This is Christina Aguilera's first single from her fourth studio album, Bionic. The song, which is referred to as a "fiercely energetic anthem" in press releases, was written by Ester Dean and produced by Polow Da Don (Chris Brown, Usher, Fergie). American singer-songwriter Ester Dean's other credits include Rihanna's chart-topper "Rude Boy," "Sex Therapy" for Robin Thicke and her own Hot 100 hit, "Drop It Low."
According to publicity materials, the title Bionic reflects Aguilera's "ability to take her range to new levels and use her voice in various ways never heard before." The singer described the album, which was recorded in her home studio, as a mix of many genres and styles of music. "I was able to explore and create a fresh, sexy feel using both electronic and organic elements with subject matter ranging from playful to introspective," she said.
Polow Da Don, who also co-penned the track, told Billboard magazine: "This song was just me and Ester freestyling one day as another friend of mine was jumping and dancing around the studio. Christina's people reached out and asked if I had anything hot for her. I sent this, which happened to fit the fresh, different angle Christina told me she wanted to hit people with on this album."
The song's music video was directed by Hype Williams, who also helmed Lady Gaga's graphic clip for "Telephone." The clip was shot from April 7-9, 2010 in Los Angeles. Motherhood apparently hasn't tamed Aguilera as in the racy video the singer is seen clad in various sexy lingerie and dominatrix gear. "It's a very sexy video," she told US Weekly. "It was about different facets of being 'Not Myself'." She added concerning her young son, "Max came to see me during our tame scenes. He loved it, he really likes the song and says, 'let's get kway-zee!'"
The video contains a deliberate tribute to Madonna. Aguilera told Q Magazine: "One of my favorite videos ever is 'Express Yourself' by Madonna which came across as really strong and empowering which I always try to incorporate through my expression of sexuality. I love the direct reference I made to Madonna with the eye glass moment and the smoke and stairs. I was paying tribute to a very strong woman who has paved the way before."