Su­per Sexy!

Se­lena Gomez "I want my side of the story to be heard."

CLEO (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

Doll-faced, cur­va­ceous, long-legged, and blessed with a voice that car­ries au­thor­ity well be­yond her 23 years, Se­lena Gomez should have no rea­son to fall vic­tim to any at­tempt at body sham­ing. Yet the pop star re­cently made head­lines by con­fess­ing to an L.A. ra­dio sta­tion that harsh In­ter­net com­ments about a mi­nor weight gain last year were “re­ally hurt­ful ... but I’m not gonna give a f*ck about what peo­ple say. I’m not gonna let them get to me.” That’s the kind of at­ti­tude that prompted her to pose nearly naked, how­ever dis­creetly, for the cover of her new al­bum, Re­vival, which marks a new chap­ter in both her mu­sic and ap­proach to life. “I was afraid of re­veal­ing too much about my­self in the past,” Se­lena ex­plains. “Now I want to be able to say, ‘this is who I am.’ This al­bum is about me wak­ing up, and fig­ur­ing out who I am and what I want. The songs are a true re­flec­tion of what I’ve gone through and how I’ve evolved. This is a new be­gin­ning for me.”

Re­vival is Se­lena’s first al­bum since sign­ing with Interscope af­ter her seven-year con­tract with Dis­ney­owned Hol­ly­wood Records came to an end. As a sign of her want­ing to be more in con­trol of her mu­sic and im­age, she ex­ec­u­tive-pro­duced the CD her­self, be­fore fir­ing her mo­mager in 2015. It ce­ments the tran­si­tion from her pop princess per­sona to a more sul­try, se­duc­tive per­former. As the lyrics from her open­ing track sig­nal, “No more hid­ing ... it’s my time to but­ter­fly.”

Se­lena, how would you de­scribe the per­sonal evo­lu­tion you’ve un­der­gone over the past few years?

It’s taken me two years of strug­gle, with a lot of ups and downs, to fi­nally get to this place. I feel much more in con­trol, and more com­fort­able in who I am and what I want to do. This al­bum is more a state­ment of my real thoughts and feel­ings than any­thing I’ve done be­fore.

What have been some of the great­est chal­lenges?

I needed to stop wor­ry­ing about things I can’t con­trol and not let my­self be af­fected by some of the neg­a­tive things that have been writ­ten about me. I looked at other artists like Tay­lor (Swift) and Bey­oncé who are so much in com­mand of ev­ery­thing they do. I’m so in­spired by women who are con­fi­dent enough to be them­selves. That’s what I’m try­ing to do now.

Is Tay­lor help­ing you out in that depart­ment?

Tay­lor is the most loyal friend any­one could ever have. She was one of the first peo­ple to see my “Good for You” video, and told me how amaz­ing it was and how ex­cited she was for me. There’s al­ways some doubt in the back

of your mind about whether you’re mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion mu­si­cally, and Tay­lor is so smart and has very good in­stincts about mu­sic.

Ap­par­ently you’ve also be­come good friends with Jen­nifer Anis­ton?

I met Jen through my man­age­ment – we’re rep­re­sented by the same peo­ple – and she’s been so won­der­ful. She’s made me pizza! We’ve talked a lot about deal­ing with all the me­dia at­ten­tion, and hav­ing our lives so ex­posed. I know I can al­ways call her for ad­vice, and that’s a nice feel­ing.

Do you con­sider that as the down­side of celebrity?

Ab­so­lutely. I want to be open with my fans. The trou­ble is that al­most any­thing I say of­ten gets at­tacked and twisted around.

Let’s talk about your new al­bum, Re­vival. What kind of work went into it, and what mes­sage will it send to any­one who lis­tens to it?

I spent a year in the stu­dio record­ing, work­ing with amaz­ing peo­ple like A$AP Rocky and Charli XCX. It’s been an im­por­tant tran­si­tion on so many lev­els. I’m also happy with how Interscope has got­ten be­hind me, and wanted to col­lab­o­rate rather than 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.

Why did you pose al­most nude for the cover?

It’s a way of show­ing that I want to re­veal my­self, and be as open as I can. I want my side of the story to be heard.

Your new tracks re­flect a deeper vo­cal ex­pres­sion …

It was a mat­ter of find­ing my voice and tone as a way of ex­press­ing the emo­tions I was feel­ing; it took me a year. In my pre­vi­ous al­bums I was us­ing my voice in a dif­fer­ent way be­cause I had a lot of in­se­cu­ri­ties about my lower reg­is­ter. Now I don’t feel the need to push my­self to sing at a higher reg­is­ter be­cause the main goal is to ex­press my emo­tions, and you use that tone which al­lows you to do that in the best way pos­si­ble.

Was “The Heart Wants What It Wants” a step­ping-stone for you to get to this more ma­ture and self-aware place?

Yes. That song is so im­por­tant to me be­cause I thought the pub­lic per­cep­tion of me was wrong, and that so much that was be­ing said about me was un­fair and painful. I wanted to set the record straight, and man­aged to do just that with that one song.

Has it been hard for your mom to see you grow up so fast over the years?

She’s still adapt­ing to the sit­u­a­tion! Of­ten she keeps re­peat­ing the same things: “Are you sure?”, “Spend more time at home” ... But I’m so grate­ful to have a re­ally to­gether and lov­ing mother. Thanks to her, I’ve man­aged to stay rea­son­ably sane in this busi­ness!

So how are things go­ing for you th­ese days?

I’m a lot hap­pier and more re­laxed. I took some time off for my­self last year and that’s helped me a lot. I’m ap­pre­cia­tive that I have some re­ally good friends and also a lot of fans who want me to be happy and healthy. There are al­ways go­ing to be a lot of peo­ple who want to take me down ... maybe I’m too sen­si­tive to those things but th­ese are also the qual­i­ties that I think adds some­thing [mean­ing­ful] to my mu­sic, which draws peo­ple to me. I want my fans to see that I’m not 16 any­more, and that I’m evolv­ing in a way that I feel good about, and I would like peo­ple to feel the same way.

Is this the dawn of a new era for Se­lena Gomez?

( Laughs) I hope so! I’m find­ing my way as a stronger and more en­light­ened young woman with bet­ter per­spec­tive on things, and more in­sight into her­self and re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers. Th­ese are the kinds of life lessons that I’ve tried to talk about in my new al­bum. I want my fans to be proud, and see a lot of pos­i­tive things in this evo­lu­tion.

Do you have any per­sonal ad­vice you would like to of­fer to your fans?

One thing I be­lieve which is very im­por­tant is to al­ways be true to your­self. You also have to think very hard about who you are and who you want to be. We all deal with th­ese hard ques­tions ev­ery­day, but it’s bet­ter to face up to them than let your­self keep mak­ing mis­takes and be­com­ing dis­il­lu­sioned. I be­lieve that we’re hap­pi­est when we feel con­fi­dent and com­fort­able with who we are.

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