Lady Gaga has repeatedly declared that her forthcoming album Joanne is her most personal yet. In an attempt to further drive this point home -- almost ad nauseam -- she abandoned her typically outlandish persona(s) and spent the past few months displaying stripped-down authenticity instead.

Keeping in line with all that put-on realness, a subdued Gaga spoke with The New York Times about the inspiration behind Joanne, explaining how the death of her father's sister ultimately informed her new musical direction.

“There’s two sides of me. There's the side of me that’s a true rebel and then another side of me that’s my father’s daughter," the "Perfect Illusion" singer began. "So this album, it doesn’t lean necessarily in a particular direction, which is why the album title is Joanne. This is my middle name. This is the middle and the center of me and Joanne, my father’s sister who died when she was 19. That was the year that I decided I really was gonna go for it.”

Gaga continued, elaborating on her musical beginnings and the subtle way her aunt's passing influenced the rest of her life.

"I used to leave my apartment and I just had my white boots on and my little shorts and a t-shirt and I would just walk down the street on the Lower East Side totally free," she said. "And I had the whole world -- the whole unknown of music -- and where it could take me ahead of me. And this song ['Joanne'] in a lot of ways I realized even today is me looking back on Joanne and saying ‘Where do you think you’re going?' You know, I had no idea where i was going."

The "Million Reasons" singer also spoke about her simplistic approach to this album cycle, and how it differs from the more theatrical characters she played in the past.

"It’s maybe a woman thing. As you get older, you start to realize you are enough on your own. And it isn’t to say that none of what I did before is not me, because it’s all me," she said.

"These were all my fantasy collages of the different parts of myself — how and where I felt safe at that time, an expression of the things I am able to say now in a more clear and concise, simple way. Before, I felt more compelled to say them in the complicated way that I was feeling."

Check out Gaga's full interview with The New York Times in the video above.

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