NEW YORK — For years, people have known Lea Michele as Rachel Berry from "Glee," but now they are getting to know Michele as her own artist. And so far, people like what they hear.
On Monday (March 3), Michele dropped her much anticipated debut album, Louder, on the same day Pharrell and Rick Ross released their project. It found its way to the top of the iTunes album charts fairly quickly.
MTV News caught up with Michele on album release day, and she was beyond ecstatic that her Leanatics were loving her LP.
"I'm so excited. I don't know if it's because I've had about 16 cups of coffee today or if it's because I'm genuinely excited, probably both," Michele said. "But I feel like I can't believe it."
Michele said she has been waiting for the moment where she could show everyone what kind of artist she could really be, which is another reason she is thrilled with the response, since she wasn't even sure the album was going to be released.
"I think for a really long time, I made this record and I finished it in June and it got postponed and it was taking a very long time to make it and I started to think maybe I made this album for myself and my friends to like listen to in the car and play for my family and then two days ago I was like, 'It's coming out,' " Michele said. "Everyone's going to hear it now and then I got scared, but I'm really, really proud of it."
Fans have been gravitating toward the album's pop vibe, with songs that are about strength, power and honesty.
Michele gets very candid with her fans on her debut effort, especially on the track "If You Say So," which she co-wrote with Sia, about the last conversation she shared with her boyfriend Cory Monteith, before he tragically died last July.
"I think at the time it was really early and everything, so I really don't even remember a lot of what I was feeling back then," Michele said of the writing and recording process of the song. "But I'm just thankful now, I think in any sense, whether it's difficult or whether it's good, music is such therapy, so for me this album as a whole has been very therapeutic and each song has helped me in a different way."
Michele reveals that the album wouldn't be complete without that powerful and emotional song since it was part of this two-year journey that the album chronicles.
"I just think it's there, it's on the album," Michele said. "I could get into everything I could talk about everything in depth, but everything that ended up on the record is a part of me, so I don't think I could have had a record without including all the aspects of my journey.