WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over the past decade, the highly rated music reality TV show American Idol has launched the singing careers of many of its contestants. The list includes Scotty McCreary, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert and others. Season Ten’s third place finalist Haley Reinhart is hoping to join that list. Haley recently sat down with Larry London on Border Crossings to discuss her debut CD Listen Up!
“How did you come up with the songs on your debut album, because that’s a big decision? This is my first album out there, songwriters write 100’s of songs, I got to pick 13, how did you choose those?" asked London.
“I was speed dating with these producers writing daily," said Reinhart. "We would write a song, walk in to the studio, and record it…done. We did 30 of those in not even three months and everybody liked the material. It was quite easy to pick which ones. It was like, for the last song, ‘I only have room for one more’. That is kind of the tossing and turning golden problem, so I am really lucky that is the way it worked out”.
“You had sung jazz most of your life and there you are on a pop TV show and you are being judged week after week in front of millions of people [weekly average TV Audience 30 million]," said London. "I cannot imagine the pressure”.
“There is a lot of pressure," replied Reinhart. "Thankfully for me I grew up…live performing has always been a huge part of my life, my parents being in a band together. I grew up on classic rock, and soul, and jazz so I came into the show [American Idol] and got to put a mesh of those three things into the songs I chose so at least I was doing what I wanted to do”.
“What stands out [most] in your mid so far?” asked London.
“There have been a lot of things on different levels," answered Reinhart. "One of the coolest things I have recently done is the Mohammed Ali 70th Birthday Celebration, The Power of Love. I met so many people and got to sing Wild Horses with Slash and Miles Kennedy. [I] hung out in the green room for hours with Quincy Jones and met Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Cee Lo Green, Stevie Wonder…I am just dropping names [laughs]. It was unbelievable, one of those things where I felt like I was in the right place at the right time, I was supposed to be there” she said.
“Since being on American Idol you are now a star and everyone knows who you are," continued London. "I heard you are the only contestant from last season to have 2 million views on your You Tube video and you received three standing ovations from the judges [Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler]. Besides all that great stuff what else has happened that is different about you and your outlook on music than it was before the show?”
“As much as I knew who I was before, the show really made me bring that out and know who I am," said Haley Reinhart. "Even though I love all these different genres I have grown up with it was a matter of taking all these things and making them all have a complete marriage between them and now I feel like I have my own sound I cannot put a stamp or a name on it but it is definitely a retro yet modern sound”.