This seductive summer anthem was written and produced by Swedish hitmaker Max Martin (Britney Spears, Katy Perry). The hitmaker was assisted by his fellow Swedes Ali Payami (Taylor Swift's "Style
"), Alexander Kronlund (Britney Spears' "Lucky
") plus Texan songwriter Savan Kotecha, who has co-penned many of One Direction's hit tunes. Demi Lovato also helped with the lyrics.
The sexy tune is about a summer fling. It introduces a more provocative, adult sound for the former Disney teen star. "It's like I've spent so long just kind of people-pleasing, making everybody happy with being the best role model I can be," Lovato admitted to Ryan Seacrest. "At the end of the day, yes, I am outspoken about the things I believe in: Mental health advocacy work, I have a charity, I have these things that make me a role model. But at the same time, none of these things are really representing the badass that I am."
Lovato unveiled the song on July 1, 2015 at a fan event hosted by New York's Z100 (WHTZ-FM). on the rooftop of the Gansevoort Park Avenue hotel. She ended the poolside performance by leaping into the water to join dozens of her young fans.
The song finds Lovato singing: "'Don't tell your mother. Kiss one another. Die for each other." Asked by BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills whether the lyrics are about a forbidden love, the singer didn't dismiss the idea. "Possibly, possibly," she said. "It's not so much about who it's about, maybe the question is what is it about and I kind of let my fans decide that."
With a crew of buff male backup dancers dressed in colorful, revealing beachwear, Lovato performed this song at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. It was her first time performing at the awards; she was joined midway through by Iggy Azalea.
The song was released as the first single from Confident. However, Lovato told Billboard magazine the original idea had been to lead the album with the title track. "But 'Cool For The Summer,' you can't really release in October, so we were like, 'Okay, you know what? I think we have a change of plans, and we'll go with "Cool For The Summer,"' she said. "It was really spontaneous but it worked."
Asked by UK talk show host Alan Carr if the song is about lesbianism, Lovato responded, "I'm not confirming and I'm definitely not denying. All my songs are based off of personal experiences. I don't think there's anything wrong with experimentation at all."
Demi Lovato talked about her choice to record the song in a video clip. "I thought it was an awesome representation of where I'm headed. I think for so many years, I cared too much about what people thought. Now I can just be who I am. I can be open," she revealed. "I can kind of bring attention to people's sexuality, taking away the stigma and the shame of wanting to try things."
"I think this is obviously a sexy pop song, but it can inspire people to be themselves," Lovato continued. "I know it was an awesome journey for me to be able to put that out in front of the world and not feel ashamed about it."
Demi Lovato sings: Got a taste for the cherry
I just need to take a bite
Lovato was accused of pilfering the lyrical idea for the song from Katy Perry. (The Californian star famously sang about kissing a girl with cherry-flavored lips
Lovato defended her tune by tweeting: "Sounds nothing like it and with all the advances we've made in the LGBT community. I think more than one female artist can kiss a girl and like it."