It's the rule: you win American Idol in May, and toward the end of that same year -- fall or winter -- you release your debut album. It's been that way ever since the show's second season. But the show's reigning champ, Candice Glover, is bucking the trend. Though she was crowned the winner of season 12 in May of 2013, her debut album, Music Speaks, is just arriving this week.
Ironically, Music Speaks was supposed to be out earlier than any winner's album -- it was originally slated to come out in July. But as Candice tells ABC News Radio, she's glad the project was delayed.
"I won May 16th and then July 16th it was supposed to come out and I was in the studio, like, 'Okay you got to get this done, you got to get this done,'" she recalls. "I wasn't really passionate about most of the songs that I had and I thought it would be better for me to take some more time, get the songs to sound exactly the way that I wanted them to, like every small detail."
She notes that the only other Idol champ who had such a long delay between her victory and her first album was Kelly Clarkson, who won the competition in September of 2002, and didn't release her debut, Thankful, until April of 2003. "She is doing really well for herself and so I just hope that I can follow her path," says Candice.
If you want to know what Music Speaks sounds like, Candice says that if you watched her on season 12, you've already gotten a preview.
"While I was on American Idol, I switched songs up...I was known as that contestant," she explains. "Like when I did [a version of The Cure's] 'Lovesong," it doesn't go that way. 'Straight Up' by Paula Abdul, it doesn't go [the way that I did it]. I did certain beats and certain tempos to kind of show people if I win and I make an album, this is the type of music that you're going to listen to."
Candice describes the sound of the record as "laid back, chilled music," and says the title, Music Speaks, reflects her hope that people will connect with the songs.
"There's a lot of people that can't say how they feel, and there's a lot of people that are probably scared to say how they feel, and music is there when you don't have anything to say or when you have something say but don't know how to," Candice explains. "So I think Music Speaks is definitely the best title [for the record]."
While Candice says that the process of recording the disc was intimidating, and it took her a while to have the guts to tell her producers exactly what she was looking for, she reveals that her confidence was boosted by her experiences on the American Idols Live tour last summer. That's because not every crowd was welcoming; in fact, some fans were downright angry that Candice had won over, say, Angie Miller or Kree Harrison.
"We did 30 different cities and we were in front of different people every night. Some crowds were giving you the death stare and then some people were really into it," Candice tells ABC News Radio. "And I think it prepared me for every situation, for the crowds that aren't so into what you're doing and the crowds that love you."
Music Speaks is in stores now. It includes one track, "In the Middle," co-written by season three champ Fantasia Barrino, as well as Candice's take on "Lovesong," the Cure-by-way-of-Adele tune she sang on American Idol.
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