The Essentials: On "Alchemical," Dove Cameron shows her vulnerability. These are essential writing tools for her.

Dove Cameron is shining within the shadows of her truth, despite what some may say is her dark side.

After her electro-tinged kiss-off song "Boyfriend," which is about charming a man's girlfriend,

 earned her a Top 20 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and best new artist awards at the MTV Video Music Awards and American Music Awards in 2022, the teen actress-turned-singer became the resident villain of pop culture.

Although the song promoted Cameron as a rising gay icon, her sexuality came under unprecedented scrutiny as a result of its success.

"I never thought it was going to be a hit, and then when it took off, I was so scared that it was so vulnerable," Cameron recalls. 

"It felt like everybody was in my living room interviewing me about my sexuality and my orientation, and it was just a very, very public way to have people see me as something that they didn't know that I was."

Currently available, Cameron's debut album "Alchemical Vol. 1" explores this audacious vulnerability. 

The album, which is the first of two parts, is referred to by Cameron as a prequel honoring the transforming, personal stories of her life's journey.

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