"I just do what I want," laughs Sabrina Carpenter when asked how she deals with the pressure of transitioning from Disney Channel star to mainstream artist.
The 19-year-old Girl Meets World alum is gearing up to release her third studio album, Singular, later this year and sat down with E! News to reveal what's to come.
"I wasn't trying to be anything but myself, and that in itself was really empowering for me," the "Almost Love" singer says. "I was just listening to a lot of women with a lot of confidence and flavour and attitude…I love Beyoncé. I love Rihanna. I love SZA."
And the Pennsylvania native has no time for haters.
"Everybody will share their opinions, but at the end of the day I have to do what I like and I have to do what makes me happy," she says. "I think that's a huge message in the album, as well."
She also has a song on the soundtrack for Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Netflix's latest teen rom-com starring It Guy Noah Centineo.
"I think my mom's probably more obsessed [with him than I am]," she says. "My mom watched his movie [To All the Boys I've Loved Before]…five times. I've only seen it once, and it was very sweet. He was very cute. He's super talented."
Up next: Carpenter will play the decidedly unlikable Hailey in the racially and politically charged film The Hate U Give (in Australia cinemas January 1).
"The author [Angie Thomas] was like, yeah people are going to hate you for the rest of your life," Carpenter says. "But at the same time, I think I have enough trust and faith in the world to hopefully just focus on the message."
Meanwhile, she's is busy keeping her 15-million Instagram followers up-to-date on everything from her recent Asia promo tour to what she's eating for lunch.
"You almost have to decide when you want to share certain parts of yourself," she says. "Whatever I can do to make my fans laugh or smile…I found social media was my favourite way to be able to talk to them and see how they're doing in their lives, which makes me feel a lot better about my life."