She tells Apple Music how anger and her sexuality inspired the album and its harder sound, also reflecting on processing unresolved trauma, losing herself earlier in her career by being overly focused on chasing radio hits, and why she would not recommend signing a record deal at age 15 like she did.
She also recounts the near-death experience of her overdose, recovery, and working to regain the trust of loved ones, addressing her survivor’s guilt on the powerful song “DEAD FRIENDS,” and why she’s feeling excited about entering her 30s.
The interview occurred on the same day Lovato shared another pre-album single, “29.” Demi will share the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night (August 18). The performance is part of Demi’s three-night takeover on the show, which included a performance of “SUBSTANCE.” They will appear as co-host tonight (August 17), taking part in the monologue and guest interviews. Demi will then stop by Good Morning America for their Summer Concert Series in Central Park this Friday, August 19.
Lovato also discussed many of the influences that appear on the album. “One influence that really changed where I wanted to go directionally into music was Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone.’ It was a monster record. And I saw the transformation of her as an artist go from R&B soul pop to pop rock. And I was like, wait, that’s what I want to do,” Lovato explains. She also cites Ashlee Simpson’s “Lala” as an influence, before discovering bands like Paramore and Flyleaf.
“I’ve known Hayley [Williams, singer in Paramore] since…I think I met her when I was 15…she’s one of my biggest influences…Vocally. Oh my God. I mean she’s still my dream collaboration. It’s never happened, but she’s still my dream collaboration. To be honest, I gave up on that dream collaboration. So I didn’t say it for years, but that’s always been my dream collaboration.
Lovato also discussed some of the tracks on her forthcoming album, including “29.” “When I turned 29, I remember I was on vacation and I just realized I’m 29 now, and it put things into perspective,” she says.
“…Turning 29 was a huge eye-opener for me. And then, going into treatment and having realizations led to my transformation, my release of the emotion that was put into this song. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a ton of anxiety about putting out this song.”