Selena Gomez has worked with prominent artists ranging from Marshmello to Blackpink, however, she once worked with a famous musician somewhat covertly. Although you can hear the voice of a certain pop singer on one of Gomez’s biggest hits, “Same Old Love,” this singer is not credited as a featured artist. He’s a look at the story behind a Gomez hit that surprised one of its writers.
How a song by a famous artist turned into a totally different song by Selena Gomez
Firstly, a little background. In 2015, Gomez released her album Revival. Many critics felt she evolved into a more mature and eclectic artist with the album. Part of Gomez’s evolution was undoubtedly influenced by her choice of collaborators.
Two of the masterminds behind the album were Stargate, a production duo known for working on hits like Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)” and Katy Perry’s “Firework.” During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Stargate’s Mikkel Storleer Eriksen explained how Gomez’s song “Same Old Love” started out as a much different song by indie pop star Charli XCX.
“The starting point was a totally different track,” Eriksen said. “It was more uptempo and had indie-sounding guitar riffs on it. That really appealed to [co-writer] Charli XCX. She jumped on it and wrote the song. Then at a later stage, we totally redid the track and just left the a capella vocal. We went in a different direction with a quirky piano riff and the live drums, and that’s the version that we pitched to Selena.”
Stargate reveals more about Charli XCX’s impact on the song
Although the track changed considerably, XCX’s fingerprints were still on it. “There is one little ‘Oh-oh-oh-oh’ part that Charli has in the background,” Stargate’s Eriksen said. “I was impressed that Selena managed to make it her own. Not a lot of people can sing a Charli song and sound good.”
How a member of Stargate and the public reacted to ‘Same Old Love’
“Same Old Love” exemplifies Gomez’s career evolution as it sounds very different from the music she sang on the Disney Channel. Stargate’s Tor Erik Hermansen explained his reaction to that evolution. “You can tell by Selena’s music that her taste is evolving, that she’s finding herself,” he said. “She’s becoming better and better. With certain artists, their first album is amazing, and then they lose the plot. But with Selena, it’s been the other way around.” Hermansen said Gomez was once self-conscious about her voice but is growing into it.
So did the combination of XCX and Gomez work on the pop charts? The track reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. None of her singles would chart higher until she released “Lose You to Love Me” years later. In addition, “Same Old Love” charted higher than all of the songs XCX released with the exception of her Iggy Azalea collaboration “Fancy,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100. “Same Old Love” sounded surprisingly good to Eriksen — and the American public liked it as well.