09/14/2009 at 07:00 AM EDT
Though her new tune's title, "Happy," hints at glee, the lyrics of the song prove Leona Lewis's heart is still mending. On her sophomore record Echo
, due Nov. 17, she sings of finding the strength to push through life despite the struggles she knows are inevitable.
To listen to the single, click here
Singing lines like, "So what if it hurts me, so what if I break down?" in her powerhouse voice, Lewis proves she's no meek maiden – a fact confirmed by her no-nonsense producer, Simon Cowell
. "From day one, since we started working together, we've had this agreement that we can disagree," says Cowell of working with Lewis, 24, on her new album. "And I actually quite like arguing."
Though he's known to be brash, Cowell, who signed Lewis after she took home the crown at singing competition X Factor
, a European version of American Idol
, says the young singer definitely knows how to dish it back. "She's ballsy," he says.
"When I first met Simon and first started working with him I liked that we saw eye to eye," says Lewis of Cowell. "Everything I envisioned for myself he also envisioned."