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In promotion of her forthcoming sophomore studio album Revival, Selena Gomez spoke with the New York Times about the massive shift in direction in her career as she naturally matures as a young adult. Amid the discussion about her progression from her previous confinement as an artist — dropping her mom as a manager and a distancing herself from a Disney image — was the topic of her high-profile relationship with Justin Bieber, who is currently sharing a similar change in public perception. The two have grown up in the spotlight for most of their lives, and are in a point in their respective careers in which they must make a critical transition to be taken seriously. Take a look at the excerpts below, and visit the the New York Times for the full interview. Also watch the video to her newest single “Good For You” featuring A$AP Rocky here, and Revival can be pre-ordered on iTunes now.
Before signing with Interscope in December 2014, Ms. Gomez took a bigger stride toward independence with a final, contract-fulfilling single for Disney. “The Heart Wants What It Wants” begins with a tearful monologue and addresses her relationship with Mr. Bieber all but explicitly.
“My public life was doing all the speaking for me, for a moment,” Ms. Gomez said. While the gossip press “made it their mission to make me seem meek and small,” she added, “I translated that into my music.”
Justin Tranter, another “Revival” songwriter, said that Ms. Gomez was realistic about playing into the gossip. “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.”
The release of “Revival” happens to coincide, for better or worse, with the re-emergence of a humbled Mr. Bieber, who faces a similar dilemma with a new album due Nov. 13. Asked recently by Ellen DeGeneres if his new single, “What Do You Mean?,” is about Ms. Gomez, he could only fidget and grimace. (Mr. Janick acknowledged the promotional overlap but added, “We’re not exploiting it in any way.”)
While avoiding speaking Mr. Bieber’s name, Ms. Gomez said she was heartened by their parallel successes. “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!”