The song was released as the album's second single in the United States on 12 September 2013, and the third single internationally after "Bounce". A six-track extended play (EP) also titled Change Your Life was made available to coincide with the single's release. The song was well received by most music critics who complimented Azalea's delivery and the track's lyrics. Commercially, "Change Your Life" became Azalea's first top 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart. In the United States, it failed to enter the main Billboard Hot 100 chart, but reached number 22 on Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song also reached the top 40 in Ireland and New Zealand, and peaked at number 44 in Australia.
"Change Your Life" was initially a demo written and recorded by Indian-American songwriter Raja Kumari who presented the song to Iggy Azalea's management. Following their approval, Kumari went on to further compose the track with Lovy Longomba of the Longombas, and the song's co-producer Nasri Atweh of The Messengers, while Azalea wrote its verses.Natalie Sims, co-producer Adam Messinger of The Messengers, and T.I. were also involved in the songwriting process. Sims stated that she and Azalea had initially met back in 2008, but lost touch when Azalea moved to Los Angeles. She ended up skipping four scheduled tour dates in order to meet with Azalea. Azalea's verses were written during December 2012 and January 2013 in Wales where she recorded the track with T.I. at Monnow Valley Studios. Both Azalea and Kumari provided background vocals. Azalea's writing took place in isolation in Rockfield, Monmouthshire, with no phone reception, visitors or interruptions. She believed the isolation was needed, opining that she wrote her best material while outside her comfort zone. It was one of the first three songs recorded for her debut studio album, The New Classic.
"Change Your Life" is a midtempo, dubstep and hip hop song set in the key of F-sharp minor. Also of the synthpop genre, its production is synth-heavy and driven by wobbling bass instruments. Andy Gill of The Independent writes that the track contains "psych-prog swirl". Azalea's fast-paced delivery pertains "swagger", and is bold in tone. In comparison with her previous works, Azalea's Southern American English pronunciation is toned down in the song.She also uses mantra-like chanting. Primarily melodic, "Change Your Life" features Azalea singing for the first time; she solicits a half-sung, half-spoken refrain. Her first verse opens with the lyrics, "You're used to dealing with basic bitches, basic shit, all the time". T.I. raps the song's second verse Musically, the song was compared to productions by Skrillex, and Rihanna's "Pour It Up" (2013).
Azalea originally intended "Change Your Life" to be her debut single, instead of "Work", but her label told her "it would be a waste of time because not enough people know about [her] for it to make proper impact". In March 2013, Azalea mentioned in an interview for Idol Magazine that her third single was a collaboration with T.I. and would feature her singing. She announced the song's title in May 2013, and later stated, "I'm most excited for this song and that's why I keep telling everyone about it". On 14 August 2013, Azalea posted the single's accompanying cover art on Twitter. In a black-and-white filter, it features Azalea striking a dramatic pose in a chain-mail bikini top. Mike Wass of Idolator said it was "a typically sexy shot" of the rapper. The single was premiered by BBC Radio 1Xtra on 19 August 2013.
"Change Your Life" was first made available for digital download in the United States on 12 September 2013, exclusively from the pre-order of an extended play (EP) of the same name. It impacted rhythmic contemporary radio in the country on 1 October 2013. A remix by Shift K3Y was premiered by T: The New York Times Style Magazine on 3 October 2013. The Change Your Life EP was released on 8 October 2013 as a digital download and CD; it included Azalea's previous singles "Work" and "Bounce", the Wale remix of the former, as well as remixes of "Change Your Life" by Shift K3Y and Wideboys. In an interview for Styleite, Azalea said that she did not consider it an EP artistically, but "something the label wanted to do to sell [the] single 500 million times". In the United Kingdom, "Change Your Life" and a three-track remix single including the Shift K3Y and Wideboys remixes was digitally released on 13 and 14 October 2013. A CD single which also featured a live performance of "Work" was made available on 14 October 2013. A solo version of "Change Your Life"—with an additional verse by Azalea replacing T.I.'s second verse—was released on 15 October 2013.
Background and development
Azalea first revealed plans for "an epic music video" for "Change Your Life" in May 2013. It was filmed in Las Vegas over a two-day period beginning on 1 July 2013. The video was directed by Jonas & François who previously directed Azalea's video for "Work". Azalea was inspired by several films that were shot in Las Vegas which gave her the idea of having "a big show" for the "Change Your Life" music video; she felt it complemented the song's big, stadium-like feel. She recalled a past-time where she visited Las Vegas as a child and became fond of showgirls, and wanted the music video's storyline to revolve around a similar scenario. However, she felt the 1950s film and cabaret inspirations used to generally portray showgirls were "corny" and "overdone", and instead decided to obtain the music video's primary inspiration from the more "cool [and edgy]" 1995 film Showgirls.
