Selena Gomez has awoken from the chrysalis of healing. Proudly stepping in to the new year of 2021 by claiming her Mexican-American roots, claiming all parts of her identity in order to fully show her most authentic self out into the world and into her art.
Her new song marks the first all-Spanish song for the singer, titled “De Una Vez,” or “At Once.” The track pulsates with the Latin flair of urban pop, with the chorus incorporating the magical realism of famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and theme of self-empowerment, saying “De una vez por todas / Soy más fuerte sola / Y es que no me arrepiento del pasado / Sé que el tiempo a tu lado / Cortó mis alas / Pero ahora este pecho es antibalas,” which translates to “At once and for all / I am stronger alone / And it’s that I do not regret the past / I know the time by your side / Cut my wings / But now I’m bulletproof.”
It is clear throughout the track that Gomez’s respect for the Spanish language is present — though it is not her mother tongue, each syllable is hit with such precision and emotion that she sounds better than she ever has.
Gomez enlisted the help of visionary Hispanic-American music video directors Tania Verduzco and Adrian Pérez, under the creative pseudonym Los Perez. The setting, a single-floor, small, ’50s-style house references her experimental-pop video for “Fetish,” in which, in a haze, Gomez wanders around a home, seemingly trapped in a lovers’ push-and-pull.
Now Gomez — clad in a blush pink rose-dotted dress, reminiscent of the cultural Tehuana dress — confidently struts through the home she once shared with her lover. We join her on her journey of separation, from waking up to the indent of a body next to her that is flattened out as she rises to a bright room of flowers, to burning pictures of the relationship on a stovetop that is aflame, to finally walking into the room full of her ex-lovers’ stuff, calling upon Mother Nature to sweep up the unpleasantness into a hurricane.
We end the journey zooming into her heart, a bright-pink play on the Catholic-iconography of Jesus’s sacred heart, with its golden rays of light engulfing the heart in a protective layer.