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Talking music and fashion with Selena Gomez

Kidsday Reporters (l) Cheryl Tung, Ashley Baptiste, Diana

Kidsday Reporters (l) Cheryl Tung, Ashley Baptiste, Diana Hadjiyane, and Nicole Farina, from Hofstra Summer Camp with actress and singer Selena Gomez. (July 23, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met one of our favorite singers and actresses, Selena Gomez, when she was in Manhattan recently.

What inspired you to make your music on this album more like a techno-pop?

I feel like I kind of always had that sound with every record I put out. My first platinum single was "Naturally," and that kind of has that fun dance feel to it. I love to move, I love to dance. Me and my friends all run around the house all the time and just have dance parties, and [it's] just a great way to release everything, and it's fun. And I was inspired a lot by all the DJ's that are out right now, like Calvin Harris and Dave Guetta and Skrillex.


Who has been the biggest influence on your life and what lessons have they taught you?

Probably my mom. She's just gone through so much in her life. To see who she is now and where she is, it's just really beautiful to know the struggle that she's gone through, but she is who she is.


How does it feel like to have a successful career?

It feels really good, but I think the best part is that I don't ever feel settled. Therefore, in a way, I don't always think I'm successful -- I think I've got to keep going and striving for the best and I always want to top myself, so I just try to keep working really hard to get there. Maybe one day I'll feel settled and happy and be, like, yes, I've done it. But I'm young so I'm going to keep going.


What does your album "Stars Dance" mean to you?

It's actually a name of one of the tracks on the album, and it just, to me, it exudes everything that I am right now. I'm 21. As a young woman, it kind of exudes a little bit of confidence in my body and who I am, and it's a very fun track. Just feels like that's where I am in my life.


Who is your best friend, and what is it like to hang out with either him/her?

I have the best friends ever. They're all sweet and I've known them for years, and all we do is usually eat a lot. They made me a birthday video, and all they did was talk about how much we ate together, which was our bonding time. And we dance all the time.


What do you like about performing and making music?

What I love about performing is the rush I get. I love being on the stage, even recording music. It's so much fun. It's just, you get to party and have fun and then just be with your fans. Making music videos is dressing up. I love dressing up. I used to wear a really fun and beautiful dress, and usually it's always something that I'm uncomfortable in, but it's worth it, because it looked amazing. So, I like dressing up and kind of having fun with that.


How did you decide what clothes to put in your new adidas Neo collection?

That was really fun, because they actually gave me an opportunity to go in and collaborate with them. I kind of went in and gave them my opinion on what we would wear, you and me, or just, like, girls in general. I put a lot of beanies in it, I put my edgy little touch on it, because my own clothing line, Dream Out Loud is a little bit more feminine and delicate. So this one's a little bit more edgy, and the sneakers are really fun. So I just wanted to come in and bring that edge to it. Have a little bit of a darker vibe to it.


How is it different now that's it's just Selena Gomez and no longer Selena Gomez & the Scene?

It feels really good. I think it's a great time for me to do that. I feel like the last records were amazing. I was so proud of them, but being able to, just, kind of be on my own for this one has been really fun.


Is it ever awkward to be met in public?

No, it's never awkward unless I'm in the bathroom. It's always awkward. I mean, everywhere else I'm usually fine. When it's in the bathroom and it's, "Let's take a picture," and I'm, like, "You want one with the toilet in the back or do you want to go outside?"


Do you enjoy acting or singing?

I don't know; I change my mind every day. I really do. I miss being on set, but I was in the studio recording again, so I feel like I'm already making more music to do later. I change my mind. I love both so much, and I'm really lucky I get to do both.


What would be your best advice to teens and children who don't feel comfortable in their own skin?

Oh, we all feel that way. I feel that way. You have those moments, honestly, of being uncomfortable and not really knowing what it is that day. I will say, surround yourself with love. Like, I have the best friends in the world, like I was telling you. If I ever feel down about myself, I always just kind of go and hang out with them. We usually do a dance party. And, just, kind of go in the pool, relax and just not think about it. I think a lot, and I think too much at times, and that's what's tricky is, you've just got to talk to somebody about it. Talk to your family, your sister, or your best friends.


What was your favorite movie to make?

I enjoyed "Spring Breakers." I really did. That's something you guys cannot see, but it was really liberating for me. It was fun because I got to play something completely different and work with incredible other actors that I admire and respect. It was a good opportunity for me to stretch.


Considering you're a major style icon, where does your fashion inspire you?

I feel like music, traveling, I'm always just, kind of . . . it depends on my mood, too. Like the other day, I watched "The Notebook." I just wanted to dress just like Rachel McAdams in the movie, or sometimes I just want to dress really fun and edgy if I'm doing music or going out and I'll wear something black. It just kind of depends on my mood.


Have you ever been star-struck?

Yes, a lot. I've been star-struck a lot. I was recently star-stuck by Bradley Cooper, I've been star-struck by Shia LaBeouf, Sandra Bullock . . . Reese Witherspoon was really one that I was nervous about, too. I always get nervous.


Have you ever discovered any other artist?

Here? Yeah, I always like music and seeing what's around, especially the UK [United Kingdom]. The UK has really good music. I was obsessed with Cheryl Cole for the longest time. Do you guys know Cheryl Cole? She's from London and she's huge over there, but she's really pretty and she's got fun music. So I like to discover new artists.


Are you normally relatively close with your co-stars in your shows?

Yes. I love meeting new people, and it just makes for a better environment if you're friends with everyone and just enjoy it. Because my mom always told me the moment this isn't funny anymore, that I should just go home and stop. So I've always just wanted to make every place really fun, and I've been very lucky that all my co-stars have been amazing.

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