In an interview with KIIS-FM’s JoJo Wright, Gwen Stefani revealed the songwriting process behind “Used to Love You.”
The Voice coach, currently dating Blake Shelton, told Wright, “The song was not written that long ago. Like, I want to say maybe a month and half ago, which is crazy. I had been writing, writing because my life blew up. Everybody knows that my life blew up last February. I’d just been dealing with that. Unexpected. I was going along thinking that was going to be the rest of my life and it’s not. I don’t know what happened. I’ve always wanted to write music so desperately because doing it is one thing that really validates me for myself.”
“Used to Love You” seems very pointedly directed toward her ex Gavin Rossdale. While circling around the details, Stefani adds, “There was one night, the epicenter of the whole thing–that’s the most I can say about that–and the next day I wrote the chorus to ‘Used to Love You,’ but I didn’t know it was ‘Used to Love You.’ I just had written all this stuff and it had happened to be in there buried in a bunch of lyrics that I had written. I went to the studio and I had written all these songs that I feel like the record company was like, ‘We think it’s really great and very artistic. Maybe you should just put it out as an artistic body of work.’ It kind of felt like a punch in the stomach, like all the wind got knocked out of me. They basically said they didn’t think anyone would relate to it and it was too personal. I was like, ‘Oh! Ouch!’ But I don’t know if they were trying to, like, I don’t know. The next day I wrote ‘Used to Love You.’ Sometimes you need someone to just pinch you or slap you in the face or punch you in the stomach, which is what they did.”
Watch the clip of her KIIS FM interview where she talks about “Used to Love You” below.