As she puts the finishing touches on her third studio album -- the first since her stint in rehab -- Demi reveals to AOL Music that she does not consider herself to be recovered and even considered quitting showbiz altogether. The 18-year-old admits she looks to actor Robert Downey Jr. as an "inspiration," and hopes to motivate others to get healthy. And, of course, Demi addresses those Ryan Phillippe dating rumors.
Get the details on all this and more in our exclusive interview with Demi below, and tune into Cambio's Live Chat with Ms. Lovato herself on Thursday July 21 at 8PM EST/5PM PST.
You've been getting rave reviews from other artists for your new single 'Skyscraper.' What's your reaction to all of the praise and support?
There has been so much positive feedback, it's been so incredible. I hear that people like Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson respect my music and are even tweeting about it on their own time. I mean, it's just been so amazing and I've been so thankful and grateful. It's just so exciting for me, because these are people I look up to myself and then hearing that they're tweeting about me; it's like a dream come true.
Do you think any collaborations might come out of all this?
I would love to collaborate with these people. I haven't had the opportunity yet, but maybe in the future. That's something that will definitely be on my wish list.
Who have you been working with on your new album?
I've been working with [producer and songwriter] Toby Gad and with a couple named Dan [Pringle] and Leah [Haywood], they're with Dreamlab Productions. They're amazing -- we've done some really great stuff together. I worked with Ryan Tedder the other day, from OneRepublic. And Tim [James] and Antonina [Armato] from Rock Mafia. So I've worked with some really incredible people and I'm really excited for the other people that I'm going to get to work with soon.
People are calling 'Skyscraper' your comeback single, and it has a very inspiring and powerful tone and message -- will the rest of the album follow this strong, self-empowerment theme?
The sound and feel of the album is going to be a lot lighter. With 'Skyscraper,' we wanted to come out of the gate with something very inspirational and something that represents the journey that I've been on. But the rest of the album is a lot lighter and more fun.
It's definitely a lot more mature than the other stuff that I've done. It's not pop rock, it's more R&B vocals and it really showcases my vocals, which I'm really proud of. There are some other songs that are as equally intense as 'Skyscraper' that I'm excited for people to hear, but for the most part it's going to be a lot more fun.
Watch Demi Lovato's 'Skyscraper' Video
Do you attribute any of the issues that sent you into treatment to the early pressures of child stardom and growing up in the spotlight?
No. My issues stem from other things that happened in my childhood. They are issues that every girl deals with, whether they're in the spotlight or not. Cutting has become so common with so many girls and in almost every family people have tried it or experimented with it and there is addiction all over the place. It doesn't necessarily come from being a quote unquote child star.
So, you don't feel any increased pressure, having just recently been released from treatment and being thrust back into the public eye? You're still very young.
I don't really consider myself young, because I've lived so much life and have been through a lot. But for the most part, it doesn't make it any easier being in front of the cameras while I'm trying to be in recovery from an eating disorder. But this is what I love doing and nothing is going to stop me from doing what I love and inspiring people to better themselves.
But, there had to have been a moment when you consider stepping out of the spotlight all together.
Yeah, I definitely had to reevaluate my life in every way possible and I had to consider not going back to acting and music as an option. Ultimately, at the end of the day, my health and my state of mind is more important than any career. But I thought, "Music is something that keeps me healthy and that has saved my life at one point, and I love it and I'm not going to give it up."
I can stay healthy and I can do it at the same time. There are so many other artists and musicians and actors who have done it. Like Robert Downey Jr., he's obviously dealt with a lot and he's been able to maintain his sobriety and his career at the same time. I kind of look at him as an inspiration. And he's not the only one, so I've seen that it is possible. I took my break away from it and it felt great, but now I'm excited and I'm ready to get back into it.
You say you don't feel young because of all that you've been through. Do you feel like you've lost your childhood to these issues?
No. Even when I was 5 years old, I wanted to move out and get my own apartment. I remember asking my mom, and she was like, "No! You're 5!" I think some people are just born this way and it's a blessing and a curse at the same time. You have to deal with what you've been given. I don't think I was ever robbed of my childhood.
Why have you decided to speak so openly about your issues and what you've been through?
Because I know that if I can use my voice to speak to one person, or one family, then I've done my part. I feel like it's no coincidence that God put me through all of this and has also given me the voice that I have. I feel like my purpose on earth is much greater than just being a singer, a musician or actress. I think it's to reach out to people and to raise awareness of these issues that not many people speak about.
Is the goal to encourage people who are struggling with similar issues to be open to speaking up about their problems, or is it to prevent other people from falling victim to these habits in the first place?
I think both. I would love to see people get help for the issues that I've spoken about and see me as an example and say, "Wow, there is a life outside of this addiction or this eating disorder." I think for me, if it prevents somebody from going down the path that I did, or if it saves someone's life because they choose to get help, then I've done my part.
Do you consider yourself to be recovered at this point?
No. This is an ongoing process and the hardest part about these diseases is that they're things that I'm going to have to face every day for the rest of my life. I'm going to mess up and I'm not going to be perfect, but as long as I try everyday to get better and better myself, then I'm one step ahead of where I was before.
Do you have any fears that you might be labeled as just another troubled child star that went to rehab, and that this label might follow you for the rest of your career?
I hope that my music is louder than my personal life. Whether it's my dating life, or my personal issues and struggles, I hope that my music is louder than that. My goal is to not be labeled as that.
Since you brought up your dating life -- are the rumors that you're dating Ryan Phillippe true?
Wow, it's really funny. I think that when you're in Hollywood, people link you up to the most random people. I don't even know where that came from. I think it's really funny and some rumors are just so crazy. I guess that kind of happens when people want to tear you down. But no, it's not true.
'Skyscraper' is about people trying to tear you down and rising above that, and it certainly speaks to your personal struggles, but you didn't actually write it. Are you writing any of the songs on the upcoming album?
The album is actually almost done and yeah, I've co-written a lot of the songs. I'm really excited about what's come out of it and proud of it. Even though I didn't write on 'Skyscraper,' I still had a huge emotional attachment to it and I wanted to record it, because I was just so passionate about it.
What's the next single?
We don't have it chosen yet, because we're still working on so many songs. But, it's going to be just a matter of weeks before we decide. We're all really excited about it and I'm hoping it will be something much lighter, more dance-y. I'm not the kind of Adele artist where I want to sing all ballads and all emotional songs all the time. I still want to have fun, and I like to sing what I like to listen to.
What are you listening to right now?
A lot of Nicki Minaj!