Dove Cameron reveals why she deleted all her old music after Boyfriend went viral

17 March 2022, 11:05

Dove Cameron’s grandma reacts to Boyfriend

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Dove Cameron opens up about 'Boyfriend', queer representation and what's happening to The Powerpuff Girls reboot.

To paraphrase Wendy Thee Williams, Dove Cameron is an icon, she's a legend and she is the moment. Now, come on now!

Dove Cameron may be best known for her acting work in Disney franchises like Liv & Maddie and The Descendants, but she is now poised for global pop domination. In just one month, her new single 'Boyfriend' has already been streamed over 70 million times on Spotify alone, and it's become her first song as an artist to chart in the UK Top 20 and the US Hot 100.

In fact, 'Boyfriend' is so popular that it went viral before it was even released. Dove teased a snippet of the single on TikTok in January and, within a week it had been used in hundreds of thousands of videos. The hit song is a sultry queer anthem that sounds like it belongs in a Bond movie and it hints at even more exciting things to come.

With that in mind, we caught up with Dove to find out everything about 'Boyfriend', why she deleted all her old music, and what we can expect next from the beloved superstar, including what's happening with her The Powerpuff Girls reboot.

READ MORE: Dove Cameron says Liv from Liv and Maddie was "definitely gay"

Dove Cameron reveals why she deleted all her old music after Boyfriend went viral
Dove Cameron reveals why she deleted all her old music after Boyfriend went viral. Picture: @dovecameron via Instagram, Kristen Jan Wong

PopBuzz: First of all, huge congrats on 'Boyfriend'. It's been so great watching the song blow up and become this international smash hit. Was it stressful for you to have to finish it as soon as it started going viral?

Dove: Great question. You know, luckily, the song itself was finished so everything structurally remained the same. There were just a few lyrics that I wanted to go in and tweak. And then we had some production finishing touches, and bells and whistles to put on it. It wrote itself so quickly, that it wasn't too far off. What was honestly more stressful was the fact that everybody was really responding to a nine-second clip. And I was like, 'Oh, fuck, this is gonna be so bad.' There's no way that this nine-second clip is representative of the rest of the song because it's really misleading, because it's a huge pop explosive chorus comparatively to the kind of downtempo jazz vibe of the rest of the song. And so that was really what I was more nervous about. So I was really, really, really, relieved to see the warm reception.

PopBuzz: It did not disappoint! You've also been teasing bits of the video on your social media. What can you tell us about it? What's the concept?

Dove: I can't tell you too much about the video because there are lots of fun surprises. It's things that I've wanted to do for a long time and visually very fun, like fizzle-pop stuff. If I mention [anything] at all, it'll give it away. So you'll just have to stay tuned.

PopBuzz: We're ready! It's been so great seeing so many queer people relate to the song too. How's that been for you?

Dove: Oh my God, amazing. I think for a long time growing up, I convinced myself that I was never going to be able to live with my personal life and my public career having any overlap. I very much compartmentalised them. I wasn't really sure I was going to be able to be who I am in full and live the full breadth of my humanity in the public eye, and that really kept me out of a lot of queer spaces which was honestly something that I didn't know I really needed in my life. I think connecting with my intimate queer community and then the queer community at large, over something that is so personal to me, something straight off the pages of my journal, and having it mean anything to them at all has been life-changing for me. It's been really affirming and very transformative. It feels amazing because when I was growing up, as a queer kid, there was not very much representation on Top 40 radio, if any.

Dove Cameron has been writing a song a day since Boyfriend came out
Dove Cameron has been writing a song a day since Boyfriend came out. Picture: Kristen Jan Wong

PopBuzz: On that note, talking about Top 40 radio, were there any songs or artists you felt represented in or by growing up?

Dove: Interesting. I think that I would be speaking outside of the parameters of queer music. There really just wasn't very much openly queer music growing up. I definitely was a huge fan of Queen and Madonna and artists that were allies to the LGBTQ+ community but, when I was growing up it was Britney and Christina and boy bands, and it just wasn't the same. The images I was looking at were very cis. I grew up very influenced by that and thinking that this sort of readily accepted and very formulaic female representation, like with cisgender female straight expression, was something that I was very like, 'Oh, so that's how we're supposed to be. So that's really the way to go and that's what's safe.' So I didn't really relate to much on Top 40. But, obviously, I've always had my queer icons in music that I've been able to lean on.

PopBuzz: And following the release of 'Boyfriend', you removed all your past music from streaming services. Why did you decide to have a fresh start with this song?

Dove: I very strongly feel like I finally know who I am authentically, rather than kind of stumbling and trying to figure out who that is. I finally feel like I'm the person who I have always known myself to be privately but now I get to be that person publicly. And I really feel that my new music represents that more so than music I've created in the past. I think that as an artist, that's something that I never really anticipated arriving at. We all had a discussion internally and we just felt that we wanted a fresh start with what we're doing going forward as it feels so right. We really want to invite everybody into this new world that we're creating.

PopBuzz: You can tell from the new teasers you've started posting on TikTok that you've really found your sound as an artist. I love 'Breakfast' and the 'I hope it doesn't traumatise' song you've just teased. Have you picked your next single yet?

Dove: Thank you so much! So we had the next single all lined up for ages and then I started writing again and now it's like, 'Oh, wait...' It's one of those weird things where I don't really know why or what is happening but I'm writing like a song a day and we really like all of them, which never happens. It's the same thing with 'Boyfriend' though. I didn't even really think it was very good if I'm honest. I wrote it and I sent it to my label and then I went about writing a bunch of other songs because it was the very first song I sat down to write. So it's the same thing. I'll write a song now and I'll send it to the label and keep going and they're like, 'Wait, this is maybe really good!' And I'm like, 'Oh, really? Okay.' So it just seems to be in this weird, good organic space. It's a good problem to have where you don't know what you're gonna release next.

PopBuzz: You were originally working on an EP. Are you putting together an album now? Or is the EP still happening?

Dove: Very unclear at the moment. The plan was always the EP but then none of this was part of the plan so I don't know if the EP is on hold or maybe we go straight to the album. I'll definitely keep you posted.

PopBuzz: Finally, a lot of the fans have been asking about the live-action Powerpuff Girls series where you're playing Bubbles. Is it still happening or is music your focus now?

Dove: It's very funny. People always ask the actors what's going on with projects, and I wish that people knew how much actors are the last people to ever know anything. They'll build an entire series and then they will call the actor two days before and they'll be like, 'Hey, you have to move to Georgia'. And you're like, 'What?' And they're like, 'Yeah, the series is happening.' So I am definitely still committed to playing that character but I'm not going to be the one to know if that's happening. But, if it happens, or not, it's not because I'm working on music. That's something that is entirely up to them. I know that they're working hard on it.

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