The 24-year-old singer, who won in the fourth season of the hit TV series, said she is proud of her work on "Carnival" because it allowed her a chance to write her own material, People magazine reported Saturday.
"It's definitely a plus when you can write your own stuff. It's coming from a personal place," she said, "and it's just more to be proud of. I just wanted to see if I had the talent and just try. It wasn't a huge deal like, 'every song on the album must be mine,' because there are so many talented writers."
While the country singer dispelled any reports of her being a sex symbol, she did add that she hoped her new album would earn her respect in the Nashville community.
"People know I have more to do with my songs," she told the magazine. "I think some people think everybody makes all the decisions for me and I don't really get to have a say in anything. And that's completely not true."