One week before Demi Lovato releases what might be her most personal, most intimate music project yet, the 28-year-old singer dropped the title track to both her album and her YouTube Originals docuseries. As expected, “Dancing With The Devil” is deeply tied to her near-fatal 2018 overdose and appears to be a play-by-play of how she gradually relapsed after six years of sobriety in 2018.
“It’s just a little red wine, I’ll be fine,” Demi sings to open the song, a reference to the fact that she drank a bottle of wine on the night she relapsed and ended up going on a “shopping spree” of drugs in 2018. “Not like I wanna do this every night / I’ve been good, don’t I deserve it?,” Demi continues to sing on the haunting track, seemingly a reflection of her mindset at the time.
“It’s just a little white line, I’ll be fine / But soon that little white line is a little glass pipe / Tin foil remedy, almost got the best of me,” Demi continues to sing on the second verse of her new song, referring to how doing cocaine again gradually turned into a heroin addiction.
Demi ties this period of her life altogether in the chorus, in which she sings, “I was dancing with the devil / Out of control / Almost made it to heaven / It was closer than you know.” This, of course, is a reference to the night she smoked heroin which — unbeknownst to Demi — was laced with synthetic opioid fentanyl in July of 2018. The Disney Channel alum’s former assistant Jordan Jackson found Demi unresponsive, and thankfully, EMTs saved Demi from what could’ve been a fatal overdose.
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) March 25, 2021
“Dancing With The Devil” comes on the heels of the startling revelations Demi shared in her YouTube Originals docuseries. The four-part Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil premiered on Mar. 23 and will conclude on April 6, four days after Demi drops the companion album, Dancing With The Devil – The Art of Starting Over. The album is expected to have around seventeen new songs, along with the previously released “Anyone” and her duet with Sam Fischer, “What Other People Say.” Demi also confirmed that the album will feature Saweetie, Noah Cyrus, and her fellow child-actor turned global pop superstar, Ariana Grande.
“If you listen to it track by track, if you follow the tracklisting, it’s kind of actually like the non-official soundtrack to the documentary. Because it really does follow my life over the past couple of years,” Lovato said in a Clubhouse livestream on Mar. 15, per Variety. “When we went through the tracklisting and kind of mapped out how it kind of coincided with my life’s story, it made sense to add the more emotional stuff in the beginning and then transition into The Art of Starting Over.”
Ahead of the song’s official release, Demi performed “Dancing With The Devil,” as well as “Anyone” and “I See You” at a screening of the docuseries at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Mar. 22. “It’s been a while since I performed,” she said, according to Variety. She then went into “Anyone,” the song she debuted at the 2020 Grammy Awards. “I have one more song I’ve never sang before on stage,” she added before sharing “Dancing With The Devil” with a live audience for the first time.
“I’m going to just quickly off the top of my head say thank you to every single person who’s here tonight,” all the people who showed me all of the lessons that I needed to learn to get to be the person that I am today, and that includes all of the people that are no longer in my life for certain reasons. That includes them, too. They’ve been my teachers. That’s the beauty about life: it just keeps going, and you keep evolving.”