Marc Andrew Deley/FilmMagic
10/27/2007 AT 03:00 PM EDT
may sing about letting go of all the small stuff on her new single "So Small" – but she's not always able to do that herself.
Underwood, 24, also plays it cool when it comes Chace Crawford, the guy she's been hanging close to
recently. "He's a nice guy," she says, when pressed, with a laugh. (She does tune into his show, Gossip Girl.
"I love the drama," she says.)
But Underwood has plenty to say about stepping up as a songwriter on her new
album, Carnival Ride,
as she speaks to PEOPLE on the phone from Nashville about her new
music – and, okay, boys too.You had a hit with 'Before He Cheats.' Do you still keep in touch
with your exes?
Not really because most of my exes are pre-Idol,
so, yeah, I
don't really. [It's like,] "Well, you wish you would have stayed
with me, huh?" [Laughs]Do you listen to talk about your looks or consider yourself a sex
No. If I didn't do what I do, nobody would ever look twice at me. I'm a blender – and the only reason anybody, if they do think of me in that way, it's just because I do what I do. I'm okay. But I'm not, like, anything special.
You're very humble.
I just tell it like I see it. [Laughs]What motivated you to write some songs on your new album?
It's definitely a plus when you can write your own stuff. It's coming from a
personal place – and it's just more to be proud of. I just wanted to see if I
had the talent and just try. It wasn't a huge deal like, "every song on the
album must be mine," because there are so many talented writers.
As a songwriter, do you think you'll get more respect in the
I'm sure it just comes with the territory. People know I have more to do
with my songs. I think some people think everybody makes all the decisions
for me and I don't really get to have a say in anything. And that's
completely not true.