New York Stacie Orrico doesn't want to be the next Britney Spears or a Maxim cover girl.
The 17-year-old singer-songwriter, whose first single, "Stuck," is rising on the charts, says she's hoping to present a new kind of role model for girls who look to pop stars for inspiration.
"Young female artists in our generation have kind of made young women like myself feel like the only thing that we have is our sexuality, and if we're not beautiful and we don't have a perfect body, then we're worthless," she says. "And I think that's sad because it's so not true."
Her sentiments may sound a bit out of the ordinary in today's pop world, but Orrico doesn't come from that scene. Her first album, "Genuine," was an inspirational album that was a hit on the Christian music charts.
Her new self-titled album on Virgin Records marks her major label debut. Although it has plenty of songs to appeal to the teen pop crowd -- "Stuck," a favorite on the MTV show "TRL," is about love gone awry -- there are also several inspirational songs.
1. Is it hard to keep ties in both the pop and Christian music worlds?
Orrico: The pop market goes, 'Oh, she's a Christian artist, she must not have any music ability and her music must be lame,' and on the Christian market side, it can be like, 'She's making music that's also going to go to people who are on the outside of the church, she's a sellout.' So it can be a little difficult, but overall, I've had really great support from both sides.
2. How does your faith influence the direction of your music career?
Orrico: My faith plays a huge role in what I do. It is the foundation for what I do and the decisions that I make as far as what I want to sing about and what I will or won't do or will or won't wear. I don't want to do stuff for men's magazines; I don't really think that's my audience who I'm trying to reach, and I feel like it kind of degrades women. There are things that I don't want to be a part of.
3. "Stuck" is about being caught in a bad relationship. How would you recommend getting unstuck?
Orrico: I think your heart can tell you a lot. I think that if there's a part of you that knows you need to get out, you do need to get out of that relationship, especially if it's hurting you, especially if it's tearing you up inside.
4. You appeared on NBC's "American Dreams" as the lead singer of The Angels. What did you think of those '60s fashions?
Orrico: If that was the fashion right now I'd die, but I think if I had lived in that time I wouldn't have known any better. Everybody kind of dresses like they're 35 -- no offense to the 35-year-olds (laughs). Everybody's hair was big, and all the mannerisms were quite a bit different. I think for the time, it was cute, and it was fun to experience for a day. I don't know if I'd want much more than that.
5. Did that appearance make you want to act more?
Orrico: No, I don't think so. If there's anything that really makes sense, then I might. But overall, I think that there are too many singers who try to pursue acting or too many actors who try to pursue music who aren't really talented in the other. I have something in me that everything I'm involved in, I really want to do it well, and if I'm not an actor, I don't try to act.