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Christina Aguilera says re-recording Reflection for Disney’s live-action Mulan was a “very emotional” experience

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Lauren Geall
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Christina Aguilera at the premiere of Disney's live-action remake of Mulan

While answering questions on Twitter to celebrate the release of Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, Christina Aguilera explained how re-recording her iconic single Reflection helped her to look back on how far she has come in her career.      

It’s hard not to love Christina Aguilera. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she’s also not afraid to challenge the status quo and demand better for herself and those around her, whether she’s encouraging her fans to speak out about their mental health or redefining what a ‘normal’ family looks like.

But according to Aguilera, she hasn’t always been this way. Instead, it’s taken the singer years to build her confidence and learn how to own her voice – a process she recently reflected on while answering questions on Twitter to mark the release of Disney’s new live-action remake of Mulan.  

After recording the original version of the movie’s iconic song Reflection when she was 17, Aguilera says re-recording the song for the new film was a “very emotional” experience, because it allowed her to think back to the artist and woman she was at the time of the first recording. 

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Asked which version of the song she preferred, Aguilera replied: “I am partial to the new version of Reflection for sure. Although I look back and smile at the version I did as a teen… I can hear the youth of a girl who doesn’t fully know herself or the power of her instrument yet.

“I’ve gotten to know myself better over the past 20 years and I am more aware of what I am capable of – having developed a deeper and more self-assured tone, owning my voice now as a grown, matured and experienced woman.”

Aguilera continued: “Recording the new Reflection was actually very emotional for me. I teared up many times (had to swallow the emotion because I’m not an accurate singer while crying). I realised and appreciated how much has changed from the original place and time I recorded this song.

“Back then, I was so nervous and young. I wanted so badly to please and be heard, unsure of any future in the business. Now 20+ years of hard work later, I felt blessed and humbled to see my Grammys in view while recording in my own home studio. At my own pace and on my own terms.”

This isn’t the first time Aguilera has spoken about the power of revisiting her old music – during her appearance on Kelly Clarkson’s chat show The Kelly Clarkson Show to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her self-titled debut album Christina Aguilera, the star explained how the topics she had explored in those older songs are still important to her.

“Authenticity is very important to me with my music,” she explained. “I always wanted to a be a truth-seeker, and I found that that was really important to my fans too, after Stripped, I really told my truth, and the sides to all women that we are.

“We shouldn’t be apologetic for our sexual side, for our vulnerable side, through being a fighter and overcoming obstacles, I think those were all messages that were really important to me and still are.”  

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Although we may not all have Grammy awards lined-up on our walls to help us look back on our lives, Aguilera’s words are a reminder of the power of reflection – and why it’s so important to look back every once in a while and celebrate how far we’ve come.

It’s easy to forget how much we grow and change throughout our lives – but if Aguilera’s experience can teach us anything, it’s that a moment of reflection can help us to reconnect with that inner-part of ourselves, and help us to appreciate everything we’ve learned over the years.

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