Inspiration hit Victoria Justice for her new song “Only A Stranger” in the most unexpected way.
“To be honest, this sounds so cheesy, but I think I had just finished watching an episode of The Bachelorette or something,” Justice, 30, exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, August 25, while promoting her partnership with Arm & Hammer. “I was just at the piano and I just started messing around and I came up with that little piano melody that you hear in the beginning, and then the words just kind of came out of me.”
In the new single, Justice sings “I want someone to think I’m special / Give me flowers for no reason / Yeah, I want something sentimental / Here I go again daydreaming.”
As Justice began to experiment with lyrics and the rhythm while messing around with the keys, the song just “kind of went from there.” The concept of people being strangers one day and falling in love the next really spoke to Justice’s romantic side.
“I feel like a lot of us do this when we’re single or when we are romantics and are longing for love. It’s like we tend to daydream about who this person is, and they really could be someone that we could meet tomorrow,” she explained. “As of right now, they’re just a stranger on the street. But it’s such a crazy thought that years from now, they’re not going to be a stranger at all. They could be the person that is getting down on one knee to you.”
While she initially came up with the ballad thanks to her love for the ABC dating series, Justice confessed that she wanted to share a more vulnerable facet of herself that she hadn’t in the past.
“I’ve never really shared this side of myself with people and my feelings on love and where I’m with that in my life,” she admitted. “It was super vulnerable, but also I felt like it was something, even though it’s emotional, I still feel like it’s hopeful and I feel like it’s something that a lot of people can relate to. And so I felt like it was important for me to put it out there.”
The Bachelorette wasn’t the only thing that inspired Justice while writing “Only a Stranger.” The singer alsopaid homage to music icon Billy Joel, whom she and her mother listened to throughout Justice’s childhood. For the song’s artwork, she recreated Joel’s The Stranger album cover. Joel, 74, shared his approval by reposting the cover on his social media.
“The fact that Billy Joel posted about it was the coolest thing ever,” she gushed to Us. “I can’t really believe [he knows] I exist. And the fact that he acknowledged my song, what an honor, it made my life.”
As Justice releases new music, she also spends her time advocating for the environment and reducing her carbon footprint. She recently partnered up with Arm and Hammer as they released their new eco-friendly Power Sheets detergent — which have been a “game changer” for the former Nickelodeon star as she travels frequently.
“It’s a liquidless detergent, so it’s amazing because you don’t have to lug around a heavy bottle. There’s no more drippy mess and there’s no more plastic bottle waste,” she explained. “It comes in a compact recyclable box, and they’re incredible.”
With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton