For a singer who titled her debut album One Love, Kimberley Locke seems to be stepping out of character with her second single, "Wrong."
"It just basically says, 'Screw you and all the things that you think about me,' " the former "American Idol" contestant said about the song. " 'You're totally wrong and I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do' ... It's slowly but surely becoming the girl anthem of 2004. It's a very empowering song."
Locke, who finished third behind Clay Aiken a year ago, is releasing "Wrong" to radio outlets later in June, and will shoot a video in early July. "We're working on [the concept]," she said.
"Wrong," which includes the chorus " 'Cause you're wrong and I'm strong/ Unafraid I'm moving on/ 'Cause I'm free to be me/ No one tells me who to be," is the follow-up to "8th World Wonder," which hit #19 on Billboard's Hot 100 (see " 'American Idol' Finalist Kimberley Locke Is Radio's '8th Wonder' ").
Now that the song has proven successful, Locke is ready to reveal a secret behind the lyrics.
"The song was written by three guys, which is really funny," she explained. "So although I'm singing the song, the real '8th World Wonder' is actually a girl, not a guy at all."
Locke considers "8th World Wonder" the perfect introduction to One Love, which features production by Guy Roche (Christina Aguilera), Matt Bronleewe (Natalie Imbruglia), Rob Fusari (Destiny's Child), Shaun Shankel (Mandy Moore) and Drew Ramsey and Shannon Saunders (India.Arie).
"It's one of those tunes that you get in your head and you can't get it out," she said. "It's just one of those upbeat, happy love ballads — not a ballad, but a love song."
Love and relationships play a big part in One Love, especially "You've Changed," which Locke co-wrote.
"It's very Mary J. Blige-ish," she said. "It's about what really happens. You start out, you go out every day, you see each other every day, and then one day you look up and it's like, 'We don't spend any time together at all. What are we doing? We're hanging out together, but we're really not talking.' "
Co-writing "You've Changed" has been a big confidence booster for Locke. "Everybody loves that song!" she said. "I'm like, 'Really?' I didn't expect people to like it that much. So on my next album, I will write more."
Kimberley has yet to plan out future singles from One Love, but has also gotten an overwhelming response to "Without You," a duet she recorded with her roommate. It probably helps that she lives with Clay Aiken.
"It worked out great, 'cause Clay and I both have big voices and they just go really well together," Locke said. "And we blew it out. I actually went to sing it with him in Anaheim at one of his shows, and they absolutely loved it." (Clay has since added the song to his show, with one of his back-up singers handling Locke's part.)
Another fan favorite on Locke's album is her rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
"[My label] really wanted me to do it on the album, and I was like, 'I'll do it, but under one condition, and that is if we don't do it the same way,' " Locke said. "It's a standard. Anybody can sing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,' and I've sung it so much on the show I was singing it in my sleep. ... So Guy Roche did an arrangement of that, and we worked on it together and we came out with a fresh, new 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' "
After shooting the "Wrong" video, Locke plans to promote One Love overseas, and then return for a North American tour in the fall. She's also planning to record a Christmas single for release late in the year.