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Selena Gomez on Working With Blackpink, Life in Quarantine and Why She’s Getting Political

Selena Gomez and Blackpink know how to end the summer on a sweet note — by releasing their new single, “Ice Cream,” just before Labor Day. The music video for the infectious candy-coated tune, which will appear on the K-pop group’s upcoming full-length album, was viewed close to 100 million times within 24 hours of its Aug. 28 release on YouTube.

“It’s definitely a joyful thing. Being a part of it brought me joy,” Gomez, 28, says on Thursday’s episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.” “It’s hopefully what everybody else will get from it too. I just want people to feel good. I have a 7-year-old sister, and just to see her dancing to it — she hasn’t been able to go to school, and just seeing how much fun it can be, it was such a highlight.

In addition to “Ice Cream,” Gomez hosts HBO Max’s “Selena + Chef,” a series in which she invites well-known culinary masters to teach her how to cook. The show is shot virtually, with Gomez in her kitchen and her guests, including Roy Choi, Jon Shook, Ludo Lefebvre and Nancy Silverton, giving lessons via remote video. Gomez’s grandparents, who have been living with her during quarantine, make cameo appearances.

And when it’s safe to do so, Gomez will shoot “Only Murders in the Building,” a new Hulu comedy crime series with Steve Martin and Martin Short. “I also think it’s going to bring a lot of joy to people,” says Gomez. “I was on a Zoom with Steve and Marty, and I’m like, ‘I’m not going to get any work done because they are just so quick in their back-and-forth.’”

Her new makeup line, Rare Beauty, was released on Sept. 3 with partial proceeds benefiting mental health service organizations. Gomez revealed in April during an appearance on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram Live show that she has bipolar disorder. She hopes the cruelty-free makeup line will help fans feel good about themselves. “I believe no matter what people say that it does have a connection to your mental health, how you see yourself, how do you maybe think differently?” Gomez explains. “I’ll say to my friends, I wish you can see just [she pinches her thumb and index finger together] this much of what I see. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that.”

Variety caught up with Gomez over Zoom from her home in Los Angeles.

Did you reach out to Blackpink, or did they reach out to you?
It’s kind of mutual because we’re at the same label but under different umbrellas. I love Blackpink, and I’ve been obsessed with them. I was nervous because it is something that’s stepping out of my zone a little bit, but it was just the best time. I have so much respect for them; their work ethic and how much they put into what they do is pretty remarkable. So kind of seeing the crossover has been really interesting at the same time for both of us. Each of us got to go into that world together.

Let’s talk about some of the lyrics. You sing, “I know that my heart is so cold, but I’m sweet for you. Come put me in a cone,” and, “You could double dip ’cause I know you like me.”
[Laughs] I hate when people read out lyrics. It just sounds so different. Yes. I did say that. All right. So how do I approach that now? … It kind of goes into the theme of what the song is, but yes, it’s a little scandalous.

How did “Selena + Chef” come about? Were you planning on doing a cooking show, or was it something that happened because of the pandemic?
It was actually just during quarantine. I had just moved into my house, and I had this dream kitchen, and I just imagined making meals and doing all of that, but then I realized I only knew how to cook like five things.

What have you learned about yourself in quarantine?
It’s definitely the most time I’ve spent on my own probably since I was 16. At first it was super uncomfortable, more so because of the anxiety I was carrying because of everything that is happening. I also feel like I got the opportunity to learn a lot about my country in ways that I never have before. I feel like I’ve gained a sense of knowledge and a sense of feeling good about saying what I’m saying, and I feel good about what I’m standing by, and I’m not going to let other opinions conduct what I feel personally.

You had people like Stacey Abrams and transgender activist Raquel Willis take over your Instagram for a day. Why was that important to do?
When all of that started happening, I felt like there wasn’t much I can say. I’m obviously half Mexican, and I’m from Texas, and that’s a whole other community that gets attacked, but I felt it was necessary to give my platform to someone who does have that experience. It was almost disingenuous if I post something and give the credit to so-and-so. I want people to hear it from them and from multiple categories of the industry and of the government. Honestly, it was a no-brainer for me.

Do you have hope for the country?
One thousand percent — that’s something I’ll never let go of. My friend sent me a news story that said statistically, my generation and maybe younger has shown less interest in voting than ever. It didn’t make sense because if anything, why wouldn’t we be more motivated to do that?

You’re also producing a lot.

It was really interesting in the beginning. I think I learned a lot from “13 Reasons Why.” Then moving on more and more, I started to feel a lot more comfortable. Being on the other side has been really fun because I get to help be a part of the storytelling and get to help with shaping who these people are. It’s also something I’ve been doing during quarantine. At the moment I’m producing 16 projects. I’m just so happy because it’s all in different areas and it’s material I believe in.

Have you called Bill Murray [they appeared today in the 2019 zombie movie The Dead Don’t Die’] and asked him for advice on how to deal with Steve Martin?
You can’t call Bill Murray. He doesn’t have a phone. He is the best old schoolI think I’d have to send him a fax and I don’t even know if I even have that. I like to say that there has been this theme in acting for me from working with Billy Crudup to Paul Rudd, Bill Murray and now Steve and Marty. I end up having really fun relationships with people who have no idea who I am. Bill Murray would just call me “Gomez.” He’d be like, “Gomez — what’s the big deal with you?”

