"It's crazy for a lot of people," the singer and ventriloquist tells PEOPLE. "They all have that 12-year-old in mind whenever my name comes up"
Darci Lynne has a new home and a new boyfriend and new sleek cheekbones that seem to shine when she smiles. And since the world has been watching the America’s Got Talent star since she was just a little girl, it’s these sorts of changes that can be somewhat jarring.
And she knows it.
“It's crazy for a lot of people,” remarks Darci Lynne, 19, in a recent interview with PEOPLE. “They all have that 12-year-old in mind whenever my name comes up. And so now it's like, ‘Oh my gosh, she's growing up.’”
Growing up she is, especially as Darci Lynne embarks on a brand-new chapter of her career as a singer/songwriter with the release of her debut single “Push Our Luck.”
“I started writing music in quarantine, and it's just something that I've come to be super passionate about,” she explains. “Ventriloquism has brought me so far and blessed me with lots of people who have just kept on this journey with me. So, it's important that I show this side of me and show that I can hold my own as a solo artist now, singing with my mouth open.”
She laughs, but it’s true that Darci Lynne has already developed quite the ventriloquism career alongside friends Petunia, Oscar, Edna, and Katie. The youngest contestant to ever win America’s Got Talent, Darci Lynne has been touring the country to perform for her massive fan base. It was on this tour that Darci Lynne began showcasing her vocal talents.
“I met this one boy that I really liked, and we went out on a date for the first time,” remembers Lynne of the backstory of her new single “Push Our Luck,” an endearing and fun song she wrote alongside Maggie McClure and Shane Henry. “When I lived with my parents, my curfew was always midnight, and I really did try my best to respect that.”
But in the music video for “Push Our Luck,” Darci Lynne revisits a night that she stayed out a little too late.
“I wanted the song to paint that picture so clearly,” says Darci Lynne of the music video filmed in Oklahoma and premiering exclusively on PEOPLE. “Everyone's been there and had those first-time feelings, and it's just so much fun. And the curfew thing just kind of gets in the way of that. There's that internal conflict. You're going to be in so much trouble, but you stay out anyway because you are just having so much fun.”
The music video for “Push Our Luck” not only showcases Darci Lynne’s acting talents, but also features her performing on stage.
“My mantra is I don't want to be put in a box or limited in any way,” says Darci Lynne, who continues to take vocal lessons. “Singing always came first. Singing is what I grew up doing as long as I can remember. And then the ventriloquism came around. Now I'm able to step out and be more confident in my own skin without the puppet. I think it was always kind of meant to go down this road.”
And while it may seem to her fans that she is growing up fast, Darci Lynne says she still feels like a normal 19-year-old most of the time.
“All these songs that I'm writing are about everything I'm going through right now,” says Lynne, will perform on AGT Fantasy League on Monday night. “I'm still experiencing things that I think a lot of other 19-year-olds do.”
Heck, she even had to tell her ex-boyfriend that “Press Our Luck” was inspired by him and their relationship back in the day. “We're friends, so it's all good,” laughs Darci Lynne. “At the time when we were dating, I showed him the song and he really liked it. But now we're just friends.”
That is, because Darci Lynne has a new boyfriend.
“It's very new,” admits a blushing Darci Lynne. “I've only been kind of dating him since December. I actually met him at a wedding. He was really nervous to talk to me. I think that's why I liked him so much. He came up to me and just wanted to tell me how much he appreciated what I do. And I don't think he expected me to give him my number, but there was something about him. He is absolutely wonderful. I really, really like him.”
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Read the original article on People.