She continued: “Nothing better than walking into your dad’s restaurant and seeing a smile on his face and knowing that your mom and dad and sister are real proud of you and that you haven’t lost touch with who you are. That, for me, is real success.”
But success has come with difficulties for the renowned artist. In July, Gaga and Taylor Kinney, 35, ended their engagement after five years together. The Chicago Fire actor proposed on Valentine’s Day 2015 at the singer’s family’s Manhattan restaurant Joanne’s Trattoria, where her interview with Cowan took place.
“I think women love very hard,” Gaga said about relationships. “We love men, we just love with everything we have. And sometimes, I don’t know that love is met with the type of dignity that we wish it would be met with. We’re not trying to make you less of a man; we just want you to love us as deeply and as wholesomely and as fully as we love you.”
At one point in the interview, Gaga said of performing Joanne in dive bars, “It reminds me that if this were to all go away tomorrow, all the big success, that I would still be very happy. Going from bar to bar, playing music for people.”
When asked if that is really how she feels, Gaga explained her point further.
“The reason that I’m here at all is because of my relationship with my family and their encouragement of me to be a musician and to work hard, so as long as I stay there, in that space, I could do anything,” she said. “That’s my truth.”
Gaga got particularly emotional when discussing her life in the spotlight, and particularly after Cowan asked her to explain her idea of success and the meaning of her album.
“As soon as I go out into the world, I belong, in a way, to everyone else,” she said. “It’s legal to follow me, it’s legal to stalk me at the beach, I can’t call the police or ask them to leave. And I took a long hard look at that property line and I said well, you know, if I can’t be free out there, I’m going to be free in here [pointing to her heart].”
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com