With the exception of her Super Bowl commercial with Elton John and a trio of singles — including the about-to-drop club track "Long Distance" — we've seen, and heard, precious little of season one "X Factor" winner Melanie Amaro.
That will all change on Thursday night (December 6), when Amaro returns to the "Factor" stage for a performance intended to kick off the hype machine for her long-in-the-works, debut album, Truly, due out in early 2013.
"It's definitely a perfection thing ... we want to put out the best for my fans, for everyone, so we're taking our time on it," Amaro said of the year-long process of recording the disc with a roster of superstar producers including Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry), Kuk Harrell (Britney Spears, Chris Brown), C. "Tricky" Stewart (Rihanna, Mary J. Blige) and Bleu McAuley (Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez).
"It's been an entire process, the first couple of months was pretty intense because it was my first time in the studio after winning and whatnot but Epic definitely threw some good songs out, some good writers, so I think it should go really well on the album," she added. "I think everything on the album is from me basically; everything has to do with [my] real life."
The album is described as a mix of R&B, dance-pop and the kind of soaring ballads that helped Amaro, 20, secure the crown last December. The singer said show creator Simon Cowell has been checking in on the sessions, as has label boss and "Factor" mentor L.A. Reid, and Sony Music Entertainment honcho Clive Davis, who knows a thing or two about creating world-beating divas thanks to his track record with everyone from Whitney Houston to Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys.
"It's different genres, different styles," Amaro said of the song on the disc. "I always tell people that it's going to be a very eclectic album, something you can sit down and listen to and enjoy my voice or you can get up and dance and sing a long, it's definitely an album you want to play in your car so you can blast it while driving on the 405. That will put a smile on your face."
While Amaro's been working away, other 2011 finalists, from sensitive rapper Chris Rene to adorable teen Rachel Crow have gotten EP's out, while singer Marcus Canty has put out a series of single and is slated to drop an EP in late January.
"I've been excited for them," said Amaro. In the past, the winners (and most of the runner-ups) on rival show "American Idol" have gotten out debut albums within the calendar year they won like clockwork and the first winner of "The Voice," Javier Colon, had a disc out the year he was crowned. But Amaro's gap could end up being the longest among winners of the major reality singing shows.
"I know mine is taking extra time, I guess Epic wants a little bit more from me, they want me to do my very best," she explained. "It's good to know they're taking time because they want perfection. I'm looking forward to it." Amaro promised it will be worth, even suggesting that there "might" be a song on the disc that will get the waterworks going.
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