Some of the video's scenes were shot at Cheetah's where Showgirls was filmed. The conceptual narrative of the music video's storyline was based on the film's character, Nomi (Elizabeth Berkley), which
Azalea plays. Nomi's rebellious character contrasted with her dependence on a man and the casino in the film was one Azalea identified with as an artist dependent on her record label. Azalea also felt that Nomi's back-and-forth storyline in the film complemented the back-and-forth lyrical story of "Change Your Life". T.I. plays Nomi's boss and love interest. Azalea was also inspired the film's choreography which she felt was "so '80s and awful with these emphatic movements". The scene where Azalea emerges from the swimming pool topless with red pasties covering her nipples pays homage to a similar scene in Showgirls. Azalea explained, "So if I'm gonna do that movie, I can't leave out the best, most awesome, tacky, what-the-fuck moment". Azalea felt the scene was also important because she wanted to address recent criticism of her small breasts and use it as means of female empowerment for other women who deal with a similar issue.
Azalea found additional inspiration from the neon bulb lighting and visual elements in the 1995 film Casino. A scene in the music video recreates the film's characters Sam (Robert DeNiro) and Ginger (Sharon Stone)'s house scenario, and was shot on the same location with the same swimming pool. A white tiger cub from a sanctuary outside Las Vegas was paid to appear in this scene; the fee paid for the cub's appearance went to the charity of its parent sanctuary. The cub was on set for about 12 hours. Other scenes in the video were filmed at the Plaza Hotel & Casino to depict Azalea's envisioned neon bulb lighting elements. A similar colour palette inspiration was obtained from the 1982 film Blade Runner, but darker in tone. Azalea was also fond of the film's combination of throwback hair styles and makeup with modern fashion; "it all created this kind of futuristic, throwback feel I wanted. I wanted some futuristic, throwback strippers". Azalea has a total of nine wardrobe changes in the video. She and T.I.'s wardrobe were coordinated by Alejandra Hernandez, and consisted of designs by Brioni, Giorgio Armani, Moschino, Patricia Field and Tom Ford. Upon the video's completion, Azalea felt confident in its rewatching value; "I think a great thing about a video is when there's so many things happening in it that you didn't get process all the information [and] want to watch it again".
The video opens with a view of a home's swimming pool and patio area where Azalea is pictured walking on a springboard and diving into the pool. This scene is intercut with images of her bedroom, a shattered painting of herself, and a whiskey glass dropping through a glass coffee table. Azalea is then shown lounging on the springboard; her hair is wet and slicked-back, and she wears a vintage bikini that has a transparent, chain-mail top and a red bottom. In another segment, she is dressed in a pink satin conical bra and high-waisted boyshorts, and is pictured writhing around on a pink satin bed alongside a white tiger cub. This scene is intercepted with Azalea emerging from the pool donning red pasties.
At the song's first chorus, Azalea is shown as a showgirl performing a burlesque routine on a neon-drenched stage, backed by a bevy of other platinum-wigged showgirls. She sports a sheer diamond bodysuit, a diamond choker, and a large, feathered headdress. Images of French playing cards, dollar bills and dice being thrown onto tables intercepts scenes through the rest of the video. Later, T.I. is shown smoking a cigar and wearing a suit, as he enter's Azalea's backstage dressing room. Close-ups of other showgirls are shown in this segment as Azalea looks at T.I. upset. The two are then pictured getting intimate together on the bonnet of a red Mercedes-Benz outside the bar where Azalea performed. In this scene, Azalea is dressed in a crimson, double-belter half-jacket over a black-and-pink two-piece swimsuit.
In the next segment, Azalea reprises another on-stage showgirl performance, this time superimposed in glitter and flames. She is now pictured in a friendlier mood backstage, trying on a Lucite cowboy hat and applying mascara. The video's plot twist occurs with Azalea—in a white pantsuit—being handcuffed and escorted out a casino by two policeman into the backseat of their vehicle. This scene is intercut with Azalea dancing in the bar's parking lot and lounging on car with the registration "T.I. Nevada". She wears a rhinestone-encrusted crop top, gloves, a polyvinyl chloride miniskirt with garters, and thigh-high boots. Azalea then smashes a money-filled suitcase open onto the car's windscreen and sets it alight and walks away. The video ends with a showgirl performance of Azalea being completely superimposed in flames.
The music video for the song was shot in early July 2013 in Las Vegas and premiered September 9, 2013, on VEVO. The video has over 121 million views on YouTube
Live performances and usage in media
Azalea first performed the solo version of "Change Your Life" as part of her setlist for the iTunes Festival in September 2013, where she was an opening act for Katy Perry. Azalea and T.I. gave their first live, televised performance of the song on 106 & Park on 3 October 2013.The following day, Azalea performed the solo version of the track on Fuse's Trending 10 and on Alan Carr: Chatty Man. On 9 October 2013, she performed the song for BBC Radio 1Xtra. At the 2013 MOBO Awards, Azalea performed "Change Your Life" and "Work". Azalea also included the track as part of her sets during Beyoncé's The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. In Australia, Azalea performed "Change Your Life" live on Wake Up on 13 November 2013. Azalea and T.I. performed the track on The Late Show with David Letterman on 28 November 2013, backed by a live band.
In 2014, "Change Your Life" was included in the setlist for Azalea's first headlining tour, The New Classic Tour. On 15 February 2015, "Change Your Life" was used in an episode of the fifteenth series of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The song also featured in the soundtrack for the 2015 film Pitch Perfect 2.