Who Says (Selena Gomez & the Scene song)

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"Who Says"
Single by Selena Gomez & the Scene
from the album When the Sun Goes Down
B-side "Ghost of You"
Released 14 March 2011
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2010
Genre Teen pop
Length 3:15
Label Hollywood
Writer(s) Selena Gomez, Emanuel Kiriakou, Priscilla Hamilton
Producer(s) Emanuel Kiriakou
Selena Gomez & the Scene singles chronology
"A Year Without Rain"
(2010)
"Who Says"
(2011)
"Love You Like a Love Song"
(2011)
Alternative cover
"Dices" Spanish version of "Who Says"

"Who Says" is a song performed by American band Selena Gomez & the Scene. Priscilla Renea wrote the song with Emanuel Kiriakou, who produced the track. The song was released on March 2011, as the lead single from the band's third album, When the Sun Goes Down (2011). According to Gomez, the song was intended to inspire people, and fire back at the "haters", particularly those involved in cyberbullying. "Who Says" marks a distinct departure in sound for the band, as it has an acoustic and organic feel, compared to their dance-pop and club-oriented previous singles. The song is a teen pop number with inspirational lyrics about embracing yourself and not letting anyone bring you down.

"Who Says" received generally positive reviews from critics, who appreciated its message and the change of pace for the band. The song charted in the top thirty in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, and it became their highest charting single on these charts at the time. It also reached the lower regions of European charts. "Who Says" was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It also became the act's third No. 1 Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. The song's accompanying music video features Gomez frolicking around a city, removing makeup, and performing with the band on a beach. Gomez performed the song on a variety occasions including at the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards, on Dancing with the Stars, and So Random!.

Background and inspiration[edit]

In 2009, the band released their debut album Kiss & Tell and quickly followed-up with 2010's A Year Without Rain.[1] After the release of the latter, Gomez said that she was not in a rush to release another album, but after hearing "Who Says", she decided to begin another release, calling the song "amazing" and crediting it for inspiring her.[1] Gomez would later call the song "fun and empowering", commenting, "Every time I sing this song, I'm like, 'I feel better already!'"[1] When talking about the song's message, Gomez commented that she thought of it as "sweet", going on to say, "with bullying, with cyberbullying, with all the negativity that is in high school and dealing with things, you're already trying to figure out who you are; it doesn't help when people are constantly trying to tear you down."[1] She then said that she was "dealing with it, of course" and was "going through it as well."[1] After debuting the single on On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Gomez mentioned the criticism received on Twitter and Facebook due to being a celebrity, and critics such as Nardine Saad of the Los Angeles Times inferred this as firing back at the hate received after she started dating Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber earlier in the year.[2]

Twitter and Facebook are really negative for me … within that world is such easy access to people's feelings. You can get a thousand wonderful comments but just one will throw you off and that's how it is with me. Basically it's to the haters—the people trying to bring you down.

—Selena Gomez[2]

The single follows in succession of other self-empowerment singles such as "We R Who We R" by Ke$ha, "Firework" by Katy Perry, "Fuckin' Perfect" by Pink, and "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga.[1] Gomez herself stated "I am so happy [about recent empowerment songs], 'cause music is a universal language, and it's a quick way to get to everybody. The fact that all these artists are doing that, it's really good. I'm really happy."[1] The song was released on iTunes in the United States and Canada on March 14, 2011.[3] It was released as a CD single in Germany on March 15, 2011, with the B-side of "Ghost of You" from A Year Without Rain.[4]

Composition[edit]

The song is a departure in her previous singles such as "Round & Round" and "Naturally", whereas the previous were dance-pop and club-oriented, "Who Says" draws from the teen pop genre, and has an "organic" and "acoustic" feel.[5] According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Alfred Publishing, "Who Says" is set in common time in a moderate tempo of 100 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of E major as Gomez's vocal range spans from the low-note of G#3 to the high-note of C#5.[6] The song contains string accents described as "sympathetic, but not overpowering."[7] Described as a "jangly pop tune", having an "overarching feel-good vibe", lyrically, the song speaks of "embracing who you are and not letting your critics get you down."[5] Gomez sings of insecurities, and people telling her she is not good enough, before asserting "I'm sure you got some things/ You'd like to change about yourself/ But when it comes to me/ I wouldn't want to be anybody else."[5]

