Though Hilary Duff is 27, when it comes to the music industry, she's first to admit she's trying to make up for lost time in the seven years since she last released an album.
"When I first started it was all about selling records and I was lucky to sell a lot," Duff said in a recent interview. "Now it's just different."
Duff was riding high a decade ago with Top 40 successes and platinum-plus albums like "Metamorphosis" and "Hilary Duff" on Disney's Hollywood Records. She's now signed to Sony's RCA Records — the home to Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears — and she's slowly releasing new music, including the dance track "Sparks."
"Coming back into it for me has been a big learning experience and it's a lot of anxiety," Duff said. "I want to stay true to myself. I want to have a specific message. I want to give my fans what they want to hear. I want to be competitive."
Duff knows it will be hard to compete because she's juggling her music career with motherhood and her latest acting job on TV Land's "Younger" (airing Tuesdays).
"Obviously I want my music on the radio and I want my record to do well, but I also have a totally different career, so a lot of people who are in music are just in music and can dedicate all their time to that and I can't do that, so I really want to have both things and I'm just trying to figure out how," she said with a laugh.
Last year Duff released the singles "Chasing the Sun" and "All About You" to little success, and she said her full-length album will be released this summer. Duff said her return to music has had challenges, and she confesses the radio business is "hard as hell."
"It's a really, really tough game. I haven't quite figured that one out yet," she said. "I'm also very challenged when it comes to technology, so when I'm sitting in label meetings and they're like, 'Oh, we're gonna stream this'... my brain starts to like fizzle, fizzle, fry. I'm like, 'What is happening right now?'"
"The world is so, so different," she added. "And I'm trying to keep up, but I sound like I'm 50, but it's just a new world."