The star of Nickelodeon's "iCarly" tells Billboard.com that their collaboration, "High Maintenance," is even in contention to be the title track for the set. "It's the first duet I've ever done, and it was really fun," Cosgrove says. "My part of the song is this girl who's high maintenance, and Rivers is this guy who's having to put up with it. I really enjoyed working with (Cuomo). He's really cool. I've worked with Dr. Luke for awhile...and he ended up introducing me to Rivers."
Cosgrove says Dr. Luke also steered her towards Swedish producer Max Martin, who helmed a song on her 2010 debut album, "Sparks Fly," as well as her new single, "Dancing Crazy," which will appear on the EP. "That's one of the most fun songs, because it's a straight party song...so it's just crazy," says Cosgrove, who's playing the song on her current headlining tour.
The 17-year-old, who had her first hit with the "iCarly" theme song "Leave It All to Me" in 2007, also hopes the EP will show that she's grown since making "Sparks Fly." "I just wanted to get back into the studio, and I feel like my voice sounds a little more mature, and I had a lot of ideas," Cosgrove explains. "When the 'Dancing Crazy' song came up I was originally going to add it onto a bonus version of ('Sparks Fly'), but then I started doing all these new songs, so we thought, why not make it into something completely new?"
She notes that the overall feel of the EP's material is "more dance. And I think the songs are more mature than 'Sparks Fly,' just because I've gotten older. I recorded some of those songs when I was 13, y'know? I've learned a lot over the years of being in music. In the beginning, I didn't know much. Being in the studio the first time was overwhelming, and it felt like I was in a hurry. It's nice now to be able to sit back a little bit."
Cosgrove says she's also "thinking about" her next album, which she hopes will also show some growth as a writer after contributing to two songs on "Sparks Fly." "I've been writing a lot of songs by myself, 'cause I play guitar," she explains. "I really want to start playing my own songs for people. I think I'm going to start by playing one on YouTube and see how it goes."
On the acting front, meanwhile, Cosgrove is preparing to film the next season of "iCarly" and is also keeping her eye on movie opportunities.
"I'm always reading scripts, and I have scripts I really like that I'd love to make," she says. "What I'd really like to do is maybe a small, independent film with a story I love. That's what I'm hoping for, so maybe after this next season it can happen."