On the cover of her latest studio album, “Revival,” pop star Selena Gomez poses stripped down and stares alluringly into the camera.
The move was not merely a matter of aesthetics or creative direction—it was a statement: The young Disney actress her fans grew to love is now well on her way to maturity, both as a person and an artist.
“The cover was symbolic in a lot of ways. That was me baring my soul the most I’ve ever had in my music. It was a transition time for me in my life, and I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin,” she told the Inquirer in a recent e-mail interview arranged by Wilbros Live.
“Revival,” which debuted at the No.1 spot of the Billboard 200 chart in October last year, is the recording artist’s first musical offering outside the reins of the Disney empire.
While the bulk of her past material was provided to her by an army of composers and producers, Selena—raring to take charge of her craft—has finally made strides, cowriting six of her new album’s 11 tracks.
“It was such a great feeling, and I’m very proud of the album,” she said, adding that it was important for her to be in control, especially after restructuring her creative team, and leaving her past label, the Disney subsidiary Hollywood Records, and joining Interscope and Polydor.
“I worked with some new writers, which I found fun and energizing, as well as writers I have already worked with in the past, which is, on the other hand, comforting,” said Selena, who is currently headlining “The Revival” world tour, which kicked off in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May this year.
On July 31, Selena will make her Manila stop at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Mounted by Wilbros Live, the one-night concert is expected to feature some of the singer’s most well-loved hits like “Hands to Myself,” “Same Old Love” and “Come and Get It.” (Call SM Tickets at 4702222.)
The rest of Inquirer’s interview with Selena:
You were supposed to perform here in 2014, but the show was canceled. Is there anything you’re looking forward to?
I hear the food is incredible! Wherever I go, I always try the local cuisine. Let me know any suggestions!
What is the best and toughest part of being in such an extensive tour?
The best part of the tour is obviously performing and seeing my fans in person. When you work on an album, it is such an insulated environment, so it is nice to see people react to the music in person.
The worst is definitely you getting into these amazing places and not seeing much other than the arena. I began recording the album almost two years ago, when I was 22. Now, two years later, I feel even more comfortable, and I’m very excited about the music I am working on.
Would you say that you have finally found your own “voice”?
I’d say I am on my way, and I have only scratched the surface. I am still figuring things out. Like, if I had followed the path of a typical child, the way I look at it, I would have probably graduated from college a year ago and would be working at my first job. There are many things I still want to accomplish.
Which song in your new album never fails to make you emotional when you perform it live?
I have to say that it is actually a song I sang when I was 16 years old, and it still resonates with me today. “Who Says” has an important message: You can do anything you want—and no one can tell you otherwise.
Starting in the biz at such a young age, did you feel like you had to grow up faster than other people your age?
In some ways I think so, just because I was surrounded by so many adults. I had a job at such a young age, while most kids were playing with their friends after school. I do not have any regrets, though.