Resistance is futile: Becky G’s breezy ode to first love, “Shower,” is such a seasonally appropriate sugar rush that it’s borderline preposterous the song hasn’t been a more serious contender for Song of the Summer. If the track doesn’t grab ahold at first listen, just give it time — it took a few days for even the 17-year-old’s family to catch on.
“I think the word for it is ‘contagious,'” Becky G (real name: Rebecca Gomez) tells TIME. “When I first started singing it for my cousins, they were like, ‘Oh, it’s a good song, I guess.’ Two days later, they’re like, ‘Yo, what the heck, I cannot get this song out of my head.'” Now it’s a full-blown hit, cracking the Top 20 on multiple Billboard charts as well as iTunes — but Gomez says she still has trouble processing the song’s success.
Here are five times she knew she was onto something:
When she first recorded the song: “We listened to it all the way through and all of us couldn’t say anything — we just were quiet and looking at each other and smiling,” says Gomez, who’s signed to Dr. Luke’s record label. She describes the hit producer (Kesha, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson) as the Mr. Miyagi to her Karate Kid. “I think we all had that little spark in our eyes and that little feeling it was going to be something special. We didn’t know what it was going to be, but we knew it was going to be special.”
When her grandparents got on board: “My grandparents don’t really listen to pop music, and they only speak Spanish and only listen to Spanish music,” the singer-songwriter explains. “And then they tell me they love ‘Shower’ — they’re singing it around the house. It’s a great feeling for a song to be acknowledged and accepted by not-so-expected people.”
Because her grandparents are from Mexico, Becky G is planning something special for when she plays a few dates in that country as an opening act on Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour. “I think singing a song or two in Spanish with a mariachi might be really cool,” she says. (After that, she’s hitting the road with Jason Derulo.)
The first time she performed it live: “I first performed it a 21-plus club, and, earlier in the day, I had performed for an all-ages family crowd,” Gomez says. “All these little girls are singing ‘Shower’ and then, that night, I go to a club and people are partying it up and singing ‘Shower’ with me. It just shows that music doesn’t have a limit.”
Now that the song has taken off, the crowd reaction is even more palpable. “People go bananas and start bringing out their phones to start recording and they start singing the words with me,” she says.
When it took off on Vine: Gomez owes social media a great deal — Dr. Luke signed her after discovering her videos on YouTube. Now, “Shower” has found a home on the video app Vine, where Gomez’s army of fans, known as the Beasters, are recording six-second covers en masse.
One clip, from Vine star Rudy Mancuso, stands out: “He does a lot of funny Vines, but he also makes music and did a little piano cover to ‘Shower,'” she says. “I thought it was so cool because I follow him on Vine and so do all of my cousins and siblings. They were like, ‘Oh my God, look at this!'”
When she hears the song on the radio: “Every time is like the first time,” says Gomez, who first became interested in performing at the age of 9 to help her then-financially burdened family earn extra money. “It’s exciting because all this hard work, all the sacrificing that me and my family have gone through, all the hardship, it’s really starting to pay off. I’m totally grateful.”
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