Demi Lovato is in the middle of a concert tour, has just released a new album, and is still the star of her own Disney TV series, "Sonny With a Chance." But she makes sure she has time to check out any cute boys on her radar.
"I'm a 16-year-old girl — of course I make time to date!" she says with a laugh during a recent interview.
Lovato sounds like the typical teen girl, but don't expect frilly, boy-crazy songs to dominate her new album, "Here We Go Again." While it has songs about romance and heartbreak, it also touches on what she calls serious, more substantial issues.
Lovato talked about her maturing sound, working with idol John Mayer and why she isn't looking for a serious relationship during her teen years.
AP: Do you fear having a teen pop stigma?
Lovato: I'm OK with it, you know? Disney Channel has given me so much, I'm so excited to be with Disney Channel and to be working with them. And this is just like me performing my stuff and like showing everybody who I am as opposed to like my character in "Camp Rock" or things like that. It's really just about me wanting to show everyone who I am and them getting to know me."
AP: Is there a theme to your new album?
Lovato: We didn't put a theme together because I wanted to make sure that the album and the songs that were included were just more mature, more of me (laughs).
AP: You seem to be drawn to music that is more serious — do you keep it young?
Lovato: I really don't want the songs to be just low, serious, like, dark songs. I think that there is a way to incorporate both of that so that you can appeal to older people and younger and most importantly people your age. That's who I want to relate to the most, just people my age and people who are going through the same thing that I am.
AP: Have you ever written a song that you later thought was too personal to release?
Lovato: There have been times when it has been way too personal, but I never would release any thing like that. Just keep it on my computer, like keep it in a journal. All of my songs are from personal experiences, but I think you can get a lot out of them. ... It really is what inspires me at the moment.
AP: John Mayer co-wrote "World of Changes" with you. Was it intimidating working with him?
Lovato: It was kind of intimidating actually, because it was hard for me to get the lyrics out — "What if he thinks this sucks?" ... So I was terrified, but at the same time I was sitting there, I was like, "This is really cool," and then every time he did compliment me I would get super excited.
AP: You have said as a kid you didn't fit in.
Lovato: In middle school I was in the popular clique and looking back on it, it wasn't worth it. I would have rather been happy and not known to anybody, rather than being stuck in a clique of people that it's all drama and gossip and rumors, things like that. It's not fun.
AP: You decided to be home-schooled. Why?
Lovato: I left school because it got to a point where the rumors and the gossip and the bullying — it was more verbal harassment than physical abuse but that's actually more scarring than anything. And I had to leave because I just couldn't deal with it. And I've home-schooled ever since.
AP: Did you channel your anger into songwriting?
Lovato: I kind of went through a year when I didn't know what to do and the only thing I turned to was my best friend Selena (Gomez), who was home-schooled with me for that time. But also my music. I had so much bottled up that I didn't know what to do with it, so I just wrote songs about them.
AP: How do you meet boys?
Lovato: I love boys, (laughs) but, you know, at the same time, it's like, I'm not going to go out there and date every single guy that I want. I might, you know, get their number and talk to them a little bit, but there is nothing wrong with that, I'm 16. I don't really like relationships. I'd rather have a lot of really cute guy friends. That's why, another reason why you never really see me "with somebody" like for a long time. Cause it's like I'd rather have a lot of really cute guy friends that you can have the attention from by flirting with them, but you don't have to kiss them and you don't have to be tied down to anybody.