"We Don't Talk Anymore," Charlie Puth's 2016 collaboration with Selena Gomez, might offer the type of chill that's perfect for low-maintenance kickbacks, but the origins of the song were anything but relaxed.

In a new interview with BillboardPuth, whose Voicenotes album will drop in May, said that the release of "We Don't Talk Anymore was very much a case of art imitating life, and admitted a short fling with Gomez served as some particularly devastating inspiration.

“It’s about a particular moment in my life, when someone very close to me wanted the attention of somebody else. When I found that out and we ended it, I might have done some shady things too, and she might have asked me, ‘How long has this been going on?’ ” he said. “I don’t kiss and tell, but the only way a song like that can come across as real is if there’s something else going on behind the scenes. And that’s what was happening [with Gomez]. Very short-lived, very small, but very impactful. And it really messed me up. I’m trying to put this the best way possible: It wasn’t like I was the only person on her mind. And I think I knew that going in — what I was getting myself into.”

"You gather up a bunch of emotion with the life shovel, throw it in the life bucket, mix it up,” he added. “And she evoked such good emotion on that song, it was a pleasure working with her. That’s why I’m always happy to sing it, even though it came from a dark point in my life.”

Still, Puth says his previous era — that which surrounded 2016's Nine Track Mind — wasn't him at all, and deserved to be panned. He likened releasing the album to “flossing with aluminum foil” or “bitten nails on a chalkboard.”

“Everything I didn’t want to happen to me — typical things you hear about a young kid getting signed in the music industry — happened to me,” he said. “I was being told to do this, this and this. I didn’t want to do any of it, and I was just going along with the punches.”

But now, he's sure he's going in the right direction.

"I didn't feel like an artist until 'Attention' came out," he said. "And I feel like people are just starting to get it. I’m not mad that they’re just finding out — they’re getting the message I wasn't allowed to say before. 'Attention' is me saying, 'F--- everybody: I’m doing this song the way I want to do it.'"

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