Hit the Lights (Selena Gomez & the Scene song)

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"Hit the Lights"
Single by Selena Gomez & the Scene
from the album When the Sun Goes Down
Released January 20, 2012
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Length 3:14
Label Hollywood
Producer(s) Dreamlab
Selena Gomez & the Scene singles chronology
"Love You like a Love Song"
"Hit the Lights"

"Love You like a Love Song"
"Hit the Lights"
Music video
"Hit the Lights (Version 1)"
on YouTube
"Hit the Lights (Version 2)"
on YouTube

"Hit the Lights" is a song by American band Selena Gomez & the Scene, taken from their third and final studio album When the Sun Goes Down (2011). The song was written by Leah Haywood, Daniel James and Tony Nilsson, while production of the song was handled by Haywood and James under their production name Dreamlab. Musically, "Hit the Lights" is a synth-pop and teen pop song. Lyrically, the song speaks about living in the moment and taking risks. An international remixes EP was released on January 20, 2012 for the song's single release. It officially impacted Top 40/Mainstream radio in the U.S. on April 10, 2012.[1] It was the third and final single from the album, as well as the final single released by the group to date. It was also the only single released by the group that was excluded from Selena Gomez's 2014 compilation album For You.


"Hit the Lights" was written by Leah Haywood, Daniel James, and Tony Nilsson, while the production was helmed by Haywood and Daniel Pringle.[2] The song was recorded at Dreamlab Studios in Los Angeles, California while the mixing was done at MixStar Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In an interview with Billboard magazine, Selena Gomez explained every track on the song's parent album. In describing "Hit the Lights" she commented that the song's lyrics spoke about things relatable to everyone, commenting "It's kind of one of those songs about living in the moment while keeping it a big huge summer dance track."[3]


"Hit the Lights" is a synth-pop and teen pop track[4] that runs for three minutes and fourteen seconds. The song is written in the key of G major and is set in time signature of common time with a moderately fast tempo of 132 beats per minute. Gomez's vocal range spans from the low note of D3 to the high note of B4. The song has a basic sequence of Em–Csus2–Em–Gmaj7–Bm/F# as its chord progression.[5] The lyrics of "Hit the Lights" displays more "maturity" than the band's previous recordings. It is also musically different than the music of When the Sun Goes Down, with critics noting it as a song playable in dance clubs.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Tim Sendra of AllMusic praised her vocals on the song, commenting that she "comes on like a convincing disco diva on 'Hit the Lights'."[7] Blair Kelly of musicOMH followed in the praise of the song as a "massive club hit" but was mixed in noting that "in the surroundings of the rest of the album it doesn't make sense."[6] Idolator's Mike Wass called the song "[an] underrated gem [which]delivers important life lessons without skimping on a catchy chorus or perky synths".[4]

Music videos[edit]

The video for "Hit the Lights" premiered on Vevo on November 16, 2011 and was directed by Philip Andelman.

The video begins with Gomez signing in front of a lime green background. Gomez, as well as her band members and a few other people are shown in a wheat field, attempting to keep several oversized balloons from touching the ground. Next, the group are wandering through a corn field and begin dancing and jumping, with Gomez singing the song's chorus. The group briefly appears in a pumpkin patch outside of the cornfield, throwing and smashing some pumpkins. Later, as the sun is beginning to set, the group sits on the back of a pickup truck, eating watermelon. The truck begins to issue a large amount of smoke.

As the second playing of the chorus begins, it is shown to be night, and the group are on a street in a neighborhood, where they are dancing while holding flashlights. The group proceeds to a house party. Shortly afterwards, the group are in a dark forest, where there are several disco balls hanging from trees. Gomez then appears surrounded by several pink balloons, wearing pink and yellow sunglasses, as well as in an empty and dark football field. A few people are shown jumping into a pool before returning to the dark street where they begin dancing with sparklers and fireworks go off around them. Finally, the group begins dancing and running through a brightly lit city, similar to Times Square as the video ends.

On April 19, 2012, a second version of the video was released with a few scenes from the original version.


