses antonyms to describe her partner's mood changes, with the chorus of the song including the lines "You're hot then you're cold / You're yes then you're no / You're in then you're out / You're up then you're down".
The video begins with Perry at a wedding, about to exchange vows with her diffident fiancé Alexander (played by actor/model Alexander Francis Rodriguez). Perry says her vows, but Alexander hesitates and the church anxiously waits for him to say "I do". Perry appears frustrated and the music begins to play, with the congregation dancing as disco lights flash. Perry begins to sing the song to Alexander before he flees the altar. She pursues him, and they proceed to play a cat-and-mouse game. Perry corners him in a warehouse, and Alexander is pulled into an audience and forced to crowd-surf while watching Perry perform the song on stage. He manages to escape but walks out to find Perry in her wedding dress surrounded by several other brides carrying baseball bats. Perry confronts him, but he is able to get away. beaded bridesmaid dresses
Perry and the other brides chase after him. When Alexander pulls out his phone, Perry is on the screen singing to him. He flees the warehouse and finds Perry outside wearing urban clothing, surrounded by dancers dressed similarly. When he turns around, he discovers that he has been cornered by Perry and the group of angry brides. He stumbles and the dancers surround him as he lies on the ground, before Perry approaches him leading a zebra on a leash. Alexander blinks and finds himself back at the altar in the church, revealing that the previous events were just his fantasy. The priest asks him again if he accepts his vows, and this time he says "I do". The crowd in the church breaks out into cheers and sighs of relief as Perry runs victoriously down the aisle with him.
Perry's friend Jadyn Maria appears in the music video as a bridesmaid, and her parents Keith and Mary Hudson also make cameos. The video for "Hot n Cold" was recorded in Los Angeles in September 2008 and released on October 1, 2008. It was directed by Alan Ferguson. Rolling Stone described the music video as "a colorful cat-and-mouse chase that's equal parts goofy and glam." Capital FM wrote that the video "had us in stitches".
The music video on YouTube has over 750 million views as of December 2017.