The 24-year-old American Idol winner is set to release her first studio album on Feb. 18, and spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about making music and life after Idol.
“Love is my favorite thing,” she said of the record. “I’m a hopeless romantic and I want people to listen to the album and fall in love all over again. I’m hoping it helps people get through what they’re going through. My main focus is to help people through music.”
Originally slated to hit shelves only two months after she won Idol, Music Speaks was pushed back twice before securing a firm release date seven months later. “At first, I thought people would forget about me, and then there were all the negative things people were saying about the season as a whole, and that discouraged me,” she admitted. “Eventually, I got to that moment where I knew delaying the release would help me more than hinder me.”
The extra time gave the South Carolina-native a chance to spend more time writing for the album. While “Forever That Man” is one of her favorites, others were more of a stretch for the mild-mannered singer, who admitted she was apprehensive about how the public would react to more grownup subject material in songs like “Damn,” a track that chronicles the heartache of being a man’s other woman.