Charlie Puth Poses For ‘Billboard,’ Talks About Reclaiming His Sound & Dating Selena

Charlie Puth delivered a smoldering photoshoot for the latest edition of Billboard. Released today (February 1), the “How Long” crooner posed for a series of sun-kissed photos in a variety of outdoor settings for the shoot. With his usually perfectly coifed hair falling across his face, the pictures have a more relaxed vibe that perfectly pairs with the intimate interview he sat down for.

In an accompanying feature, the 26-year-old opened up about how he has reclaimed creative control since the release of his debut album, Nine Track Mind. He explained that after finding breakout success alongside Wiz Khalifa on “See You Again” his voice got lost in the fray as a team rushed to put out an album to capitalize on his newfound fame.

“Everything I didn’t want to happen to me – typical things you hear about a young kid getting signed in the music industry – happened to me,” he said, adding “I was being told to do this, this and this. I didn’t want to do any of it, and I was just going along with the punches.”

Although the LP garnered mixed reviews, Charlie felt its one redeeming quality was the Selena Gomez-assisted “We Don’t Talk Anymore.” In the interview he opened up about the quick but passionate fling he and his collaborator were involved in around the time of the single’s creation. “I don’t kiss and tell, but the only way a song like that can come across as real is if there’s something else going on behind the scenes,” he said.

“And that’s what was happening [with Gomez]. Very short – lived, very small, but very impactful. And it really messed me up. I’m trying to put this the best way possible: It wasn’t like I was the only person on her mind. And I think I knew that going in – what I was getting myself into.”

His sophomore LP, Voicenotes, has offered him an opportunity to rebrand as his true self and to control the sonic direction by acting as the lead producer. That all started with the bold lead single, “Attention.” “I didn’t feel like an artist until ‘Attention’ came out. And I feel like people are just starting to get it,” he stated. “They’re getting the message I wasn’t allowed to say before. ‘Attention’ is me saying, ‘Fuck everybody: I’m doing this song the way I want to do it.'”

As an added bonus, the feature includes insight from a variety of Puth’s famous friends including Shawn Mendes, Charli XCX and G-Eazy. Despite feeling held back previously, things are on an upward trajectory. With two singles dominating the Billboard Hot 100, Charlie is off to a great start in 2018 and will only soar higher when he finally drops his new album. Scroll through a gallery of his pics up top and read his full interview here!

Thank You @billboard for helping me explain to the world who I really am. ✨

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