According to Brian Voerding of AOL Radio Blog, "Gomez sings about staying true to herself, particularly in the face of doubt that comes from others telling her she can't live up to her dreams." In the song she refers to her criticisms as "the price of beauty".[8] Bill Lamb of About.com said the song's positive message is "all about recognizing yourself as a beautiful person despite what others might say or think."[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Jocelyn Vena of MTV News complimented the song, commenting that "Top 40 has a new empowerment anthem."[5] Bill Lamb of About.com said Gomez "has become the most consistent Disney pop hitmaker in recent years" and that "she has not reached these achievements through gimmickry or pandering to an audience. She has succeeded with quality, straightforward pop songs."[7] Lamb went on to say that "Who Says" was no exception, complimenting Gomez's "winning vocals", and the song's "bright, catchy instrumental arrangement" and the "irresistible chorus."[7] However, Lamb commented that the song was lacking in originality, and said that it was another pop song with a theme of self-esteem.[7] Although a writer from The Huffington Post called the song "superfluous" and like many feel-good anthems, "a little bit tepid", the writer said it was "cute" and an "ode to self worth" which "exudes bubblegum confidence in the manner of her man (boy) Bieber's tune "Never Say Never'."[9]

Chart performance[edit]

"Who Says" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 24.[10] The charting matched the debut of "Round & Round" the lead single from A Year Without Rain.[10] The song managed to peak at number 21 on the chart dated June 29, marking the band's highest charting effort to date.[11] Additionally, the song has reached number 17 on the US Pop Songs chart and the top position on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart[10] "Who Says" also appeared on the Billboard component charts Adult Pop Songs and Adult Contemporary, the band's first appearance on those charts.[10] It charted at number 37 on the previous and 27 on the latter.[10] It has sold 1,964,000 copies in the US as of July 2013.[12]

The song debuted at number 17 on the Canadian Hot 100, becoming their highest charting single on the chart.[13] It also reached number 15 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, becoming their highest charting single on that chart, beating the peak of "Naturally" which reached number twenty.[14] The song charted in the top 50 in Germany and Ireland, and appeared on the main charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Austria.[15]

Music video[edit]

The song's music video was directed by American music video director Chris Applebaum.[16] An eight-second teaser of the video was released on March 2, 2011, and the full video premiered on VEVO on March 11, 2011.[17] The video starts off with Gomez at a photoshoot where she starts singing the first verse. She then removes her earrings and shoes and exits the studio. She is seen singing while walking through a city, riding in a cab, and eventually walking on the outskirts of the city as lyrics appear in various locations including a theatre marquee, the side of a building, and written in the sky. Eventually she enters a public restroom, throws on a casual outfit and removes her make-up. After this, Gomez makes her way to a beach, where she is seen singing with her band, surrounded by fans. The video ends as the crowd runs into the water, and the waves wash away the words 'THE END' written in the sand.

Live performances[edit]

Gomez performing "Who Says" at 2011 Much Music Video Awards (Photo: Tony Felgueiras)

Gomez appeared on both the Late Show with David Letterman on March 16, 2011,[18] and The Seven on March 18, 2011 to promote the single.[19] The band performed the song for the first time at the 3rd annual Concert for Hope on March 20, 2011.[20] They later performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on March 22, 2011,[21] and on Dancing with the Stars on April 5, 2011.[22] The band also performed the song on an episode of So Random!.[23] The band also performed the song on Good Morning America on June 17, 2011.[24] On June 19, 2011, the band performed the song on the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards,[25] whereas they performed it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Live with Regis and Kelly on June 24, 2011 and June 29, 2011, respectively.[26][27]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD single
  1. "Who Says" – 3:15
  2. "Ghost of You" – 3:23
  • UK iTunes single / UK promo CD single
  1. "Who Says" – 3:15
  2. "Who Says" (Instrumental) – 3:15
  • AUS remix single
  1. "Who Says" (Bimbo Jones Radio Remix) – 2:49
  2. "Who Says" (Dave Audé Radio Remix) – 3:33
  3. "Who Says" (Tony Moran and Warren Rigg Radio Remix) – 3:38
  • UK remix single
  1. "Who Says" (Dave Audé Club Mix) – 7:07
  2. "Who Says" (Bimbo Jones Club Mix) – 5:46
  3. "Who Says" (Tony Moran & Warren Rigg Club Mix) – 7:24
  4. "Who Says" (Joe Bermudez-Chico Club Remix) – 6:51
  5. "Who Says" (SmashMode Extended Remix) – 5:41

