Demi Lovato has "been through a lot". Being a child actress didn't mean she got to escape being bullied at school. She's been called fat, accused of stealing her classmate's clothes, and her friends used to run away from her and avoid her. She once hid in the bathroom and called her mum to pick her up from school. When she was 14, she was cyber-bullied. People said she "looked heavy and should start throwing up".
Despite having suffered from depression, eating disorders and addictions, the former Disney star has never sounded stronger than she did in her recent album, Confident. For the album art, she wasn't shy about showing off her body, and she thinks new track Stone Cold might just get her a Grammy nomination.
To find out how she managed to overcome her insecurities, Young Post caught up with the singer, who sounded exhausted after a full day of band rehearsals.
Hi Demi, it's 7.30pm where you are. Have you had dinner yet?
No, not yet. I'm probably going to eat in about an hour.
What have you been up to today?
I've been in band rehearsals all day. And basically learning the new songs with my band, and getting ready for the tour next year.
With Nick Jonas! That's exciting stuff. Has anything interesting or crazy happened during rehearsals so far?
Yeah! It's exciting. But I mean, when you're in rehearsals you just keep on rolling - there's not really a lot of excitement during rehearsals.
Let's talk about Confident. Stone Cold and Father are some really technical, powerful ballads. How do you pull them off?
When I sing I put in all that I've learned from growing up listening to the greats and everything that I've learned in vocal lessons. And I put that with all the things that I've been through - emotions good and bad, and I put it all together, and whenever I'm on stage, I do my best and give it my all. Heartbreak hurts for a long time, so it's not hard to tap into that.
Are there particular ways you connect with your emotions? Some people write diaries, or go somewhere quiet.
Well, I write music. I write how I'm feeling, that's kind of how I connect with it. That's how the album came about. All these songs are from my emotions.
Despite the heartbreak, you're back pretty strong in Confident. How did you get to that point of being so confident about yourself?
I don't know if I'll ever feel completely, 100 per cent confident. But I do feel really great today. It's just a matter of working on myself every day. Making sure that I take care of myself, that I'm good to my mind, my body, and my health. That helps me learn to gain confidence. And it's good for my self-esteem.
Do you have any tips for anyone who may be experiencing insecurities of their own?
Whenever you're going through something difficult just remember that there's nothing that you can't get through. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I've been through a lot and I've been able to overcome things and use the pain from the experiences I've had as motivation to help me. Use it as motivation, and you'll get through it.
Tell us about your biggest challenge this year.
It's become a lot busier, so I think my biggest challenge this year is learning how to balance everything - a really intensive schedule with staying focused on my wellness.
There are definitely days where I feel worn out and I'm really tired, but I'm doing what I love, so I keep fighting and keep pushing through, and when I get to tour it makes all this hard work worth it.
Who is an inspiration for you?
Someone that's an inspiration for me is my great-grandmother. She's a very strong woman, and she's still super positive and very strong and I love her.