Today, May 22nd, you can pick up the debut album of American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart! It’s called Listen Up and Haley chatted with Popstar! all about her music, her inspiration and who she thinks should win this season of Idol!
Popstar!: What can your fans expect from the album?
Haley: I really made sure that I put my full self into this music and took the things that I was inspired by with the kind of music I grew up with, and made this whole marriage between metro and modern. I think they’re going to dig it.
Great! What was your recording process like?
It was just as crazy as the rest of my life. Very fast. I jumped right into it right after the tour to the co-writing process with a different producer or songwriter and we would co-write, we’d write the materials together, and then I’d record it. Then we were pretty much done. There were some songs I made little tweaks in. 99% of the time we left it as is because we like the sound and the energy it captured from the get-go.
Where do you find your inspiration to write the songs?
I’ve always been a songwriter and I’ve written short stories and poetry and stuff like that. I like to put myself in other people’s shoes or be able to channel back to something that I’ve felt.
When you were on American Idol, you were able to sing a bunch of different genres. How would you describe the sound of this album?
I didn’t think about this too much prior but what it ended up being is something along the lines of a sultry vibe to it. Then it goes between things like funk, rock, pop is in there, so there’s a lot going on, but it all combines, it all piles together.
We love the music video for “Free” – what was it like filming the music video?
That was a lot of fun. I’ve been dreaming about that moment for years and years since I was a really young girl. And it was my idea, the whole theme of the video. So being able to have a video and have all these people around you helping you make it come true is just unbelievable.
You also made an appearance on 90210 this year singing “Free.” What was that experience like?
That was interesting because I was playing myself yet I had scripted lines, you know what I mean? As far as acting goes, that was a whole lot of fun on 90210, and I have grown up with a lot of plays and musicals under my belt. It has been a part of my life that I love and I can only hope to get into it more and more.
Can we expect any more acting from you in the future?
I’d really hope so. There’s been talk about some, and I won’t say until it’s actually happening, but there’s been a few opportunities coming around already so let’s hope so.
That would definitely be really cool. What’s your favorite song on the album?
It’s hard to pick favorites. I like all of them for different reasons. I love “Wasted Tears” that I’ve been performing already. There’s some that I haven’t performed already like “Oh My!” and “Wonderland” that keep coming back. There’s a lot. I like them all though.
Can we be expecting a tour anytime soon?
We’re talking about it. It’s up in the air right now, we’re trying to find that fit right now. We might be looking at a fall tour, you never know!
Have you been watching this season of American Idol? Do you have a favorite contestant?
Yeah. It’s looking great. I’ve always favorited Jessica Sanchez. I saw her for the first time in Vegas and I was like “well that girl should win.” I think she’s got a great chance. I like Joshua too. He always lays it down when he gets up there. So good luck to all of them. I’m a prime example that you don’t have to actually win to get somewhere. It’s all what you make of it.
Definitely. How did singing become a part of your life?
Well before I was even born I was in my mom’s belly and she was playing full time with my dad and their band. I was kicking with the kick drum and I came out and I’ve been singing ever since. My mom taught me everything I know, and my dad taught me how to scat before I could talk. It’s in my genes. It’s in my blood.
Do you ever get nervous still performing on stage?
Yeah but it’s adrenalin! I feel like every performer probably gets this feeling but we have to like it. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do it.
What can we expect in the future for Haley Reinhart after this album?
After this album, hopefully a Grammy. I really do hope something great comes out of it and that people connect with the music and they feel like they can connect to it and feel good about it like I feel. The sky’s the limit!
WATCH HALEY’S “FREE” MUSIC VIDEO!