Playing tight - getting a feel for good timing
Demi Lovato - exceptional talent, belting queen and role model for countless female singers. At the same time, she was also a victim of bullying, a fallen star and looking for herself. A young woman who had to find her way through the music business, which was not always pink - and got up more than once. How Demi Lovato has fought her way through life time and again with her music, what defines the singer and why her music expresses strength not only vocally but also in terms of content, you will find out in this mukken blog post.
When Demi Lovato was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1992, nobody suspected that one of the greatest voices of our time had just come into the world. What is clear from an early age, however, is that this little girl is literally attracted to the stages and cameras. Acting and music lessons are part of Demi's everyday life from an early age and parents, teachers and their surroundings gradually become aware of her talent.
While all pointers are pointing towards success when it comes to acting and music, Demi Lovato has struggled privately from a young age. When she was just two years old, her parents split up. Her father has drug and alcohol problems, suffers from mental illness and Demi distances himself from him until the contact breaks off completely. However, she gets a father figure back with her mother's current husband, Eddie De La Garza. He even became her manager in 2008 at the beginning of her music career. Her biological father Patrick Lovato dies in 2013 - a stroke of fate that will haunt her for a long time and later even ends in a poignant song for her father.
School days don't make things easy for Demi Lovato either. She is bullied, has problems with her eating behavior and does not want to fit in with the other children in her school. With her first small TV roles like Angela in the children's series Barney and his friends, the other children accuse her of starry attitudes, everyday life becomes unbearable for Demi. The consequence: private lessons. She can even finish her high school diploma two years earlier than usual and concentrate on her first love: acting.
“This is me, this is real” - with these lines Demi Lovato finally becomes known. Her role as Mitchie Torres in the Disney movie “Camp Rock” is her big breakthrough and also brings her together with the Jonas Brothers, who will accompany her on her way for several years.
In 2008, Lovato's music career started with Camp Rock. In addition to charting the songs from the film, she signed a contract with Jonas Records and hit the US charts with her first two albums “Don’t forget” and “Here we go again”. “Here we go again” even reached number one in the USA. She also accompanies the Jonas Brothers on tours and is slowly making a name for herself in the music business. Demi's international musical breakthrough is yet to come.
Vocally still rather playful and young in the pop rock genre, Demi Lovato already showed back then what a great voice there is behind the petite person. Her vocal voice at the time can hardly be compared with today's voice, but her vocal skills around intonation, belting and absolute safety in extreme highs and lows are already evident in songs like “La La Land” or “World of Chances”. By the way, Demi wrote the latter for her father, to whom she repeatedly gave chances, which he unfortunately did not take until his death in 2013.
After various roles in other Disney productions and more and more chart placements, Demi Lovato slowly breaks away from the Disney image. She ends her long-term role in the series "Sonny With A Chance" and in 2011 moves from Jonas Records to Hollywood Records. This is also noticeable in their music. Her songs and Demi's voice are growing up. Belting in particular becomes her hobbyhorse, while Demi's style is slowly developing away from teen and rock pop to pop and R&B. Instead of the Jonas Brothers, artists like Jason Derulo or Timbaland are now at Demi's side.
As perfect as it sounds, Demi Lovato's first breakdown was just as shocking for many fans. Simultaneously with her apparent arrival in the music industry, she announces publicly for the first time that she has health problems and even goes to a clinic. But even this time Demi seems to solve for himself with music. Back in life, she released her third album “Unbroken”, the production of which was interrupted by the time in the clinic. This is where the demi we know musically today can be seen for the first time. With hits like “Skyscraper” and “Give your heart a break” she made her final breakthrough. She is becoming a kind of “Mental Health” ambassador, seems to have made it. That this will unfortunately only be Demi Lovato's first crash becomes apparent only years later.
With her fourth album “Demi” the singer starts to strike new notes. Self-confident, strong and self-determined is not only her character, but also her music. How self-confident she has become, she expresses more than clearly in 2015 with her album and the song of the same name “Confident”. The single release “Cool for the summer” is running up and down on the radios. With “Stone Cold” Demi creates a vocal masterpiece in which she apparently puts all her emotions:
The song “Father”, which she dedicates to her dead father, shows that she is now putting even more of herself into her songs. A few years later in her documentary, she reports that after his death, she struggled with feelings of guilt.
Demi seems to have made it. Her sixth studio album “Tell Me You Love Me” appears, hits like “Sorry Not Sorry” and “Échame La Culpa” storm the charts. But the facade is crumbling. Behind the wall of music success, Demi increasingly takes refuge in alcohol and drugs, falls into an eating disorder and gradually loses control. With “Sober” in 2018, she apologized to her fans, family and friends for being addicted again.
The bad news follows on June 24, 2018: The singer almost died. An overdose almost made Demi a member of the "27 Club". The “This is me” of the then unsuspecting girl became “This is me - dancing with the devil”. And she really did. Because her way to the overdose as well as the way back to life was a true dance with the devil. In addition to the fact that the drugs almost killed her, she faces the trauma of being raped by her drug dealer on the night of the overdose.
After her overdose, Demi largely withdraws. She changes her management and will entrust herself to her new manager Scooter Braun in 2019. Bit by bit Demi fights her way back to life - her life and the music life. Not until a year and a half later does her official comeback follow. And this time, too, she seems to process everything that has happened primarily with one thing: the music. One of the most impressive and at the same time saddest moments: Your comeback performance with the song “Anyone” at the 2020 Grammys.
The song lets you look deep into Demi's emotional world, shows her desperate struggle, the desire for support and her time after the overdose. With the Grammy appearance, Demi seems to be back for good. In February 2020 she even sings the national anthem at the Superbowl, a little later the new album “Dancing with the Devil ... the Art of Starting Over” will be released.
In 2021 Demi is ready to talk about what has been going on behind the scenes all these years. In the documentary “Dancing with the Devil” she doesn't mince her words anymore, tells the world her story and how she wants to go on. Her song and the album of the same name “Dancing with the devil” will be released to match the documentation:
Demi Lovato has developed both vocally and in character from a small, perhaps still a little naive girl to a strong, self-confident woman and one of the greatest pop voices of our time. No matter which stone, which hurdle and which health problem stood in her way: Demi Lovato has fought her way up again and again with her music and has become stronger with every single song. Although she also had to face the pressure of the public and the pressure to always be perfect, she managed to fight her way through this time. The vocal power that echoes against us today not only comes from years of experience as a singer, but is at the same time an expression of the inner strength of Demi Lovato - a unique and exceptional talent.
Demi showed us how music can become a valve and lifeline. Are you also someone who expresses yourself through music? Then you are exactly right with us! Find like-minded people and musicians here on mukken who will make music with you - because together the whole thing is just more fun! We look forward to you.
Originally published on June 15, 2021, updated on January 7, 2022