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Who Says
Who Says
Selena Gomez & The Scene
Released March 14, 2011
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2011
Length 3:15
Label Hollywood Records
Writers Emanuel Kiriakou, Priscilla Hamilton
Produced by The Stereotypes

Who Says is a song performed by American band Selena Gomez & The Scene. It was written by Priscilla Renea and Emanuel Kiriakou, with the latter also producing the track. The song was released on March 14, 2011, as the lead single from the band's third album, When the Sun Goes Down. At first Gomez intended to wait until the release of the album, but wanted to put the album together after hearing Who Says.

According to Gomez, the song was intended to inspire people, and fire back at the "haters", particularly those involved in cyberbullying. Several critics said that Gomez alluded to the hate she received online, specifically on Twitter, after she began dating singer Justin Bieber. 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.

Who Says was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. 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. It also reached the lower regions of numerous other European charts. The song's music video features Gomez frolicking around a city, removing makeup, and performing with the band on a beach.

Background, inspirationEdit

In 2009, the band released their debut album, Kiss & Tell, and quickly followed-up with 2010's A Year Without Rain. 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. Gomez would later call the song "fun and empowering," commenting "Every time I sing this song, I'm like, 'I feel better already!" 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." She then said that she was "dealing with it, of course" and was "going through it as well." 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. "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." Gomez says.

The single follows in succession of other self-empowerment singles such as Firework by Katy Perry, We R Who We R by Ke$ha, Perfect by P!nk, and Born This Way by Lady Gaga. 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." The song was released on iTunes in the United States and Canada on March 14, 2011. It was released as a CD single in Germany on March 15, 2011, with the B-side of Ghost of You from her second studio album A Year Without Rain.

As part of the iTunes Countdown to When The Sun Goes Down, a Spanish language version of the song, called Dices was available for download on Monday June 13, following the release of Bang Bang Bang the week before. The song was produced by Edgar Cortazar.

CompositionEdit

The song is a departure in her previous singles such as Round & Round and Naturally, as in whereas the previous were dance-pop and club-oriented, Who Says draws from the teen pop genre, and has an "organic" and "acoustic" feel. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., "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 with Gomez's vocal range spanning from the low-note of G#3 to the high-note of C#5. The song contains string accents which are said to be "sympathetic, but not overpowering." 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." 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."

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." 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."

ReceptionEdit

Critical receptionEdit

Jocelyn Vena of MTV News complimented the song, commenting that "Top 40 has a new empowerment anthem." 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." 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." However, Lamb commented that the song was lacking in originality, and said that it was another pop song with a theme of self-esteem. 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."

Chart performanceEdit

Who Says debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number twenty-four, becoming the band's fourth consecutive debut within the top forty of the chart. The charting matched the debut of Round & Round the lead single from A Year Without Rain. The song managed to peak at number twenty-one on the chart dated June 29, marking the band's highest charting effort to date. Additionally the song has reached number seventeen on the US Pop Songs chart and twenty-eight on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. The song debuted at number seventeen on the Canadian Hot 100, becoming their highest charting single on the chart. It also reached number fifteen on the New Zealand Singles Chart, becoming their highest charting single on that chart, beating the peak of Naturally which reached number twenty there. The song charted in the top fifty in Germany and Ireland, and appeared on the main charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Austria. As of June, 2011, the song has sold over 1,000,000 copies in the US. It is also their first single to chart on the adult contemporary chart.

Music video, live performancesEdit

The song's music video was directed by Chris Applebaum. An eight second teaser of the video was released on March 2, 2011, and the full video premiered on VEVO on March 11, 2011. 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, with several lyrics appearing 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.

Gomez appeared on both The Late Show with David Letterman on March 16, 2011, and The Seven on March 18, 2011 to promote the single. The band performed the song for the first time at the 3rd annual Concert For Hope on March 20, 2011. Later, they performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on March 22, 2011, and on Dancing with the Stars on April 5, 2011. The band will also perform the song on a future episode of So Random!. In June 2011, the band performed the song on the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards.

Track listingEdit

  • 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 Aude Radio Remix) - 3:33
    3. Who Says (Tony Moran and Warren Rigg Radio Remix) - 3:38
  • UK Remix Single
    1. Who Says (Dave Aude 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

Charts, certificationsEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart (2011) Peak Postition
Australia (ARIA) 51
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 75) 62
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders) 8
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 17
Germany (Media Control AG) 44
Ireland (IRMA) 36
New Zealand (RIANZ) 15
Slovakia (IFPI) 94
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 51
US Billboard Hot 100 21
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 29
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard) 1
US Pop Songs (Billboard) 17


CertificationsEdit

Country Certification
United States Platinum


Music videoEdit

Selena Gomez & The Scene - Who Says03:21

Selena Gomez & The Scene - Who Says

Selena Gomez & The Scene - Who Says

Dices (Who Says - Spanish Version) (Audio)03:16

Dices (Who Says - Spanish Version) (Audio)

Selena Gomez & The Scene - Dices (Who Says - Spanish Version) (Audio)

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