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The road to Selena Gomez’s third studio album has been long. But the 27-year-old songstress insists it arrived at the perfect time.
“The album is all about where I am now and where I’m going,” she told Ryan Seacrest back in November. “… It’s all just going to be better and it won’t be as long as I waited before. … I have a million ideas and it’s just going to be cooler and it’s going to be stronger and it’s going to be better.”
The project, titled Rare, hit streaming services Thursday night, more than four years after she delivered her sophomore album Revival. Since then, Gomez has endured a number of personal hardships, including a highly publicized breakup with Justin Bieber, complications from the autoimmune disease lupus, as well as mental health struggles.
Gomez recently told the Wall Street Journal that she has spent the last few years working on her self-esteem and becoming more empowered, and suggested such growth would be evident in her new music.
“I remember Taylor [Swift] said when I played her some of the new songs, 'I feel like I'm seeing who you were before this,'” Gomez said. “That makes me happy. I like feeling like that girl again.”
The 13-track project includes contributions from 6lack, Finneas, and Kid Cudi. Gomez spoke about the latter collaboration in her Rare Stories interview with Spotify.
“I’ll never forget my session with Scott—Kid Cudi—because obviously I’m a huge fan,” she said. “But he definitely took the song that I had and turned it into something unbelievable. It was nothing when I sent him the song. Actually, technically, someone sent it without my permission at first because I was scared. But it’s OK, it worked out. I said, ‘I purely trust you with this.’ And I think that was super exciting for him.”
Gomez also spoke about connecting with Cudi and 6lack during an interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe. " [Cudi] came to LA, and we were in the studio for two days," she explained. "It was very, very scary at one point because giving Cudi notes is the scariest thing in the world to me. But I had ideas for the intro and stuff, and his response to that made me feel so comfortable because it ended up working, and it was so great that it happened that way."
While talking about 6lack, Gomez said, "And then, to get 6LACK on it was awesome. So, we had discussed features. And at first, I didn't want any. We were kind of going through what who would A, want to do it but would sound great and compliment. For me, it's his tone and it's his voice as well. So it's kind of the rapping part, but it's the singing."
Rare is available now on Apple Music and Spotify. Gomez also dropped off the official music video for the track, which you can watch up top via YouTube.