Sources

MY SINGLE IS DROPPING AUG. 11, 2020 Selena Gomez and Blackpink to Release New Single

After weeks of teasing a new single with a feature from a high-profile musician, Blackpink has finally shared the name of the star who will join them on their forthcoming release, and just as was expected, its one of the biggest names in the business.

Pop superstar Sleena Gomez has just been revealed as the musician who will collaborate with Blackpink on their next single, which already has a release date…but somehow not a name. The tune is expected on Friday, August 28, but the band hasn’t yet shared the title of the track. That will likely come at some point in the not-too-distant future, as fans don’t need to wait long to hear what the five women have created in the studio.

The Blackpink/Gomez joint effort will serve as the second official single from the South Korean girl group’s forthcoming debut full-length Blackpink: The Album, which has been announced for October 2. So far, Gomez is the only featured act on the set, though the quartet hasn’t dropped the full tracklist, so that could change whenever they do share the information.

The as-yet-untitled song follows hot on the feels of “How You Like That,” the lead single from Blackpink: The Album, which arrived just a few weeks ago. The tune, a high-energy trap-pop smash, peaked at No. 33 on the Hot 100, tying their previously-set peak position. Coincidentally, the group had first reached the top 40 just a few frames prior to the launch of their own new single with “Soru Candy,” a collaboration with pop icon Lady Gaga.

Gomez joining Blackpink on their next single could mean they have major things in store. Her presence may help the tune hit new highs on a number of charts, and it could sway some who aren’t familiar with the group, both in and outside the music industry, to click play on the cut on streaming services and YouTube. In fact, the cut already tands a good shot at becoming a major win for all involved, and there’s no telling how high up the Billboard rankings it could climb.

Sources

Selena Gomez’s ‘Boyfriend’ Video

Selena Gomez premiered the music video for her new single “Boyfriend” on Friday (April 10), and it lives up to the old adage that you have to kiss a few frogs before finding your prince.

In the clip directed by Matty Peacock, the pop star takes her destiny into her own hands, employing a magic potion to weed out the dating duds in her search for her perfect match.

“I want a boyfriend/ But I just keep hitting dead ends/ Try to take a shortcut, but I get cut/ Again and again/ I want a boyfriend/ Tell me, are there any good ones left?/ I keep findin’ wrong ones, but I want love/ Again and again/ I want a boyfriend,” Gomez intones over the track’s bouncing bass line as, one by one, her roster of suitors turns into an army of ribbit-ing amphibians.

“Boyfriend” serves as the opening track of the brand-new deluxe edition of Rare, which also features previously unreleased songs “Souvenir” and “She,” alongside No. 1 single “Lose You To Love Me,” “Look At Her Now” and the title track.

Sources

Selena Gomez Prepping Deluxe Edition of ‘Rare’ With Three Unreleased Tracks

Selena Gomez is prepping a deluxe edition of her new Rare album, and it’s coming way sooner than you think. The singer announced on Monday (April 6) that the new version will feature three previously unreleased tracks, “Boyfriend,” “She” and “Souvenir,” which will appear on the beefed-up version due out on Thursday (April 9).

You can pre-save the album here now, as well as donate to the Plus1 COVID-19 Relief Fund, which is providing assistance to musicians and music industry workers affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as those whose physical and mental health and safety are most at risk from the virus that has infected more than 1.3 million people in 212 countries and killed more than 75,000.

“Many of you know how excited I have been to release a song called ‘Boyfriend,’” the singer, 27, said in a letter to fans about the bonus tracks. “It’s a lighthearted song about falling down and getting back up time and time again in love, but also knowing that you don’t need anyone other than yourself to be happy. We wrote it long before our current crisis, but in the context of today, I want to be clear that a boyfriend is nowhere near the top of my list of priorities. Just like the rest of the world, I’m praying for safety, unity and recovery during this pandemic.”

Because of her concern, Gomez said she’s personally donating to the Plus1 relief fund, as well as $1 from every order of the album on her official store to the fund. The singer earned her third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with Rare, which was released on Jan. 10 via Interscope Records and kicked off with 112,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. for the week ending Jan. 16, according to Nielsen Music.

Gomez appeared on Miley Cyrus’ Bright Minded Instagram series last week, where she discussed her bipolar diagnosis for the first time in a candid chat about mental health.

“Recently, I went to one of the best mental hospitals in… America, McClean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,” Gomez told Cyrus. “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it.”

Sources

Selena Gomez Releases Fan-Favorite Track, ‘Feel Me’: Listen

“Feel Me,” Selena Gomez’s anthem about an ex regretting his loss was a fan-favorite staple during her 2016 Revival tour, and now the song is released on digital platforms for the first time.

“Won’t be caught up in the middle/ Of your highs and your lows/ Baby, ‘long as you’re not with me/ You’ll always be alone,” she sultrily croons in the tune before the sparkling chorus: “Every time your lips touch another/ I want you to feel me.”
Until Friday (Feb. 21), “Feel Me” was only available on the Rare vinyl sold at Target. In a fan Q&A Gomez did on Twitter to celebrate her recent album’s release back in January, she answered a question asking if the tune would ever see the light of day. “That song was from when I was in a different place and doesn’t fit with where I am right now,” she responded.

Sources