Demi Lovato Says 'Music Has Been a Huge Coping Mechanism' for Her After Overdose: 'It's Very Therapeutic'
Demi Lovato hasn't performed live since before her drug overdose in July 2018
Demi Lovato is planning a big comeback in 2020 with new music and high-profile performances.
In a new interview with Zane Lowe on New Music Daily for Apple Music’s Beats 1, the singer, who hasn’t performed live since before her drug overdose in July 2018, opened up about her new song “Anyone,” which she will be singing for the first time at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.
“I feel really excited and I’m ready. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long,” Lovato, 27, said. “It’s going to be hard not to, like, go on stage and just word-vomit everything. I just want to go up there and tell my story. It’s only telling a fraction of my story, but it’s still a little bit, and it’s enough to kind of show the world where I’ve been.”
Her last single, “Sober,” came out in June 2018, nearly one month before she overdosed at her home in Hollywood Hills, California, in July 2018.
“The song was written and recorded actually very shortly before everything happened. So I recorded the vocals for it four days before,” she said of her new song. “The lyrics took on a totally different meaning. At the time, when I was recording it, I almost listened back and hear these lyrics as a cry for help. And you kind of listen back to it and you kind of think, how did nobody listen to this song and think, ‘Let’s help this girl?’ I was recording it a state of mind where I felt like I was okay, but clearly I wasn’t,” she said.
“I even listened back to it and I’m like, ‘Gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself.’ I feel like I was in denial, but then a part of me definitely knew what I was singing for. I was singing this song and I didn’t even realize that the lyrics were so heavy and emotional after the fact,” Lovato explained. “I remember being in the hospital and listening to the song, and it was about a week after I had been in the hospital and I was finally awake. I just remember hearing back the songs I had just recorded and thinking, ‘If there’s ever a moment where I get to come back from this, I want to sing this song.’ ”
Lovato revealed she recorded the song in Montana while she was working on recording an album. “Little did I know my life would take the path that it did,” she said of her overdose. “But at that time, I was just working on an album and I wanted to record vocals. So I went away, and I recorded the song. I didn’t spend a lot of time perfecting it, just because it isn’t one of those songs that … I feel if you were to hear anything like doubles or if it’s overproduced, it would take away from the emotion of the song. I wanted to keep it very raw, and we did.”
Though Lovato has not officially announced a new album, the new song at the Grammys marks the first solo offering from the star since she left rehab in November 2018.
The announcement of her Grammys performance came just over a month after she posted a cryptic message saying, “The next time you hear from me, I’ll be singing….” And Lovato last hinted at new music in November 2019 when she shared photos and videos from inside the recording studio.
“I feel you can use things to cope in life and music has been a huge coping mechanism for me. It’s been very therapeutic for me, but there’s only so much that music can do before you have to take responsibility and you have to take the initiative to get the help that you need,” she told Lowe.
Lovato also teased another song she is looking to release after “Anyone,” which will “tell more of the story.”
“With the next song that I have coming out, I think I tell more of the story. With this one it just kind of tells you a little but about where I was right before and right afterwards,” she said, later adding, “I’m really excited for the music that I’m releasing. I also have some stuff coming out with other people that’s really exciting. It’s going to be a big year and I feel the momentum, I feel the excitement and I’m ready for it.”
At the Teen Vogue Summit last fall, Lovato opened up about addiction and recovery in her first major interview since the overdose, revealing that she now feels stronger than ever.
“What I see in the mirror [is] someone that’s overcome a lot. I’ve been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter,” she said at the time. “I don’t see a championship winner, but I see a fighter and someone who is going to continue to fight no matter what is thrown in their way.”
Lovato added: “I wouldn’t change the direction of my life for anything. … I would never regret anything. I love the person that I am today.”
Following the Grammys, the singer is set to perform the national anthem before the Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 2, joining a stacked lineup with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira headlining the halftime show.
Lovato follows in the footsteps of Gladys Knight, who performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 2019 Super Bowl. The year prior, Pink took the field to sing the national anthem while battling the flu. Country star Luke Bryan sang the anthem in 2017.
The 62nd Grammy Awards will air live on Jan. 26 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.