It’s been nearly a decade since Jennifer Lopez‘s last studio album, 2014’s A.K.A., and 22 years since 2002’s This Is Me… Then. The latter was partly inspired by her first love affair with actor Ben Affleck, and after breaking up in 2004 and reuniting in 2021, the pair are now married and Lopez is preparing to release her ninth album, This Is Me… Now.
So, go figure, JLo tells ET that Now was also fueled by her relationship with the actor. “When Ben and I got back together, it was just like, ‘I want to make music again, I want to get back in the studio,’” Lopez said. “I was very, very inspired.”
The album and an accompanying narrative-driven short film directed by Dave Meyers (Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift) titled This Is Me… Now: A Love Story — which will air on Amazon Prime — will both drop on Feb. 16. “Half the time, I was thinking, like, ‘This is amazing! I am so excited that I’m doing this!’ And then half time time I was like, ‘Why are you doing this? You are so crazy,” Lopez said of her trepidation about stepping back into music after focusing on acting for the past decade. “But I think that’s what being an artist is about, you know, you have to. That’s the difference between being an artist and not being an artist, how vulnerable you can get.”
Then she and Affleck reunited and their rekindled love inspired the romance-drenched LP. “Once the music was done, it felt so special to me,” she said. “It felt like something very different than I had ever done, even though I’ve written about love my whole career.” The goal, she added was to capture the joy of their love in music on a collection she described as “a little bit more evolved and healed… [and] kind of magical.”
So far, Lopez has dropped the dance-y single “Can’t Get Enough” from the album that also features a sequel to a track from the first This Is Me album, “Dear Ben Pt. II.”
Watch the “Can’t Get Enough” remix video with Latto below.
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