Alexz Johnson may play an American Idol-like singer on television, but in real life the singer-actress has different musical aspirations. "My influences are (artists like) Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel – just very creative pop," the 20-year-old says while visiting New York City to promote the third season Instant Star, which debuts on the N on Friday [FEB. 16] (8:30 p.m. ET). While Johnson says she loves playing rock star Jude Harrison on the show – especially since she gets to collaborate on writing the songs her character sings – she's even more excited about launching her own musical career. Johnson expects to release her debut disc by the year's end. First, though, she sat down to discuss all the American Idol comparisons, what fuels her own songwriting process and, of course, what to expect on this season of Instant Star.
TeenPeople.com: You're able to both sing and act in your career – have you always been interested in both?
Alexz Johnson: I've loved music since I was two-years-old. My mom said I came out of the womb singing.Music's my passion way more than acting. And actually the funny thing is I started doing Instant Star so I could buy studio equipment to work on my music in my basement. I lucked out because Instant Star is a music show as well – so I got to write songs for it.
TeenPeople.com: The show explores your character Jude's life after she wins an American Idol type of show, right?
Alexz Johnson: It's a lot like American Idol in a sense but Instant Star picks up where American Idol leaves off. What happens after they win the contest. What happens with their career? Who's in control? It exposes the inner-workings of the music business.
TeenPeople.com: You've been able to sing and act in your career. What's next on your list?
Alexz Johnson: All I want to do is have a record and be a legitimate artist. Not do it all. I don't want to be the girl who has the clothing line and the perfume line and the movies. That doesn't interest me. I want to have a record. And I know you have to take certain stepping stones to get what you want to get in life. Instant Star has been such a blessing for me because it opened up so many doors. I was able to come to New York and do a showcase for the major labels. And I wrote songs for the first season of Instant Star,, so I was getting the craft down.
TeenPeople.com: Have you started work on your album? How would you describe the songs?
Alexz Johnson: It's kind of hard to explain what it is. The songs are very percussive – symphony stuff and Celtic-sounding. That's the kind of thing I like to write. And I wrote 45 songs in Los Angeles and London. All the songs that are going to be on the record were written with my brother, Brendan. So, right now I want to take a step back and focus on the music and have a record – no matter what happens to it.