Haley Reinhart Reflects on Her New Album, ‘Better’
Seconds after listening to Haley Reinhart’s debut single from her just released album, Better, you’ll know she’s not like every other pop star grazing the charts. Her raspy voice and impressive range, accompanied by the badass lyrics of a girl who’s ditching a sorry dude, tell us that Haley Reinhart is an artist worth watching.
We spoke to Haley, who placed third on American Idol season 10, about her new album, being a feminist in the music industry, and getting revenge on an ex.
You placed third on American Idol season 10, did you learn a lot from being on the show? Or was it simply a way to get your name out there?
I learned the in and outs of the industry in a short amount of time. I feel ahead of the game in so many ways. Aside from the great platform given, the experience is priceless.
After American Idol ended, how did you ensure that you stayed in the spotlight?
I wrote like crazy, released a record, and immersed myself in projects that would set me apart from the rest.
Your whole family is musically inclined, was being a singer always your end goal? Or was there a point where you tried to rebel?
I was born with music flowing through my veins. It’s always been singing. And it will always be my way to rebel, to speak my truth, and connect with the world around me.
You were initially dropped by Interscope records in 2012, how did you bounce back from that? What did you take away from that experience?
It got me down for about… an hour. Then I realized, I achieved my goal & got my first record out there to fans. And so the journey continues, onto the next chapter! I left with good times & many valuable lessons under my belt.
Your single from the upcoming album, Better, is clearly about a breakup. Does songwriting help you get through relationship difficulties?
Sure it does, but at the end of the day, it isn’t just about me & my personal life. I want women and people around to hear Better and have them walk a little taller. Projecting confidence and motivation onto others is one of my biggest goals.
For those of us that aren’t musically inclined, what is your advice for getting over a breakup?
We need to be completely secure with ourselves before any relationship can reach its full potential. In this light, we must know our worth & if someone doesn’t recognize it, it wasn’t meant to be. Onto the next!
What’s the best revenge you’ve ever gotten against an ex?
Your songs definitely express a sense of girl power, what does feminism mean to you?
We as women, hold so much power within ourselves that many do not recognize. I feel it is one of my natural duties in life to help empower women across the globe & show them that we have complete control over our destiny.
Do you feel that the music industry is still a male-dominated industry?
Sure thing, but I think it’s evolving in the right direction. The more confident and diplomatic we are in terms of our vision, the more likely men & women can reach full equality.
Many sources have compared your sound to Adele’s music, what do you think of that comparison?
It’s nice, seeing everything she has achieved thus far. Just call me her sassier, soulful sister.
Who are your other musical inspirations?
The Beatles, Sly & The Family Stone, The Mamas & Papas, Billie & Ella, MJ, Aaliyah.
How has the Chicago music scene shaped you as an artist?
I grew up around blues, jazz, and rock n’ roll — mainly with my parents’ local band, “Midnight.” It’s a raw scene here. I’ve been lucky enough to catch a lot of soulful playing since I was a youngster.
What are some must-see Chicago spots for a tourist? Good date night spots?
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. Navy pier. Any of the magnificent museums. Green Mill for some jazz, & Buddy Guy’s Legends for blues. Michigan Ave Magnificent Mile & the lakefront.