Finally! It’s been over a year since Selena Gomez released a proper solo track. To say that her fans have been eagerly anticipating new music is an understatement. Their patience was rewarded on Oct. 23. After teasing a new project with a handful of odd, cryptic posts online, Selena released “Lose You To Love Me,” a powerful ballad that might just top any other breakup anthem before it — there, we said it. As one Twitter user speculated, “Selena Gomez just dragged the f**k outta Justin Bieber in her new song.” Of course, no names actually made it into the song — but many fans are convinced this is all about Selena and Justin’s official breakup.
In one of Selena’s most suggestive verses, she sings, “I gave my all and they all know it / You turned me down, and now it’s showing / In two months you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it.” For context, Selena and Justin gave their love one more shot in late 2017, right after she split from The Weeknd. But, like the numerous times before, Jelena didn’t last. They split by March 2018, and in July of that year, Justin was engaged to his soon-to-be-wife Hailey Baldwin — they have been married since Sept. 2018, and even had a second wedding on Sept. 30, 2019.
In another powerful verse, Selena sings/shades, “Sang off-key in my chorus / ‘Cause it wasn’t yours / You promised the world / Made her more of a woman /I needed to lose you to find me.” Justin was a featured artist on her songs “Can’t Steal Our Love” (2013) and “Unfamiliar” (2014). Keep in mind, Selena never ended up collaborating with her other vocally talented ex, The Weeknd — again, this is just speculation, and she could just be speaking in metaphors. The accompanying music video was just as raw, which featured a black-and-white Selena looking straight into the camera for more than three minutes as she sang about how she needed to “hate” that one ex to “love” herself.
Fans didn’t need to analyze the lyrics too hard, however, to assume they were about the Biebs. “SELENA LOST JUSTIN. BUT IN DOING SO, SHE HAS FOUND HERSELF. AND SOMEHOW THAT WAS EVERYTHING…UGHHHH MY FRAGILE HEART CANT TAKE ALL THESE EMOTIONSSSSS 😭😭😭😭😭,” one Selenator tweeted, and another wrote, “the fact that selena saw all the red flags in justin but decided to stay and keep trying just because she loved him. & he replaced her & got engaged within 2 months. wow that hurt me #LoseYouToLoveMe.” Selena offered her own explanation on YouTube, writing, “This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album. I want people to feel hope and to know you will come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself.” Her last studio album, Revival, was released in 2015.
Because this is Selena Gomez, once she revealed the name of the song, there was immediate speculation that the “You” in “Lose You To Love Me” was about Justin. However, most of these cryptic messages accompanied childhood pictures of Selena. Save for a shot of an adult Selena behind a lace screen and one pic taken of a theatre’s marquee, most of these posts were cute throwbacks. While some speculated Selena was singing about another, it’s possible the person she had to “lose” to “love me” was…herself.
— lara🦋 (@selsglow) October 23, 2019
Selena’s last solo outing was 2018’s “Back To You,” a song she recorded for the second season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Since then, Selena’s musical output has been strictly collaborations: she appeared on DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki” in late 2018; she lent her vocals to Julia Michael’s “Anxiety,” released at the start of 2019; and, most recently, she teamed up with Benny Blanco, Tainy, and J Balvin for “I Can’t Get Enough.” As for a proper solo Selena effort, fans have been left high and dry – until now.
Selena first hinted that her silence – when it came to new solo music, at least – was ending on Oct. 16. That’s when the cryptic throwbacks began. On Oct. 17, she shared the shot of a theater with “I SAW THE SIGNS AND I IGNORED IT” on the marquee. In that post, she tagged @Spotify, which raised a few eyebrows considering what she posted to her Instagram Stories that day.
Selena shared a shot of a digital Times Square billboard that read, “Alexa, follow Selena Gomez.” She also linked to Amazon Music’s streaming service for her old tracks — which is all the music that her fans have been able to enjoy lately. Her last album, Revival, came in 2015. Since then, she’s focused mainly on 13 Reasons Why, on producing her Netflix docuseries, Living Undocumented, and voicing a giraffe in 2020’s Doolittle.
“[Selena] has actually been working on music for her album over the last few years here and there,” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in August, “and with the recent release of Taylor Swift‘s Lover album, it has really lit a completely new fire in Selena to get some of her music out there. She is actually looking to get stuff out before the end of the year.”