Katy Perry Stays 'Pretty Normal' with Therapy – and Panda Express

"You feel like you're riding a rocket," Katy Perry says of showbiz superstardom

Photo: Andreas Branch/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

After laying low on the music front for a bit, Katy Perry is on the “Rise” once again!

Nearly three years since releasing her last album, Prism, the 31-year-old pop powerhouse has revealed that she’s back at work on a new full-length.

“Last night I was in the studio and I’m just deep in the writing process,” she said during an appearance on Elvis Duran’s radio show Wednesday morning. She says the multi-year break from recording was necessary to prime her musical pump.

“For me, it takes a bit of time to [to write] because I have to have those experiences and then write about them. Or I have to digest whatever I’m seeing or perceiving and recycle it and kind of give my perspective on it.”

Her fresh relationship with Orlando Bloom has definitely given her something to sing about lately. Sources close to the couple tell PEOPLE that they are well on their way to starting a family together. All those steamy beach-side vacations should provide plenty of inspiration, but Perry claims it’s not the case.

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“You know it’s funny, I think I have a really hard time writing super sexy songs. The other day I was like, ‘I’m going to write a song about sex!’ I did it, and I think it’s really great, because I still have sex and I like to write about all my life experiences! But I think I was put on this earth to life people up and elevate people and do that through my messages, quite frankly.”

Her new project will call in help from a wide range of industry heavy hitters. As a result, Perry promises a fresh take on her pure pop sound.

“I’m working with a lot of unexpected writers and producers and maybe people that you wouldn’t expect to pair me with. That’s bringing out a lot of different things sonically, but that’s kind of always been my vibe. Even when I was working with some of the regular producers, I’d always push them to play me a beat that was reserved for Three 6 Mafia or…something left of center and I’d be like, ‘No, no, no I know exactly how to write a lyric over that!'”

While life experiences and fresh beats may fuel her creativity, Perry admits that Chinese food from Panda Express fuels her body in the studio. “I was really craving orange chicken,” she explained. “And the funny thing is I’m in the middle of [the] record process so I’m like, ‘Okay, maybe I need to get that body back.’…I’ve been eating really well for breakfast and lunch but I’m like, ‘Oh that orange chicken glaze!'”

There’s a good chance that Perry picked up the Panda Express order herself – at the drive-thru window. “I drive myself everywhere, I’m pretty normal,” she says.

Despite her superstar status, Perry works hard to keep her feet on the ground. “I go to therapy, I don’t get excessive on the substance, I’ve kind of learned that dance … it’s difficult in this industry. You’re holding on for dear life and you feel like you’re riding a rocket, and now I’m kind of not holding on for dear life. I’ve learned how to ride it, and I’m surfing and feeling good!”

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