October 22nd, 2013
01:44 PM ET
Katy Perry's newest album, "Prism," is about growth in more ways than one.
The 28-year-old pop star is still skilled at churning out hits - "Prism's" first single, "Roar," being the latest to climb to No. 1 - but Perry herself is no longer ensconced in a "Teenage Dream."
On one of the closing songs, "By the Grace of God," Perry peels back the layers of her 2012 split from comedian Russell Brand and sings as frankly about the painful breakup as she's begun to speak in interviews.
“Imagine what happens when you go through a break up. We all go through break ups and we all get very depressed and desperate," Perry tells Entertainment Weekly in its latest issue. "The lyrics are very exact and autobiographical. That’s how I write. But the one thing about those lyrics is you can hear me finding my strength throughout the song. It starts off really low and then I kind of stand up for myself and say, ‘No!’”
“I was pretty f****d, yes. It hurt a lot. I got a good knock," Perry said. "My self-worth was in someone else’s hands which is never a good idea, because it can be taken from you at any time. And it was, and it was shattered.”
At first, Perry wanted to name what became "Prism" "Adult Reality," because it felt like she'd landed head-first in it.
“'Teenage Dream' was me so high on that cotton-candy cloud, and then it’s like I got punched in the face and kicked down the stairs a couple of times,” she told the paper. “I had to face the reality that things are not always on cloud nine. I was down and out, I’d lost hope.”
But Perry has made a strong recovery. Yes, "By the Grace of God" delves into the despair of heartbreak, but there are also some tracks that reflect how far she's come. "Unconditionally," for example, was inspired by current boyfriend John Mayer, Perry says.
"I actually am dating my crush," the singer reveals to W magazine. "I had a crush on him for a long time, and it just so happens we fit together great. ... I really loved (being married), it was a new, fun, exciting journey. But I like how I am now, and I think all things happen for a reason."
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