IN CONVERSATION WITH DEMI LOVATO
Interview by Jana Letonja
Demi Lovato is a Grammy-nominated and award-winning musician, actor, advocate and New York Times best-selling author. With nearly 30 billion streams earned worldwide, Demi has captivated audiences with her renowned powerhouse vocals and illustrious songwriting. Demi’s single, ‘Still Alive’, the lead single from ‘Scream VI’ soundtrack was released on 3rd March, followed by a surprise for her fans, ‘Heart Attack 2.0’, a re-recording for the 10 year anniversary of her hit song, which came out on 24th March.
Demi, your career started with acting on Disney Channel, before the release of your debut album. What contributed to your love for music being born?
My love for music was always around. My mom was a singer, so I was around music a lot and I would always sing with her and that’s how it started for me.
Do you have any special fond memories of the Disney Channel and all the projects you did with them?
I have a ton of fond memories, making friends and getting to live out my dream at a young age.
Your music knows no bounds, it blends genres from pop, R&B, rock to soul and more. What made you explore different genres and not stick only to one? Why is blending of different genres a good thing for an artist in your opinion?
I think that for me, I was trying a lot of different sounds because I was trying to find myself as an artist, trying to figure out who I was as an artist. Some of them didn’t stick, but I feel like I found my lane finally. At my age today I finally found the sound that works best for me.
Your most recent album ‘Holy Fvck’, which came out last year, is a sonic journey that illustrates an earnest yet tongue-in-cheek retrospective of your life experiences. This album was hailed as “the best we’ve heard from you to date”. What inspired this album the most?
What inspired it was the personal journey that I was going on. I went through a lot and I had a lot to write about, so I was just writing from personal experiences and I pulled from music that I would listen to when I was younger and that kind of inspired the album.
At the begining of March your single ‘Still Alive’, the lead single from ‘Scream VI’ soundtrack was released. And after that, you surprised your fans with the re-recording of your hit single ‘Heart Attack’ for its 10 year anniversary. What was behind your decision to do a re-recording of ‘Heart Attack’, besides of course being its 10 year anniversary?
I wanted to re-record this single because I’d been performing it live at all of my shows and I noticed my voice was different than the recording. I wanted to resing it, so that my fans could hear what I sound like today and still give them a little treat for the 10 year anniversary.
You’ve done countless performances on stage with your tours and all the other performances. Every performance definitely excites you in its own special way, but which one would you say was the most exciting one of your career so far?
When I think about the most exciting shows of my career, I think of some of the biggest shows that I played because there was so much emotion and so many nerves going through my body, getting ready to go on stage. And I would say that when I played ‘Rock in Rio’ in Lisbon, that was one of the biggest shows of my career and it was one of the most exciting.
How did it feel to perform at the ‘Super Bowl’?
That was also very exciting for me and very fun. Very nerve-wracking, but very exciting.
Your fans love your authenticity and vulnerability. Why did you decide to bring your fans on the intimate journey of your life with two documentaries, ‘Simply Complicated’ in 2017 and ‘Dancing with the Devil’ in 2021?
I released those documentaries because I was in different stages of my life where I thought that sharing with the world would be very healing for me. And it was. Those documentaries were important to my personal growth and that’s why I released them.
In your career, you’ve been honored with numerous awards and award nominations, including 2 Grammy nominations, but the one that stands out is the GLAAD Vanguard Award for your services to LGBTQ+ activism. What does being an activist or a voice for the LGBTQ+ community mean to you?
It’s important to be a voice for that community because I’m a part of it. I think it’s really important when you are a part of something to speak out and use your voice for them. It’s something that’s very near and dear to my heart, obviously because I’m part of the community, and I can’t stand to see injustices in my country and other countries, so I speak out for them.
Demi, you identify as a feminist. You’re also quite politically active and are often speaking out against different topics – a woman’s right to choose, ending gun violence, racial injustice and LGBTQ+ rights. These are some of the biggest issues in the States. I would really love to hear your brutally honest opinion on these issues, as it’s painful to read about all these atrocities even from so far away.
My opinion on these issues really has to do with the fact that people who are just human are trying to have the same rights as other people. It’s not fair that they’re treated differently because of their gender identity, because of their race and because of how they identify sexually. Not to mention women being treated differently. It’s just not fair.
When I see things like this come up in the news, where people are being treated differently, it breaks my heart and so I wanted to speak out about those issues. And then you have other issues, like gun control, and it’s the same thing where many people are becoming victims to the laws or lack thereof in our government. It breaks my heart to see so many people die from gun violence. Speaking out about that when I can is very important.
So Demi, tell us what’s coming up next? A new album, a new tour?
Currently I’m in the studio making another album. Just making more music is really my number one priority right now.
Can you maybe tease something about the upcoming music? What will be able to hear from your new album?
From the new album you’ll be able to hear more rock music, so I’m definitely sticking to my rock roots. It’ll be really sick.
talent DEMI LOVATO @ddlovato
photographer, creative director, set design TYLER KENNY @tylerpatrickkenny @tunnelmediagroup
video DAMETREUS WARD @meech213 @tunnelmediagroup
styling LUCA FALCIONI @luca_falcioni
hair ALYX LIU @alyxliu @aframe_agency
hair assistant LINDSEY TORRES @doc_martins
make-up JILL POWEL @jillpowellglam @crowdmgmt
studio techs RENO RONQUILLO & MADI SILIEO @renoronq @madisilieo
styling assistants FRANKIE BENKOVIC & TAZHAE STANLEY @frankiebenkovic @tazhaee
lighting techs FRANÇOIS JOSEPH & TIM @francoisjoseph_ @filmedbytim
production Tunnel Media Group @tunnelmediagroup
exec producer DANIELLE HAWKINS @daniellehstyles
exec producer JASON KING @jasonloveking1234
editor TIMOTEJ LETONJA @timiletonja
special thanks to NICOLE PEREZ-KRUEGER, ALEC HUERTA, PAUL SAMAHA & LAUREN MORRIS @alignpr