Girl Power - - FRONT PAGE -

Born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, Se­lena Marie Gomez was des­tined for the spot­light. Named af­ter one of the most cel­e­brated Mex­i­canAmer­i­can en­ter­tain­ers of the late 20th cen­tury, Se­lena Quin­tanilla-Pérez, Se­lena’s mother was also a for­mer stage ac­tress. At the early age of just seven, Se­lena started act­ing, and even­tu­ally landed her first ma­jor role in Bar­ney and Friends with Demi Lo­vato. Though she was ex­tremely shy, Se­lena picked up skills from the chil­dren’s pro­gramme that would help her later land the lead role in the Dis­ney Chan­nel hit show

Wizards of Waver­ley Place. From there, Se­lena’s

ca­reer sky­rock­eted. Though she de­toured off the act­ing path to pur­sue singing with her band, Se­lena Gomez & the Scene, Se­lena even­tu­ally found a bal­ance with her pro­fes­sional pas­sions of act­ing and singing. From 2012, Se­lena and her band had re­leased three al­bums and were on hia­tus while Se­lena chased her dream of be­ing a solo per­former. She re­leased her al­bum, Stars Dance, in 2013 and later a com­pi­la­tion al­bum, For You. She also pro­vided the voice for Mavis in the an­i­mated film Ho­tel Tran­syl­va­nia and starred in more ma­ture film roles. How­ever, it is her lat­est al­bum Re­vival that marks a new chap­ter in both her mu­sic and her ap­proach to life. Re­vival is Gomez’s first al­bum since sign­ing with In­ter­scope af­ter her seven-year con­tract with Dis­ney-owned Hol­ly­wood Records came to an end. As a sign of her want­ing to be more in con­trol of her mu­sic, she ex­ec­u­tive-pro­duced the al­bum her­self. Se­lena is ready to take flight and as the lyrics from the open­ing track sig­nal to lis­ten­ers, “No more hid­’s my time to but­ter­fly.” Her vibe-chang­ing R&B sin­gle, “Good for You”, has re­vealed a more ma­ture and bolder new Se­lena. Hav­ing re­cently fired her mother and step­fa­ther as her man­agers, the Texas beauty and for­mer child star is in the process of tran­si­tion­ing from her teen pop princess per­sona to a more so­phis­ti­cated and as­sertive per­former. “I was afraid of re­veal­ing too much about my­self in the past,” Gomez says. “Now I want to be able to say, ‘This is who I am, and I don’t care what some peo­ple might think.’ That’s why the al­bum is called Re­vival; it’s about me wak­ing up and fig­ur­ing out who I am and what I want. The songs are the true re­flec­tion of what I’ve gone through and how I’ve evolved. This is a new be­gin­ning for me.” One part of her life that was dif­fi­cult to share with the pub­lic and her fans was her di­ag­no­sis with lu­pus, a chronic im­mune sys­tem dis­or­der that re­quired her to un­dergo chemo­ther­apy treat­ments. While dodg­ing un­fair and dam­ag­ing al­le­ga­tions from the me­dia, Se­lena was strug­gling with a health is­sue in a


re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fa­cil­ity. Se­lena even­tu­ally set the record straight. “I was di­ag­nosed with lu­pus, and I’ve been through chemo­ther­apy. That’s what my break was re­ally about. I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemo­ther­apy.’ It’s aw­ful walk­ing into a restau­rant and hav­ing the whole room look at you, know­ing what they’re say­ing. I locked my­self away un­til I was con­fi­dent and com­fort­able again.” No stranger to ru­mours, Se­lena has also opened up about her very fa­mous ex, Justin Bieber, part of a chap­ter in her life that seems to have been put to rest once and for all. “There’s clo­sure in a very good, healthy way. We’ve seen each other. I’m al­ways en­cour­ag­ing and I am proud of his jour­ney. I think peo­ple are mak­ing it out to be some­thing that is more tragic than it re­ally was. We grew up to­gether. We both made mis­takes. That’s it.” Se­lena ad­mits that it has taken her years of strug­gle and a roller coaster of ups and downs to get to the calm and coura­geous place in which she finds her­self to­day. Now stronger than ever, more in con­trol of her life, and very com­fort­able in her own skin, Se­lena cred­its mu­sic icons Bey­oncé and best friend Tay­lor Swift as con­stant in­spi­ra­tions. For Re­vival, Se­lena also looked up to pop idol su­per-star Christina Aguil­era. Ul­ti­mately, it was her own ded­i­ca­tion and long hours in the studio that re­sulted in her now cer­ti­fied Gold al­bum. “I’ve never worked harder on an al­bum that I did on

Re­vival. I spent a year in the studio record­ing it and worked with amaz­ing peo­ple like A$AP who worked on “Good for You” and Charli (XCX). I had a whole new team work­ing with me and it’s been an im­por­tant tran­si­tion on so many lev­els for me. I’m also happy with how In­ter­scope has gotten be­hind me and wanted to be a part­ner rather than try­ing to mould me into some­thing I’m not. I think peo­ple will see that this al­bum has so much more rel­e­vance to who I am as a young woman mak­ing her way in life like so many other women in their early twen­ties.” It seems that Se­lena has fi­nally found her voice, cre­at­ing mu­sic that re­flects who she is. She will no doubt con­tinue to act as well, jump­ing on board projects that let her con­tinue to grow and de­velop as a se­ri­ous ac­tress. As for her fans, they can ex­pect to be very in­volved with her jour­ney, fol­low­ing her around the world on her many so­cial me­dia ac­counts – flaunt­ing her fab­u­lous sense of style, in­volv­ing her­self in var­i­ous char­i­ta­ble causes, hang­ing with friends and head­ing back home to Texas to be with her fam­ily.

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