Most of us know Selena Gomez as the breakthrough star of Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” where at 15 she became somewhat of a household name. Things have certainly changed for the star, as she has since had a very publicized relationship with Justin Bieber, been in a racy movie (Spring Breakers), is about to turn 21 and has a new album on the way. Her anticipated album “Stars Dance” will be released this Tuesday.
So what does she have to say about all that has happened over the past few years?
“Genuinely, the whole record is me being a woman and wanting to explore that and being comfortable in my skin and my body, and exuding confidence,” said Gomez, who turned 21 on Monday. “People speculate or think what they want to think, but it’s been really fun for me to kind of explore what I want to explore.”
Gomez gives credit to her racy roll in “Spring Breakers” with helping her find her comfort in her womanhood. This is good, because she has been putting out much more of a sexy, seductive vibe lately. Her seductive single, the Rihanna-esque “Come & Get It,” which has officially broken her into major pop territory. The double platinum song has peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Even Beyonce posted on Instagram that she’s a fan of the addictive track.
“I have so many people come up to me saying, `I didn’t know you sing that song. It’s a little different than what you put out,’ and that’s a great feeling,” Gomez said.
She’ll kick off a 56-city world tour – where she’ll play venues like the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. – in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Aug. 14. It wraps Nov. 27 in St. Louis.
She also recently sat down for a nice interview with the Associated Press. You can find that transcript below.
Find Out More: selenagomez.com
AP Interview with Selena Gomez
AP: You turned 21 and released an album – is this your best week ever?
Gomez: It is. It genuinely is. Turning 21 and releasing my fourth record. … I can’t really believe the place I’m in. I’m superstoked. I think I always kind of backtrack, I always kind of say, `OK, I’m going to put my all into (it) and hope for the best,’ and when it happens, I get really surprised.
AP: You say this album is more personal. What’s it like to reveal your true feelings on the songs?
Gomez: The last records … were very processed and a little bit rushed in a way, so the fact that I had so much time to share my life story and just where I am was really fun for me. … There were moments where I would kind of be a little emotional, talking about things I made sure I executed perfectly because it was such a sensitive subject. … (And) being with the producers and being honest because I never really had time to do that before.
AP: What else do you want to do this year?
Gomez: I don’t think it should be too serious at this point for me. I think I take my job seriously, but I enjoy my life and I enjoy my friends and I never really allowed myself to do that before. So I just kind of want to party with everyone.
AP: What’s it like growing up with all the cameras?
Gomez: I attempt to be who I am and it’s fun. At the same time, growing up doing what I’m doing can be a little crazy. You don’t ever know, and obviously I have my off days. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes.
AP: It’s different today for celebrities compared with 10 or 20 years ago.
Gomez: I do agree to a certain extent that it is unfortunate that I have to be a little more aware of being a kid and growing up and figuring out who I am, but at the same time, it’s part of what I love. My mom always told me if I love what I’m doing and I’m having fun then just continue to do it. But if it’s not fun for me anymore and I’m miserable, then I’m going to go back to Texas and quit it all, to be honest.
AP: Do you feel like the blogs and the celebrity Web sites play up your relationship with Justin Bieber?
Gomez: I think they do kind of blow it up in a way and I do think they want to have something to talk about, so that’s the easy thing to do. … I’ve known him for a really long time and we enjoy each other’s company every now and then. But I’m definitely single and enjoying being that.
AP: What have you learned from Taylor Swift when it comes to making music?
Gomez: I think Taylor has been a really good inspiration in my life in general, not just the music side, just who she is. Taylor’s been one of the strongest people I’ve ever known and she’s been through a lot. … Honestly I think if anything I aspire to be her in her personal life and how she handles herself publicly.
AP: You gave a shout-out to your Bible study crew in your album “thank yous.” Is that an important part of your life?
Gomez: I think it’s been important for me to kind of keep all of that part of me private just because I know it’s such a sensitive subject for everyone and what I believe is maybe not necessarily what you believe and what everyone else believes. It is very important for me to acknowledge it because I’m not ashamed of it, but at the same time I know that people get kind of sensitive with it, so that was really for them.
AP: What it’s like being a big sister? (Gomez’s mother gave birth to a daughter last month.)
Gomez: It’s crazy. There’s a 21-year age gap, which is OK, but it’s actually really amazing because we won’t be fighting over boys or clothes, so I’ll be able to be a cool aunt in a way. But I’m absolutely obsessed.