American pop star Katy Perry turned 29 last month and is feeling old.
Best known for the candy-cotton hits from her last two albums, One Of The Boys (2008) and Teenage Dream (2010), which together sold almost 11 million records, the singer- songwriter has now come up with the proverbial "mature" album.
Sitting across from Life! in a suite at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, she comes across as a little world weary, feeling old beyond her age and talking about her late teens and early 20s like they were a lifetime ago.
Of course, she has been through a lot of personal turmoil since the release of Teenage Dream, a global hit that is the only album after Michael Jackson's Bad in 1987 to have five No.1 singles on the Billboard charts.
Her messy divorce from British actor Russell Brand early last year made her tabloid fodder and plunged her into depression. It was reported that Brand asked her for the divorce via a text message in December 2011 and has not spoken to her since.
Her latest album, Prism, could have been a dark, acoustic record. The California native left the limelight and gloss of Los Angeles and retreated to her hometown of Santa Barbara to write and record the album.
"My life was at a fork in the road and I thought I was going to go to a darker place and then it went to a lighter place."
Emotionally, a lot of the songs cut terribly close to the bone, she adds, singling out piano-driven album closer By The Grace Of God as the perfect example.
"By The Grace Of God is very personal and vulnerable and it's the only song that starts out moody and dark. But there is a lot of hope to be found in the song throughout the lyrics. But it was a song that I wrote when I was kind of depressed and I thought I was going to make a dark record and I didn't.