Selena Gomez says she calls the shots now.
She wants her fans to know Revival is about re-discovering herself, but admits she wasn't sure she wanted to stay in the business as she journeyed into adulthood. In an interview with the New York Times, Gomez reflects on her past and says “I’m growing and changing. I was in a relationship, and I was being managed by my parents, and I was still under Hollywood and Disney, and I was being held to this expectation of being the good girl.”
She added, “I knew deep down that this wasn’t what I wanted to do — being exhausted of forcing something that wasn’t right, even in my personal life. I had to have moments where I was crying and I was like, ‘Why am I not in love with what I do?’ I was forced to get very uncomfortable for a while in order to make the decisions I made.”
The super-stardom she's experienced her entire life has forced episodes of anxiety and nervousness, Gomez says. She worries people see her as a public figure rather than a musician.
“I need my work to just outshine all of this because the noise is driving me crazy, and it’s preventing me from leaving my home. When I walk into a place and people look at me, they don’t see an artist.”
Gomez is an executive producer on the new record, and worked with the who's who in music, including Max Martin, Mattman & Robin, Hit-Boy, Benny Blanco and Charli XCX ("Same Old Love").
Justin Tranter also contributes on “Revival” as a songwriter, and said Gomez was realistic when it came to acknowledging the tabloid fodder without focusing on it. “Those questions do come up while writing,” he said. “Of course we don’t want everything to feel like it’s feeding into the tabloids, but also we need the song to win. She’s smart enough to know that.”
Gomez is aware of the timing of her release with Bieber's repaired return with "What Do You Mean" and "Where Are U Now," saying "while people were writing that I was stupid for being in it, this is what I always saw in him,” she said. “I’m like, duh!”
She also mentions Taylor Swift in the new interview, saying “Taylor is a lot more trusting than I am. I have trust issues, given my situation. She’s very open, so she brings out this other side of me.”
Swift commented on Gomez as well. “In the last two years, I’ve seen Selena start to make her career her own,” Swift said. “She’s separated her opinion out and prioritized it above anyone else’s. Her childhood was defined by working hard, with the major business decisions primarily being made by others. The coolest part of watching her grow up has been seeing her gradually take the creative reins and start to steer the ship.”
Gomez agrees. “I definitely remind myself that I’m in control,” she said. “I feel like ultimately if I sit down and I think about a decision I need to make, it’s really within myself. I make the decision. Everything goes through me.”