HOMETOWN: Wheeling, Ill.
INFLUENCES: The Beatles, Nina Simone, Tony Bennett
ALBUM: Listen Up!, out now
American Idol alum Haley Reinhart—who finished third in season 10—recorded her debut album Listen Up! following the show’s international tour. “I wanted to wait till I could put all my focus and energy into the album and be very hands-on with every single aspect,” she says. “It was really important to me that the record have an organic, soulful sound that reflects the kind of artist I want to be.” Reinhart co-wrote nine of the 10 tracks on Listen Up! and collaborated with leading writer-producers including Mike Elizondo and Busbee. The result was a mainstream pop album “with elements of soul, rock, R&B and even some jazz,” she says. Reinhart’s parents are both musicians, and she credits their eclectic taste for rousing her own curiosity. “I’m lucky to have grown up in a house where good music was always playing,” she says. “It’s a huge part of what makes me the artist I am.”
– Blake Boldt