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2011 Teen Choice Awards [28] Choice Music: Single Won
2011 Vevo Certified 100.000.000 Views Won [29]

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Vena, Jocelyn (2011-03-17). "Selena Gomez 'Inspired' By Latest Single, 'Who Says'". MTV News. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  2. ^ a b Saad, Nardine. "Selena Gomez debuts song 'Who Says,' misses Justin Bieber". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Who Says – Single by Selena Gomez & the Scene". iTunes Store. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  4. ^ "Who Says (2-Track)". Bol.de. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  5. ^ a b c d Vena, Jocelyn (2011-03-08). "Selena Gomez Debuts New Song, 'Who Says'". MTV News. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  6. ^ Priscilla Renea, Emanuel Kiriakou (2011). "Who Says: Selena Gomez & the Scene: Digital Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. MN0092518 (Product Number). 
  7. ^ a b c d e Lamb, Bill. "Selena Gomez and the Scene - "Who Says"". About.com. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  8. ^ Voerding, Brian (2011-03-08). "Selena Gomez & the Scene, 'Who Says' -- New Song". AOL Radio Blog. AOL. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  9. ^ Spielberg, Theo (2011-03-09). "Selena Gomez Releases New Single 'Who Says?' (LISTEN)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-30. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Who Says - Selena Gomez - Billboard.com". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  11. ^ "Selena Gomez". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  12. ^ a b Grein, Paul (July 31, 2013). "Chart Watch Extra: Selena’s Birthday Present". Chart Watch. Yahoo. 
  13. ^ a b "Selena Gomez & The Scene Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Selena Gomez & The Scene.
  14. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – Selena Gomez & The Scene – Who Says". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ a b "Selena Gomez & The Scene – Who Says – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  16. ^ "Chris Applebaum – Credits". chrisapplebaum.com. Chris Applebaum. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  17. ^ "Selena Gomez Premieres 'Who Says' Video". AOL JSYK. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  18. ^ Chaney, Jen (2011-03-17). "Selena Gomez plays coy with David Letterman; Mel Gibson turns himself in to police during ‘Beaver’ premiere". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  19. ^ "Selena Gomez Plays Coy on 'The Seven'" (Video). MTV.com. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  20. ^ Hall, Katy (2011-03-21). "Selena Gomez Wows At 'Concert For Hope' (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  21. ^ "Selena Gomez & The Scene perform 'Who Says'". Time Warner. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  22. ^ O'Connell, Mikey (2011-04-05). "'Dancing With the Stars': Selena Gomez brings 'Who Says' to results show". Zap2it. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  23. ^ "WATCH: Selena Gomez and The Scene Perform 'Who Says' on Disney's 'So Random!'". E!. 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  24. ^ "Selena Gomez Performs On ‘Good Morning America’, Talks Britney Spears". Buzzmedia. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  25. ^ "Lady Gaga goes bald, Selena Gomez hosts MuchMusic Awards [Pictures, Video]". International Business Times. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  26. ^ Blotnick, Emily. "Selena Gomez and The Scene Perform "Who Says"". NBC Universal. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  27. ^ Gilmore, Story. "Video: Selena Gomez Performs "Who Says" On Regis And Kelly". Neon Limelight. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  28. ^ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/awards/2011/08/teen-choice-awards-2011-winners.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzE1mX4Px0I.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Selena Gomez & The Scene – Who Says". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Selena Gomez & The Scene – Who Says" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  32. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  33. ^ "Chart Track: Week 21, 2011". Irish Singles Chart.
  34. ^ "Radio Top 100 Oficiální Slovakian – Gomez Selena & The Scene – Who Says" (in Slovak). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  35. ^ "Archive Chart: 2011-06-04" UK Singles Chart.
  36. ^ "Chart Highlights: Pop, Dance Club Songs & More". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011-08-09. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  37. ^ "American single certifications – Selena Gomez & The Scene – Who Says". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  38. ^ "RIAA Adds Digital Streams To Historic Gold & Platinum Awards". Recording Industry Association of America. May 9, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Best of 2011: Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  40. ^ "Best of 2011: Dance/Club Songs (21–30)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 1, 2012.