Disney star Laura Marano isn't missing a beat after wrapping her fourth and final season of "Austin & Ally" in January. In fact, it's all about the beat for her now, as she recently debuted "Boombox," her first single as herself, earlier this month.
"I love-love-love acting, and that will always be a huge part of my life," Marano said. "But I always have loved music, and it's exciting for me that I can actually make music my number one [priority] right now."
"Boombox" has a different sound than we're used to hearing from Marano. When asked if that was a conscious decision to differentiate herself from the character of Ally Dawson, she says it's more about how her musical style has continually evolved over the past several years.
"I kind of started three or four years ago [going] for a bit of a Sara Bareilles-pop-piano sound, and then I kind of went into a very 'One Republic-y' sound," Marano said. "I finally have kind of arrived into a very Maroon 5-sometimes-5-seconds-of-summer sound."
Marano said she has been recording music for her upcoming solo album since August, and only settled on "Boombox" as her debut single in February. She felt strongly that it was the right choice as her first single because it's important to her on a personal level. For Marano, it's a love song, but one that she feels is open to interpretation.
Marano began part-time studies at the University of Southern California last August, majoring in Politics, Philosophy and Law.
"What I love about college and education in general is that it can give you a very worldly sense of what your role is," Marano said.
Clearly Marano is a busy woman. She said time management has been key to her success, and sometimes it's hard to make it all work. To that end, she took this semester off from school but hopes to resume classes at USC this summer.
Marano's fans who already miss her presence on the small screen will be relieved to know that she may be making time for a few television projects in the works. She couldn't give us details yet but said she is keeping her options open.
Something Marano could tell us is there's a possible film in the works where she would play sister to her real-life younger sister, Vanessa Marano, in a movie-adaptation of the book, "Saving Zoe."
For now, the one thing that's certain is that music remains Marano's top priority. She expects to release a full album by mid-September, with plans to tour in 2017. Fans can download "Boombox" now on iTunes and view the music video on Vevo next week.
Reach Staff Reporter Stephanie Haney here.