The “Hands to Myself” singer can’t keep her plans to herself. Selena Gomez kicks off her new Revival Tour in Las Vegas on Friday, and the newly crowned queen of Instagram gave EW the scoop about what to expect from her live show in the new issue of EW, on newsstands Friday. A world tour isn’t the only project on her hands right now: Gomez says she’s “in rehearsals during the day and in the studio at night” working on a new album that could be out later this year at the rate she’s recording. And if you happen to have tickets for her world tour, you just might get to hear an early taste of it. Here’s what Gomez had to say during a break from rehearsals:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How much of a spectacle are you going for? Will there be explosions? Will you be flying across the arena?
SELENA GOMEZ: It’s the biggest stage I’ve ever been on, which is exciting—and overwhelming because I’m going to be in heels! I want it to feel big, but not in the way where there’s tons of fire and confetti every five seconds. I wanted big close-up shots of me [on screen] so while you’re dancing and losing your mind, you know what I’m actually saying and the words behind it. I want it to be just vibrant and full of life so that you feel good after leaving. You’re not exhausted or eager to put it up on YouTube.
So you want people to have their own personal revivals.
Yes! Whether you’re my fan from the beginning or just barely even know one song of mine, I want you to be able to see this show and know that it’s possible for anybody to do what they love. It’s not an untouchable thing, whether it’s singing or acting or getting out of your hometown. It’s bigger than just myself. I care about what people going to see and take away from this tour.
How do you maintain the intimate feel of Revival in giant venues?
This is the first time I’ll ever be playing piano and singing at the same time. I’ve taken piano lessons since the beginning of tour rehearsals. I wanted to have a whole section where it’s just me, the mic, and my band. It’s going to be very conversational: I’ve never written, “This is where I’m going to stop and say this.” Whatever that night makes me feel, I say it whenever I want. When I see a girl crying, or excited, I feel what she’s feeling.
You’ve been touring since you were a teenager. How does this one compare?
There’s such a difference when you perform music that you created. It’s the best feeling in the world. Even songs like “Sober” I connect with so much, and I didn’t even get to lyrically be a part of that. I was so scared of what people would say [about Revival] because everybody was already dissecting every little move I made anyway. But I was so embraced for sharing my story.
What’s the biggest challenge of this tour?
I think I could phone it in. I could have all the right bells and whistles and stand on stage in a pretty dress and sing my heart out and say thank you and goodnight. But I created a social-media account specifically for my tour [because] I want people to see that I put in the hours. I’m not trying to prove anything, but I do work my ass off.
You’ve been Instagramming from the studio. Will we hear new music on this tour?
Absolutely. I’m in rehearsals during the day and in the studio at night. You hit those points in your life where you’re super inspired. There are waves: Even when I recorded Revival, I took a two-month break because nothing was coming to me. But right now I’m running with it.
Does this mean we’re getting a new album this year?
Hopefully! It’s going so well, and I know it’s not even remotely close to being done, but I’m going in all different directions and feeling it out. If it’s great, I’m not going to hesitate to release it.
You’re part of a very famous squad. Will you have a parade of special guests at your shows like your pal Taylor Swift did?
I made a joke about this [when] Taylor was in the room, and she looked at me like, “You should totally do that!” I was like, “I can’t have all those people come on my stage!” She’s like, “Why not?” “Because I’m not Taylor Swift!”
You could totally do it.
I think I have a different everything about me. I’ve worked for my whole career, and I’ve always wanted it to be about that. I’ve been in so many situations where it’s like, “Oh, you’re friends with this person? You’re with that person?” All this credibility s—t that drives me crazy. I love being able to work with other artists I admire, but I have a lot to do on my own before I am willing to make it all about embracing other people.