BY JIM FARBER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Sunday, June 21st 2009, 4:00 AM
It’s not every teen idol who aspires to make music as gritty as Bruce Springsteen’s and give acting performances that rival the rawest of Angelina Jolie’s (“Girl, Interrupted” remains one of her favorite films).
But, then, no one ever said teen idol Demi Lovato lacked ambition. The 16-year-old star has already seen her debut album, “Don’t Forget,” debut at No. 2 on the charts last fall, after starring in several major Disney Channel TV projects, including “Camp Rock” and her own series, “Sonny With a Chance.”
Such credits had people calling her the next Miley Cyrus. To boost that connection, last summer Lovato opened for the Jonas Brothers on their arena tour. Clearly, the performance clicked with dreamy teens because, just nine months later, she’s headlining her own, equal-sized event, on a tour that comes to Nassau Coliseum Wednesday and the Prudential Center in Newark Thursday.
Even so, the hungry singer already has her eye on her next move.
Lovato’s second CD, “Here We Go Again,” comes out July 21 and, unlike her debut, on which she shared all the writing credits with fellow teenyboppers the Jonas boys, this time she penned the songs with the grown-up likes of John Mayer and William Beckett of the alterna-band The Academy Is.
Lovato also wrote about edgier subjects, like her fractious relationship with her father. Here she talks about all the fast changes in her life:
I’ve heard you went for a very different sound on the new album. What’s it like?
I have a bit less rock and more mellow stuff, but with an R&B twist.
Why change the sound?
I’ve matured a lot in the last year. I wanted to show that. There’s one song in particular, “For the Love of a Daughter,” about my relationship with my birth father.
Your dad left the family when you were just 2 years old and you were estranged from him for many years, right?
We still are.
But he gave interviews to the tabloids saying you had come back together.
It’s not exactly how he made it out to be. It didn’t have the fairy tale ending that he portrayed. The last time I talked to him was two years ago. You try to have faith in somebody, even when you’re the last person that believes in him. But when somebody lets you down after you’ve been the only one there for them, and so many times, you don’t know what else to do.
So what did you do?
I had to cut off all connection. It was hurting me too much. Writing about that subject on the album will probably surprise some people.
But it’s even more surprising that you convinced John Mayer to write with you.
We wrote two songs together. One was called “Love Is the Answer.” The other was “Shut Up and Love Me.” He has always been one of my biggest musical influences. So we contacted his management about writing together.
Were you surprised he said yes?
I was completely shocked. It was more of a pipe dream. I didn’t ever think it would be a reality, but it came true. He was taking a chance on working with a younger artist in the pop realm. He also gave me advice.
A lot about the media. How sometimes they can hurt your feelings and get you down. But he gave me this cool point of view. He told me to be encouraged even when people hate you.
Why didn’t you write with the Jonas Brothers this time, as you did on most of your first CD?
I still wrote with Nick [Jonas] on one song. I just felt like I wanted to see what my songs would sound like without them. They were the only people I’d ever written with. Once I wrote with different people, I wanted to go with that.
You have this obvious closeness with the Jonas boys. Do their fans ever resent you for that?
They don’t because I’m not after one of their guys.
So it has always been just a friendship?
I read a quote from you where you said you hate relationships. Is that true?
I’m still young but I have been really, really hurt in relationships. When you allow yourself to fall for somebody, you’re allowing them to break your heart. Anyway, I’m only 16, so I’m not supposed to be in relationships. I’m just supposed to be dating and having fun. So I have a lot of really cute friends (laughs).
You’ve been acting since you were 6. Are you more attracted to acting or singing?
I’m definitely more attracted to singing. I started out acting to pay for singing lessons.
You’ve said that one key musical role model for you is Springsteen. Why?
I saw a DVD where he was basically on a stage in the middle of the arena, with his band – no cool lighting, no nothing. And everyone knew the songs and they were just so focused on the music. That’s what I want to do one day. But right now, I’m not at that point.
For right now, then, what’s the best thing about being a teen idol?
I have a lot of friends. They’re my fans, but they’re also my friends. So when I’m having a really bad day, I never have to feel alone.
Source: Daily News