I was hit with a hard dose of the feels the first time I heard Gwen Stefani’s “Used to Love You.” The No Doubt singer’s new single is vulnerable in a way that immediately resonates with her listeners. We’ve all been there, but Stefani found a powerful way to express those emotions. In a recent interview with the TODAY show, Stefani talked about filming the “Used to Love You” video and she basically summarized why the visual is so powerful.
"I didn't even do makeup,” Stefani explained (quotes via Us Weekly). “We had been rehearsing all day, we just did it for the screens like behind and it just came out. It was just amazing. So it's been amazing to have even someone like you that I don't know but I can feel that you saw it and that you understand it. Like that feels good to me. It's like comfort. You know what I mean? And I love doing music and having that. It's like I'm giving you something and then you're giving me something.”
Watching Stefani’s “Used to Love You” video, the singer’s emotion is especially raw — and also reminds me of another intense music video. Selena Gomez's "The Heart Wants What It Wants" has the same unscripted, authentic vibe that Stefani employs, and as a result both videos strengthen the power of the songs.
Ending relationships is never painless, no matter how easy the separation itself seems. Both Stefani and Gomez explain this complexity in a way that resonates with their audiences. Especially considering each of the singers' individual star-power, it's moving to see them step away from any sort of glam and keep it realer than real. Not only do the meanings behind the songs translate even stronger, but it makes the artists themselves more relatable.