When listening through Haley Reinhart's upcoming album, Listen Up! I couldn't think of anyone to compare her to in this generation. Sure, we have other powerhouse female voices, but none of them compare to Haley Reinhart. At 21 years young, Haley has already accomplished a record deal with Interscope and has one over the hearts of America. Although, she went far in Season 10 of American Idol, she is going to go so much further than that with her career. Next for this sultry songstress is the release of her debut album. I had the chance to speak with Haley about her journey to how she got here today and how she maintains goals for herself.
Hailey Sager: Will you please tell us a little bit more about you and your journey this far.
Haley Reinhart: Well um, it's been an incredible couple of years for me. Now, it comes down to the point where it's a week left, less six days, until my album comes out. When about two years ago I was just a struggling artist trying to get somewhere and enjoying what I loved to do, my passion, but um, you know, not getting to where I always wanted to be. So from Idol to the Idol tour to jumping into L.A. and writing the whole album has just been a dream come true.
HS: I've had the great opportunity to listen to Listen Up! before it's release next week. It shows your capability to master so many different genres, and everything flows so smoothly. What was the writing process like?
HR: Thank you, um it was really a crazy process actually. For me actually when I moved to L.A., I was set up with about two months, three months worth of different producers and song writers. So each day we would walk in, and from the very first session which was with Rob Kleiner and Sam Watters. And we wrote "Liar," and that's the second song. [Haley stops to double check "What is it?"] Not the second, I mean the third song on the album. It's just ironic and it did go very very smoothly. And we didn't really premeditate trying to fit all of these genres that's just what I'm influenced by and it was quite easy to just let the rest come naturally.
HS: Right off the bat, the first song on Listen Up!, features B.O.B. How did that collaboration come to be and what was it like finding out that someone of his caliber was going to be on your first major label record?
HR: It was pretty awesome, we were talking about how it was a very short song and we thought we should get a rapper and that would be a pretty cool thing. I added a little part myself, a breakdown after the rap. We met a few people who would like to do it and we tried to think about the best person. And once he got his verse in, it was like he fit the coolness that the song had and well it was perfect.
HS: Do you have any celebrations planned for the release of Listen Up!
HR: Well, I'm not even sure yet. I'm going to have a very busy week prior and afterwards. I'll probably attend the finale [American Idol Finale] on the 23rd and I'll do all of that, but as far as the 22nd goes we'll probably be throwing a last minute party, I mean at least I will.
HS: You already have a handful of live duet performances under your belt. Is there anyone that you would love to perform live with in the future if ever given the chance?
HR: I mean there's plenty of people that I could think of the sounds out now, I really like Gotye's sound, and Fun's they're all great so that would be cool.
HS: Your parents are also musicians, did they warn you against becoming a musician to, or encourage you to go for it?
HR: They encouraged me all the way! I don't think they even known how badly I wanted to get real recognition. They're still playing forty years later and they're doing their passion and they love it. That's what I've grown up around, people who have made it happen for themselves because there is no other way. They have just been one hundred and ten percent all the way supportive.
HS: That's awesome that your parents have been so supportive of you!
How do you keep setting goals for yourself to do bigger and better things?
HR: That's a good question, I always set my goals really high and my dreams really big. I think that's how I've gotten here. I don't think of how things could go, I think of how I want things to go. If you put yourself in a high energy good positive energy direction, in that direction, then things are going to come true you just have to believe it.
HS:You completed the American Idol tour and now have CD release shows for Listen Up! coming up. Do you have any plans for a full tour in support of the album after the CD release shows?
HR: There are a lot of cool things coming up, a lot of festivals like Lollapalooza, I was invited to do which is unbelievable. Aside from that, we might be looking at a full tour if it's the right fit, so we'll see what happens.
HS: Who would play on your dream bill with you headlining if you could play it yourself?
HR: Oh man, um maybe John Mayer or um, um, Corinne Bailey Rae, or Paul McCartney that ones the biggest one I could use some back up. That would be the biggest dream ever.
HS: What is your favorite song to play live? Whether it being your own or a cover?
HR: There's a lot of different times where I don't know what to do so House of the Rising Sun is a nice and easy adjustment. We're still doing them now from time to time if we get a big calling for them, if people want to hear them. I love those songs, and besides that I like doing the ones that we've been doing. I like doing "Wasted Tears" from the album and there's a lot more that I can't wait to do like "Oh My!" and "Wonderland" and "Keep Coming Back."
HS: How do you plan your set list.
HR: We go through it with my band. I usually start off with something that's fun and grabs everyone's attention. Then bring it down and back up keeping the audience on a journey with me.
HS: Well I will be seeing you at the Wink Spring Fling here in Florida, but is there anything else you would like to say to your fans before we go?
HR: Oh awesome, I don't think so other than pre-order the album it comes out May 22nd! I hope you enjoy it and buy the deluxe version.
HS: Thank you for taking the time out to talk to us at Musiqtone.
HR: Thanks you too Hailey, have a good one.
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