Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.
“I’ve been in her corner, and it was truly gratifying to discover that she genuinely supports me,” the Nigerian artist shares with PEOPLE.
One of the most ubiquitous hit songs from the past year undoubtedly includes “Calm Down,” a collaboration between Rema and Selena Gomez, which has led to a close friendship between the two artists.
During his appearance on the red carpet at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards this Tuesday, the Nigerian musician shared insights into how the collaboration for the Afrobeats track came about. “Calm Down” has achieved global chart-topping success since its release last year.
While working on the solo version of “Calm Down” for his album “Rave & Roses,” which dropped in February 2022, Rema had confidence in his artistic endeavors. However, he could never have foreseen the remix of the song would earn accolades such as winning the Best Afrobeats Video category at the awards ceremony.
“I firmly believe that everything I create holds a unique significance. Different songs connect with people in diverse ways, but when I entered the studio, I was genuinely expressing my own reality,” the 23-year-old artist shares with PEOPLE regarding the collaboration, which was released in August 2022. “‘Calm Down’ achieved what it was meant to, and I take pride in it.”
When it came to reworking the song, Rema reached out to Gomez, who, at 31, was already a music idol he admired. “Selena has universal appeal, to begin with,” he elaborates. “I’ve been a fan of her music, and it was a delightful surprise to discover that she is also a fan of mine. She tunes into my music.” Now, he regards the “Single Soon” artist as “a close friend of mine.”
Rema reveals, “Selena and I have frequent conversations. We’re good friends,” as he reflects on a year of extensive global touring. “We haven’t had the chance to party and celebrate together due to our busy schedules, but we always circle back to savor the moments.”
In addition to their VMA victory, “Calm Down” achieved a remarkable feat by spending an unprecedented 45 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart, marking Rema’s first-ever top-10 single in the United States.
During their acceptance speech as they received the Moon Person trophy at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, Gomez took a moment to express her gratitude to Rema for their collaboration. She said, “I want to thank you, Rema, for believing in me and for choosing me to be part of such an amazing song that has shattered records.”