Lady Gaga Talks Taylor Kinney, Her Late Aunt Joanne, and Why She Wants Fans to Get Off of Their Phones

Lady Gaga is preparing to release her fifth studio album, and the singer says it’s her most personal one yet.

Gaga sat down with E News! and talked about her very personal inspirations for her new album, the woman behind the name Joanne, and what she hopes her new music will do for fans.

So far fans have only gotten a taste of Gaga’s latest masterpiece via “Perfect Illusion,” which she says was directly inspired by some of the feelings she’s felt while in a relationship, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “I would just say that my music on my album as well as all my albums is inspired by my personal life and this one more than others,” she said.

“This video is a performance of a song that I wrote of that moment about how I feel, but how I’m sure he’s [Taylor Kinney] felt sometimes, how you have felt sometimes, how other people feel in relationships, how I see my friends struggle and become just full of rage and anger as they try to figure out how to date during a time when everybody’s sort of creating these perfect illusions of themselves on the Internet and nobody really knows what’s real and what isn’t,” she explained. “It’s about all of that.”

While her feelings are very real, Gaga insists she still loves Kinney, “I have said it before—I love Taylor so much and he’s my best friend.”

Gaga hopes her new music will encourage fans to put down their phones and connect with her in a way they never have before. “I kept envisioning this girl in the middle of the country somewhere crying her eyes out in the field with a drink in her hand and her kid in the other, going, ‘I can’t believe that Lady Gaga understands how I feel.'”

“The truth is I want nothing more for both myself and for other people than human connection and love,” she continued. “I just want to be closer to not only my fans, but other people and to build a relationship with them through the music where they know that I’m their sister, know that I’m their friend.”

A connection similar to the one Gaga has with her late aunt Joanne, after whom the album is named. Joanne Stefani Germanotta passed away when she was just 19, 12 years before Gaga, whose name is an inverted version of her aunt’s, was even born. Despite never meeting her namesake, Gaga explained that she’s always felt a deep connection to her. “My connection to her has been strong my whole life. I always wondered what it was—the mystery of Joanne—this person that I never got to meet that was an absolute tornado of both love and tragedy,” she remembered.

“She was a powerful, beautiful force in my family’s life and then it’s like a beautiful light that just goes out,” she said.  “So I’ve always used the fact that she didn’t get to live the rest of her life as a sense of strength and power within me that I have to go out and live the rest for her.”