Months ago, Lea Michele was understandably in a dark place after the sudden passing of her boyfriend Cory Monteith, but now the brunette beauty is ready let her voice be heard louder than ever before.
The 27-year-old pop star's debut solo album Louder is set to stores on March 4th, and she's already released three of the singles—"You're Mine," which is her "favorite song" on the album and her tribute tune to Monteith, as well as "Cannonball," the powerhouse track penned by Sia and "Battlefield."
"I started working with Anne Preven, Felicia Barton, and Bonnie McKee right out of the gate, and we came up with some great, awesome pop songs," the Glee star tells the mag of her upcoming album. "But closer to the beginning of this year – four or five months into making the album – the label was like, 'this is great, but we need more of you in here. You sound like you're singing awesome songs that are similar to Katy [Perry] or Kiely [Williams]. We need more Lea Michele.'"
Michele's album was completed in June, but her life took an unexpected turn for the worse in July when her longtime boyfriend suddenly died of a drug overdose at the age of 31. The singer then decided to revisit her record and added the track "Cannonball," which became her first single, as well as "If You Say So," which she penned with Sia shortly after Cory's passing.
"It's the only song that no one's heard," she says of "If You Say So." "I can't talk about it until people hear it. I just feel like people should hear it and I don't know if I'm ever going to talk about it. It's just one of those things where I understand what it means and you can take it or leave it. That song is for me."
Michele has been hard at work on her many projects as of late, sharing BTS photos from the Glee set (in anticipation of the 100th episode!), releasing songs from her forthcoming album and promoting her new book.
During her free time, she's regularly been spotted enjoying hikes around Los Angeles (even with her parents—who relocated to L.A. after Monteith's death), but she insists you won't be seeing her frequenting the club scene anytime soon.
"My friends call me Grandma, but like, Grandma's killing it right now," the starlet, who stuns in a variety of sexy ensembles brags to the publication. "I'm pretty sure Grandma nailed it in a half-naked Terry Richardson shoot, okay? So I'm fine with it. I just do my thing. I do what's best for me. That's it."
"I don't like things that other people like," she continued. "I don't like clubs or crazy, loud music. I don't drink a lot, and maybe that makes me boring, but I'd rather be in bed watching Homeland with my cat, Sheila, eating a sandwich."
Which is the message she hopes to drive home in her book Brunette Ambition.
"I wanted to show young girls that you don't need to fit in with everyone and do what all the cool kids are doing," she said. "My drive and focus have gotten me to where I am."
As for her role model? The legendary Stevie Nicks, who she met on the Glee set.
"She's like a fairy," the former Broadway beauty gushed. "She's given me so many gifts along the way, and when I say gifts, I mean tools and advice and support. She told me from the beginning that music is going to be your therapy, and at the time I was like, What the f--k are you talking about, Stevie Nicks? I don't want to listen to music. I can't do anything. But once you get out a little bit of the tunnel, when you slowly start to feel like you can be yourself a little bit, it does help. It's so cool I have her number."