BE BEAUTIFULLY Bohemia
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 hiding...it’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
I AM 23 AND FIGURING OUT MY LIFE. I FEEL CONFIDENT, I FEEL EMPOWERED, I FEEL IN CONTROL.
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.