Due out October 8th, Music Speaks (19 Recordings/Interscope Records) finds Glover mining inspiration from the legendary vocalists she’s long channeled in her own singing. “My biggest influences have always been singers like Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Marvin Gaye, and Whitney Houston-the kind of people who are so soulful and heartfelt in their performance, you can just immediately feel what they’re singing,” says Glover. To merge that passion with a dynamic new sound, Glover is teaming up with producers like Harvey Mason Jr. (the six-time Grammy Award-winner known for his work with artists like Beyoncé, Chris Brown, and Justin Timberlake).
A self-taught vocalist who began singing at age four, Glover made her public debut at a Christmas pageant in fifth grade. “A little while after that I sang a solo at church and ended up getting a standing ovation, and that’s when I really started to move forward with my singing,” recalls Glover. After devoting much of her adolescence to performing in talent shows and at church, Glover briefly studied psychology after high school-then left college to audition for American Idol. Cut from season nine during the final 70 round and from season 11 in the final 40 round, Glover made the twelfth season’s live rounds and floored both audiences and judges with her breathtaking renditions of songs like Ben E. King’s “I (Who Have Nothing)” and Emeli Sandé’s “Next to Me.” “Nobody expects to win after getting cut twice,” Glover admits, “but I knew that if I kept trying and believing in myself and in my singing, it would eventually happen for me.”
For Glover, gaining that self-confidence after years of struggling with shyness and insecurity is a key part of her journey as a singer. “I’ve had the experience of feeling like I’m not good enough and I’ve overcome that, and now I want to help other people overcome it too,” she says. Already making strides toward that goal, Glover notes that many of her fans have reached out to tell her they’ve found inspiration in “I Am Beautiful,” a tough yet tender self-empowerment anthem. “One of the things I value most as a singer is connection with the people I’m singing for,” she says. “I want people to feel what I’m singing and know that I’ve really been through what I’m singing about, and to find something in my songs that makes them feel good and maybe even helps them out in their own way.”