The Friday edition of Apple Music’s New Music Daily with Zane Lowe saw Selena Gomez call in to promote her latest single, “Boyfriend.” Gomez was joined by the single’s fellow co-writers, Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels, and together they delved into the creative process behind the track, per Billboard. Jon Wienner and Sam Homaee, the other songwriters involved with “Boyfriend,” did not appear on the show.
Michaels revealed that the song was born “literally from a text message,” with Gomez adding how exactly that text conversation went.
“When I want to do more, it is sometimes like, ‘You know what? Today, I just don’t know what I’m actually feeling. So, maybe it’s not going to be anything. But I text her, I said, ‘Well, it’s like I feel like I’ve covered everything on the album.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know. Life’s good. I want a boyfriend. That’s about it.’ And she’s like, ‘LOL, whatever.’ And I come in the studio and that’s literally the title.”
Tranter, who described the song’s chorus as possibly his “favorite” of the ones he has worked on — and that it was a “super quick” process — explained the spark in that text exchange. It was Gomez saying that she “wanted” a boyfriend, not that she actually “needed” one.
“Those are two very different, very important words. So, we made sure to make that very clear. Because, no one needs a f–king boyfriend. You can want one, but no one needs one.”
Gomez’s recounting of the song’s story on New Music Daily with Zane Lowe follows her explanation of the single on her Instagram stories earlier in the week, per Buzzfeed. At that time, Gomez wrote that her intention concerning “Boyfriend” was a lighthearted take on bouncing back from failures in love while also understanding that you only need yourself to be truly happy.
Gomez also made it clear that the song was written in November, and that it bore no relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic. She explained that — in today’s context — a boyfriend is not a priority for herself, and that she is praying for “safety, unity, and recovery.” Gomez also announced that she would be making a personal donation to the PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund, as well as donating $1 from every order in her official store.
“Boyfriend” appears on the deluxe edition of Gomez’s album Rare, which was released on April 9. It joins two other unreleased singles, “She” and “Souvenir,” on the expanded version of her album. Rare peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 when it was originally released in January of this year.