Jessica Sanchez was the runner-up on Season 11 of 'American Idol,' losing to Phillip Phillips, who has gone on to have a platinum-plus career on the back of his coronation single 'Home.' Sanchez is not lagging behind, though. On April 30, she is set to release her dance-oriented debut, 'Me, You & the Music,' a beat-drenched record that is much younger and groovier than what we saw from her on 'Idol.'

She is a Whitney and Mariah-style belter, but she's more interested in shaking her thang. PopCrush spoke to the singer about the new direction she's taking with her music, working with Ne-Yo and her guest spots on 'Glee,' which air May 2 and May 9.

When asked about the obvious shift in sound from the big, mature diva voice to a younger, dancier style, Sanchez acknowledged that her record is "urban pop," saying, "I have always wanted to go more the radio route. I saw myself doing that on my own. There are few ballads on the record, though!"

She is adamant that no one pushed her in this direction and it's always been her vision to be a dance diva. Sanchez reminded us that her pre-'Idol' material, which lived online, was of this ilk. She said, "Even before 'Idol,' I did a lot of YouTube covers. That's what people saw before 'Idol.' To come out like this is risky, but I am all for it. I wanted to do it."

Sanchez had a lot of say while working on 'Me, You & the Music,' as well. She didn't just sing what was put in front of her, as is the case for lots of pop acts. "When I got into the studio, they were always asking for my opinion, and I had a lot of input," she said. "I love all the songs. I loved recording with every producer. They became like family."

The one track she thinks people will like best is 'Gentleman.' And if she could have a collabo with any artist, it would be Beyonce.

Like Bey's Sasha Fierce, Sanchez revealed her alter ego Bebe Chez during 'Idol,' but admitted to us that "it was a joke thing that wasn't taken seriously."

Her first single 'Tonight' features Ne-Yo. Luckily for Sanchez, he didn't work on the track remotely, emailing his parts to the engineers. He was in the studio with her, which is more of a rarity than a commonality in 2013, thanks to digital technology.

"When I was in the studio, he was there," Sanchez said. "He was a huge part of it. He wasn't just sending me stuff. It was more intimate. We worked together."

Labeling the R&B superstar"sweet and down to earth," Sanchez said his best advice was to "not to lose myself and to be myself and to let go and have fun." Words to live by!

Her guest spot on 'Glee' was unfilmed when we spoke to her and all she would tell us was that she plays a singer from a rival school. Drama!

As for her relationship with Phillips, there's no hard feelings, even though she lost. "I am so happy for Phillip, so I don't regret anything," she said. "I am so happy for him and his success. Things happen for a reason and I am blessed for the things that I do get to do."

As for her other former castmates? "We try and meet up whenever we're in L.A.," she said. "We all message and talk to each other."

Watch the Jessica Sanchez 'Tonight' Video Feat. Ne-Yo