The “Calm Down” Effect of Rema and Selena Gomez

Rema and Selena Gomez from 'Calm Down' music video

I can’t recall the last time a song title has so perfectly fit a song. I say that, because from moment you hear the now-recognizable guitar riff intro for Calm Down, you can’t help but do just that, calm down. You instantly stop in your tracks, your worries go away (temporarily), a smile takes over your face, and you then feel a sudden urge to dance. That is exactly the calm down effect of this song.

Rema’s original solo version of the song was released in February 2022, but the song’s popularity soared in 2023. His remix duet version with Selena Gomez was recorded in August of 2022, with the music video debuting the following month. There’s no doubt that partnering with an artist like Selena Gomez helped boost this song, but there are two additional factors that I feel also helped. One, Rema performed this song live at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game. Exposure like that doesn’t hurt. There’s a good chance that many people received their introduction to Rema from this popular and yearly basketball event. [If you’re an NBA fan, you may want to click here to see my picks for the Good, the Bad, and the Potentially Ugly of the upcoming season!]

(Photo Source: @PopBase)

The second added factor for why this song became so popular, and the one that speaks the loudest, is that it’s a good song. The best songs are the ones that temporarily take you away from reality and elicit some sort of emotional response or reaction. When you hear this song, you’re soon enough tapping your foot, dancing, and swaying your head and shoulders from side to side. It’s a feel good song. Not everyone likes a feel good song, but maybe everyone should.

Rema, whose real name is Divine Ikubor, is a 23 year old Nigerian artist who is popular in the Afrobeats music scene. To see where you can follow him on social media and where you can purchase his merchandise, go to In the meantime, click play below and enjoy the song and the music video.

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