Katharine McPhee: Album, American Idol Talk

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Katharine McPhee is making the publicity rounds. In support of her new album, the American Idol star sat down recently with the Associated Press:

McPhee Music
Your single just came out, your record is next. How do you feel?
I am so excited. I just look back to a year ago, at this time I was getting ready, preparing for American Idol and I wasn't able to tell anybody I was going to be on America Idol. It's a pretty miraculous thing that I'm now promoting my first single, "Over It," which I'm just loving. ...

It's just a fun pop, up-tempo record. It gives you a little bit more of an insight to who I am, a different side of me. I dance in my car to it and have a great time. It's kind of a celebration of young girls coming together and a lot of those kinds of tunes.

How has your sound changed since you left American Idol?
I always wanted to just sing the kind of things that were a little bit more challenging, rhythmically challenging, like different syncopated kind of beats and stuff like that I didn't get a chance to do on American Idol.

What should fans expect from this record?
It's not a record that I'm just trying to be like, "Oh, I want to be like everybody else." It's something I really relate to, and it's something that is a part of me. I think when you walk away from this record you're going to feel like you know a part of me better -- the girl who was in college or the girl who was in high school versus the girl who was on Idol. You just get to know a little bit more, which is important for a new artist.

How does working in the studio compare to musical theater?
With musical theater, it's so much easier to obviously connect with what you're singing about because you have a live audience and you're getting energy from them. When you're in the studio it's so easy to just kind of be singing the lines, having no emotion behind it. ... That was something that I had to learn in the recording studio, that I had to not only just sing it and make it sound pretty but that the emotion had to carry through.

Your image is much sexier now. Was that intentional?
We didn't think, with this kind of music, a long gown was going to mix well together. That's definitely a part of me. What girly girl doesn't want to get dressed up and go to the prom and look beautiful? But for this kind of music, it was more the side of me who's a typical day-to-day jeans and T-shirt kind of girl with some cute high heels and a ponytail. The cover of the album is pushing the envelope.

It's always about wanting to get people's attention and making a statement.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.