UPDATE: The music video premiered via Stefani's official Facebook page:
The original story was published on Oct. 19 at 12:34 p.m. PST:
Gwen Stefani scrapped previous material to start from scratch.
Stefani realized people weren't connecting with her previously released material like "Baby Don't Lie" and "Spark The Fire" and decided to head back into the recording studio and try again. In a new interview with EW, Stefani says she wasn't as hands on with those songs produced by Benny Blanco and Pharrell, and knew she had to get back to work.
“It didn’t feel right,” she said of scrapping that collection. “I didn’t feel fulfilled. That record with Benny was done that way because I had just given birth and had just started on The Voice and felt like I should do something in music, but what was I going to do? There wasn’t enough time. So I tried to make a record where I was just kind of involved — which is how a lot of people do it, but it didn’t work for me.”
It's surprising a seasoned artist like Gwen can make that mistake, but developing your craft is an ongoing learning process.
Gwen's new single, "Used To Love You," deals with the aftermath of a marriage that lasted 13 years with ex Gavin Rossdale.
“I needed to go through what I needed to go through to write the record that I needed to write. There was a lot of prayer and meditating in the sense of trying to be open and grateful with this record,” Stefani tells EW of her process. “These songs are really natural — they’re from not worrying about what happened or what’s going to happen but about living in the moment, from trying to be present and trying to feel.”
She admits once her creative juices started flowing, there was no stopping her.
“I’ve never had that before,” she says. “In the beginning, I was just really naïve. I didn’t know I could write songs. But then once you have success and people hear your work, you’re never pure again. Then it became a huge burden. Coming off Tragic Kingdom (1995) — touring for two years and 15 million albums sold, moving out of my parents house at 26 into a mansion — everything changed. I felt like then I had to prove I was a good songwriter. And that took like three years, Return to Saturn (2000). And then it was Rock Steady (2001) where I was like, ‘I’m just going to be free and have fun!’ That record was a lot freer and faster, and fun. And then [Love Angel Music Baby (2004)]. And then I wasn’t even ready to shut down, so I made Sweet Escape (2006). And then the last No Doubt record was just really hard, it was no one’s fault, it just was what it was. Music has been a journey, a real journey.”
She admits there's more than enough material for an album, but isn't rushing things. After all, she knows better.
“It happened really fast,” she admits. “[But] I just feel so lucky to make music. It’s a gift to channel true emotions and then capture them. When I finish a song I listen to it so many times — until I can’t listen again — because you learn things about yourself that you didn’t even know you were saying, or needed to say.”
Listen to the newly premiered studio version: