03/14/2013 AT 11:20 AM ET
Cassadee Pope has been hard at work in Nashville for the past two months, writing and recording her first solo album. And while some songs are personal, others are more about what those closest to her have gone through.
“Definitely love,” the season 3 winner of The Voice says of one major theme.
“There are songs about someone cheating or being [cheated on]. These are things I’ve never gone through personally, but as an artist, I want people to relate.”
“I have friends who have been through these things, so I want to be people’s inspiration, and for them to know that they aren’t alone.”
Pope, 23, who’ll perform next month in Las Vegas at the OutNumber Hunger Live concert – airing April 6 on AXS TV – has written at least one very personal song about her father, from whom she was estranged before they reunited during the show.
“It is one of my favorites,” she says of the track, co-written with Nathan Chapman, who has produced several of Taylor Swift’s albums. “I’m sure it will strike a chord in his heart and make him a little teary eyed.”
She hasn’t written about her own boyfriend troubles, though, because there haven’t really been any. She and Rian Dawson, the drummer for the rock band All Time Low, are still going strong – though it’s often long distance.
“I believe he is in Japan right now,” Pope says. “He’s flying to Hawaii tomorrow for a show, and then he’ll be coming straight to Nashville to spend a few days with me, which I’m very excited about.”
One thing she hasn’t done yet, but is looking forward to, is writing with Blake Shelton, her celebrity mentor on The Voice, who helped steer her from pop-rock more toward country music – and believes the sky’s the limit for the Florida native.
“We haven’t gotten to write or record together yet,” says Pope. “I am working on a few songs for us, but it is all a matter of timing. There are songs that are up tempo, and there’s a slower one. I just want to make sure he vibes on it.”
Reporting by JESSICA HERNDON