“The X Factor” U.S. 2011 winner Melanie Amaro has been busy recording her debut album, which should be released by Syco Music/Epic Records before the end of 2012. In all of her interviews so far, Amaro has declined to give any details about the album, such as who is producing it or the titles of the songs that are on the album.
Amaro performed mostly ballads when she was an “X Factor” contestant, but in a Global Grind interview, she has now hinted that the majority of her album will not be ballads: “There are lots of different genres of music on my album. I want do something that makes you get up and dance, move around. I’m definitely going to work hard to bring something new to everyone and still be the same that everyone enjoyed.”
When Amaro was an “X Factor” contestant, she reportedly began dating fellow contestant Trace Kennedy of the R&B singing group the Stereo Hogzz, which came in 11th place on “The X Factor” U.S. in 2011. She has dropped hints on Twitter that she has been in relationship with Kennedy, but she has not publicly called him her “boyfriend” and will only say that she and Kennedy are very close.
When Global Grind asked her about her love life and attention that she gets from men, Amaro replied: “Right now I don’t have any guys! I can’t say I don’t have any guys. But they’re always around saying, ‘Oh my god I love you so much, you’re awesome.’ But I’m not looking for anyone right now.”
The rest of the interview repeats the same things that Amaro has said in many other interviews, such as she still keeps in touch with most of the finalists who were on “The X Factor” with her, and one of the first things she wants to do with her “X Factor” prize money is to buy her mother a house.
Amaro’s “X Factor” U.S. grand prize consisted of $5 million, a record deal with Sony Music (Syco and Epic are Sony Music labels) and a starring role in Pepsi commercial.
For her Pepsi commercial, Amaro performed a pop-dance remake of “Respect,” the classic song that was originally recorded by Otis Redding in 1965 and made into a major hit by Aretha Franklin in 1967. Amaro co-starred with Elton John in the Pepsi commercial, which also featured a cameo by rapper/reality star Flavor Flav.
Unfortunately for Amaro, her cover version of “Respect” was a huge flop. It was released as a digital download on February 2, 2012, but it failed to crack the iTunes Top 100 Songs chart or the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Global Grind did not mention this flop in the interview with Amaro, but she did talk about how she felt about doing a cover version of such an iconic song: “I was saying to myself, ‘Oh my god, this is Aretha Franklin.’ If I’m going to do this song, I really got to sing my butt off. To do that song, I felt honored. I was like, ‘Let me really give this my all.'”
March 6, 2012 update: Billboard has an interview with Amaro in which she talks about recording her debut album, but she reveals nothing new and continues to say she wants to keep the album’s songs and collaborators a “surprise.” Although Amaro (who is not a songwriter) declined to reveal whom she is collaborating with on the album, Billboard noted that Epic Records chairman/CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Epic Records head of A&R Christopher “Tricky” Stewart are overseeing the album, which isn’t too surprising because that is their job, especially for new artists. Amaro has said in various interviews that Reid has the final say on the songs that are chosen for her first album.