Jeff Benjamin of Billboard magazine commented that "Gomez remains as innocently cute as ever with sunglasses too big for her face in the opening scene. In fact, the most controversial moment of the video comes when Selena and her posse smash a pumpkin to bits. Not a girl, definitely..... not yet a woman (she's still partying in a football stadium). Is Selena's own 'Slave 4 U' moment coming soon? From this video, it looks like the 19 year-old still has a little time before she shedding her squeaky clean image—if she plans to at all."[8] A writer from The Huffington Post took a liking to the song's music video, writing that it "captures the feeling of being young and carefree, and is all about having a good time with your friends. (And having fun in a pile of pink balloons.)"[9]

Live performances[edit]

The band has performed "Hit the Lights" on the We Own the Night Tour, and it is the second song performed after the Dave Audé remix version of "A Year Without Rain" and before "Summer's Not Hot". During the performance, Gomez wears a gold dress and her movements are improvised.[10] On July 24, 2011, the band performed the song "Hit the Lights" at the O.C. Fair.[citation needed] On the day of the MTV Europe Music Awards, Gomez performed "Hit the Lights" in a bedazzled purple jumpsuit with her band.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital download
  1. "Hit the Lights" – 3:14
  • Remixes EP
  1. "Hit the Lights" – 3:14
  2. "Hit the Lights" (MD's Radio Mix) – 3:06
  3. "Hit the Lights" (MD's Remix) – 6:05
  4. "Hit the Lights" (Azzido da Bass Radio Mix) – 3:07
  5. "Hit the Lights" (Azzido da Bass Extended Mix) – 4:03
  6. "Hit the Lights" (Azzido da Bass Club Mix) – 4:59
  • Dave Audé Radio Remix – Single
  1. "Hit the Lights" (Dave Audé Radio Remix) – 3:26
  • Dave Audé Club Remix – Single
  1. "Hit the Lights" (Dave Audé Club Remix) – 6:13
  • Dave Audé Dub Remix – Single
  1. "Hit the Lights" (Dave Audé Dub Remix) – 5:59

Credits and personnel[edit]

Recording and mixing
  • VocalsSelena Gomez
  • Production – Dreamlab
  • Songwriting – Leah Haywood, Daniel James, Tony Nilsson
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Engineering – John Hanes, Phil Seaford

Credits adapted from the liner notes of When the Sun Goes Down, Hollywood Records.[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice Single: Group Won

Chart performance[edit]

"Hit the Lights" first charted in Belgium at number fifty-four on the Ultratip Flanders chart. The next week, the song climbed to number twenty-nine. The song also debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number ninety-three on the week ending December 3, 2011. It has sold 554,000 copies in the US as of July 2015.[11]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

List of release dates with formats and record labels
Country Date Format Label
Netherlands[20] January 20, 2012 Digital Remixes EP Hollywood Records
France[22] January 23, 2012
Germany[28] January 27, 2012
Canada[30] January 31, 2012
United States[1] April 10, 2012 Top 40/Mainstream radio


  1. ^ a b "Top 40/M Future Releases | Mainstream Hit Songs Being Released and Their Release Dates". Allaccess.com. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
  2. ^ a b When the Sun Goes Down (liner notes). Selena Gomez & the Scene. United States: Hollywood. 2011.
  3. ^ Staff, Billboard. "Selena Gomez Talks 'When the Sun Goes Down': Video Track-By-Track". Billboard. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b Wass, Mike (June 21, 2017). "Should Have Been Bigger: Selena Gomez & The Scene's "Hit The Lights"". Idolator.
  5. ^ "Selena Gomez & the Scene - Hit the Lights - Digital Sheet Music". Music Notes.com. Alfred Publishing Company. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  6. ^ a b Kelly, Blair. "Selena Gomez & The Scene - When The Sun Goes Down". musicOMH. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  7. ^ Sendra, Tim. "When the Sun Goes Down – Selena Gomez & the Scene". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  8. ^ Benjamin, Jeff. "Selena Gomez As Hipster: Watch Her 'Hit The Lights' Video". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  9. ^ Gregoire, Carolyn (November 16, 2011). "Selena Gomez: 'Hit the Lights' Music Video Premieres Today". The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  10. ^ Video on YouTube
  11. ^ Trust, Gary (July 19, 2015). "Ask Billboard: Are There an Unusually High Number of New Acts in the Hot 100's Top 10?". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Selena Gomez & The Scene – Hit the Lights" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  13. ^ "Selena Gomez & The Scene Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Russian Chart - Hit The Lights". Archived from the original on 2012-09-06.
  15. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201149 into search.
  16. ^ "Selena Gomez & The Scene Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Selena Gomez & The Scene – Hit the Lights". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  18. ^ "Selena Gomez Total US sales (SPS)". 7 September 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  19. ^ "RIAA Adds Digital Streams To Historic Gold Awards". Recording Industry Association of America. May 9, 2013. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-06. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  30. ^ "Hit the Lights (Remixes) - EP by Selena Gomez & The Scene on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2017-06-22.

External links[edit]