Victoria Justice Says 'Victorious' Was 'Great Practice' For Debut Album

'I'm in creative control. I'm steering the ship,' former Nick star tells MTV News.

This summer, a new batch of pop princesses is out to claim their rightful places among some of the more-established chart queens in the genre like Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. Two of the biggest contenders happen to be graduates from the school of "Victorious."

After the Nick sitcom wrapped up earlier this year, both Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande set off to record debut albums. Justice explained to MTV News what it was about the series that spurred so much musical creativity from the two multi-hyphenate performers.

"We're all very musical people, so I think it was just natural for us to want to put out our own music," Justice said. "And 'Victorious' was great practice for me. I had never really sung professionally until 'Victorious,' so it was great experience. It was great practice being in the studio, performing on the show, and it was just a lot of fun.

"And I actually wrote three songs that ended up on the show, which was very cool," she explained. "So that was really exciting. I think it really just set me up in the right way to be able to do both [acting and singing]. I'm passionate about both."

Justice just dropped her video for "Gold," serving as a tease for her own album, set to debut later this year. She said that with her teen-queen days behind her, she's ready to make a more grownup statement and that she's been given a lot of freedom to do so. "I'm in creative control. I'm steering the ship," she shared.

"I want it to be a little more mature. I'm 20 years old now, so I've grown a lot as a songwriter, as well," she added. "I think my album is definitely going to be pop. I'm kind of playing around with different types of pop. 'Gold' is more mainstream pop, and I wrote another song that I'm super excited about, and it's one of my favorites that I've ever written ... I'm just exploring with a bunch of different sounds. It's been really fun getting to write most of my music."

That song, the name of which she didn't want to reveal just yet, is "more singer/songwriter-y pop." "It's a song that I wrote for a boy, and that's kind of a Bruno Mars-ish vibe," she explained. "It's kind of in the vein of a 'Just the Way You Are,' but it's a girl singing it to a guy. But it's a really, really fun, catchy song, and as soon as you hear it, you want to snap your fingers and dance and automatically makes you happy. It's really, really upbeat."