The last time MTV News caught up with Allison Iraheta, the 17-year-old rocker was still on tour with her fellow "American Idol" artists, a little bit exhausted but plowing ahead with work on her debut album. With a couple of months of performing and recording behind her, Iraheta has a clearer vision of what that debut will look like, and she can explain where "Friday I'll Be Over U," the poppy track that leaked last week, fits into all of that.
"That song, the first time I heard it, I loved it," she explained to EW.com. "And I was thinking, yeah, it might have a little bit of the pop sound to it, but I don't mind that at all. I can definitely do harder than this, and I'm gonna. But I thought for a first single, 'Friday I'll Be Over U,' we all agreed would be something that would get people's attention. You've got to get in that door."
Max Martin, the hitmaker behind singles from Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson, produced the radio-friendly track. But Iraheta promised that fans will hear a distinctly grittier sound on the album. "There's more to come," she said. "For the album, there's some harder stuff I'm really excited about, but I'm pretty damn happy with 'Friday I'll Be Over U.' "
One of those harder songs is "Beat Me Up," a song produced by Kevin Rudolf, who's worked with the likes of Lil Wayne and Cobra Starship. Last month, Rudolf spoke with MTV News about his collaboration with Iraheta.
"I don't write bubblegum pop," the producer said. "Even if I write something that's poppy, I always try to do something with integrity and that's real and has heart. We did a cool record. It has a little bit of a wink to it, but it's smart. To me, she's like the new Janis Joplin or Pat Benetar."
"It's a pretty rad song," Iraheta told EW about "Beat Me Up." "This chick likes being mistreated by her guy. A lot of girls out there, they like that! And it's kind of sad, but y'know, that's just the way she is. Not that I'm like that because I'd beat the hell out of whoever the hell mistreats me! I put myself in another girl's shoes, so it's a pretty cool song."
Iraheta also revealed that she was writing her own material before the start of the "Idol" tour, and it's possible some of that work may appear on the album, which drops on December 1. "We're gonna work on it some more and see what happens," she said.
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.