Katharine McPhee’s self-titled debut album is set to be released on the RCA Records/19 Recording label on Jan. 30th with the first single “Over It” heating up the singles charts now.
“Ever since I was on the finale of ‘American Idol,’ people have been asking me what kind of album I’m going to record,” says Katharine McPhee. “When I started working on my debut album, I was asked what types of music I liked. My favorite music is rhythmic pop and I love to dance, so that was our starting point. I was also asked what I wanted to sing about, what subjects I wanted to touch on. So this album really reflects me, a 22-year-old girl who knows what it’s like to fall in love and to have her heart broken, and also a girl who likes to have fun and enjoy life!”
McPhee started recording the album as soon as she completed the “American Idols Live” tour in September 2006. “I was sent to Virginia Beach to spend time with Nate ‘Danja’ Hills, who has worked with Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez.” Hills is nominated for two Grammys this year for his work on Timberlake’s ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’ album.
Songwriters gathered at Hills’ studio in Virginia Beach, where they worked in different combinations, with McPhee contributing lyrics as well. “I really enjoyed the experience,” says Katharine. “It was so exciting working with all of these different talented songwriters at the same time.”
Those sessions resulted in six songs, with Danja as producer on all of them. “Nate is a real musician and a beautiful pianist,” says Katharine. “When you first meet him he’s a ‘mystery man’ who doesn’t say much, but what he does say is very important and very valid. He’s very inclusive. And there’s a definite ‘Nate sound’ with influences from old school mixed in with modern beats.”
Although Katharine has been singing on stage for years, she had never spent time in a recording studio before recording her debut album. “I had to learn the technique of recording in the studio as opposed to singing on stage,” she explains. “I learned so much about singing harmonies and stacking vocals. By the time we reached the end of the first week of recording I had already learned a lot.”
The single, “Over It,” was written by Billy Steinberg, Josh Alexander and Ruth-Anne Cunningham, the same hot composing team that has written for JoJo, the Veronicas and t.A.t.U.
To promote the album, as well as the first single, McPhee will be making multiple television appearances over the next few weeks. She’ll be performing on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” (Jan. 29), “The Today Show” (Jan. 31), “Live With Regis & Kelly” (Feb. 1), “TRL” (Feb. 5), “The Early Show” (Feb. 6), “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (Feb. 7) and interview on “Larry King Live” (Feb. 8), and much more. Katharine will also be a guest star on the hit TV series “Ugly Betty” on Feb. 1, portraying herself. The TV campaign kicks off on January 19th with an appearance of Lonelygirl15, the pop culture phenomenon that has become the most watched/fastest growing/most talked about Internet video series on the web www.lonelygirl15.com.
McPhee stint on the fifth season of “Idol” was the highest-rated yet. The Tuesday performance shows averaged 31.1 million viewers and the Wednesday results shows averaged 29.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. The season finale drew 36.4 million viewers and a whopping 63.4 million votes were cast.
While this is Katharine’s first album, she has already scored a hit song. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” / “My Destiny” is the second best-selling single of 2006. Although it was released last June, seven months later it still ranks in the top five on Billboard’s Hot Singles Sales chart.