About Haley Reinhart
Haley Reinhart's Stunning Debut Album Listen Up! Is Available Now
Immediately after Haley Reinhart's American Idol tour ended, the smoky-voiced singer/songwriter moved from her hometown of Wheeling, Illinois, to Los Angeles and began furiously crafting the songs that would eventually grace her debut. The result is Listen Up! (19 Entertainment/Interscope Records), a ten-track fusion of pop, R&B, rock and roll, and soul that's both timeless and irresistibly fresh. Serving as co-writer on all but one number ("Free," the album's sweetly sorrowful, piano-driven torch-song lead single), Reinhart infuses Listen Up! with her strikingly authentic sensibility and, in turn, more than meets her mission of bringing a classic spirit to modern pop.
To help harness that spirit, Reinhart joined forces with a first-class lineup of songwriters and producers that includes Mike Elizondo (Jay-Z, Fiona Apple, Maroon 5), Rob Kleiner (Usher, Flo Rida, Timbaland), and busbee (Katy Perry, Kid Cudi, Kelly Clarkson). "We just dove in headfirst, and it all ran really smoothly because I was feeling so inspired," says Reinhart of the recording process. "I'd get into the studio with a producer and we'd get going on a song and start laying it down right away. A lot of the time we ended up going with the first take—the mood and the energy were so good the first time around, it didn't make sense to try to re-create it."
Not only helpful for building momentum, the synergy between Reinhart and her
collaborators was key to the album's stunning diversity of sound. "Working with all these different people, we got to bring in so many tonalities and play around with different rhythms and techniques from a whole mix of genres—from classic rock to funk to psychedelia to jazz," she says. "We weren't even intentionally trying to fit all that in. It just happened naturally once things got flowing." Still, much of Listen Up!'s strength lies in Reinhart's devotion to old-school pop simplicity. "The most crucial thing to me is that people hear the album and feel good and just get lost in the melodies," notes Reinhart.