A little over two years has passed since Laine Hardy won Season 17 American Idol. Since his crowning moment, the Louisiana native has been hard at work honing in on his craft and preparing for the long-awaited release of his debut album. That moment is finally here with the release of his 11-track project, Here’s To Anyone, and the rising star couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I feel really excited and I have a feeling of being complete when the album comes out,” Hardy shared during an exclusive sit-down interview with Country Now ahead of the album release. “But, it’s been two years since my Idol win and I’m just looking forward to it. Me and my team and everybody that’s been helping me along the way…I mean, I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”
The 21-year-old divulged details behind the project and how he and producer Michael Knox were able to find his sound.
“I feel like it was great that I got some time to just process everything and figure out what I want to sound like,” Hardy shared of the two years that passed since winning Idol. “And, Michael Knox has helped me a lot in a lot of ways because when he asked me how I would want the style and what I feel, he kind of put my ideas into a like straight line and…hit the nail on the head.”
When they were in the studio together, Hardy and Knox drew from the sounds of blue and jazz that Hardy grew up surrounded by in Louisiana as well as Knox’s country/rock background. Combining forces, they made magic in the studio and created something Hardy is really proud of.
“There’s some like swampiness in it and some modern aspects too to the songs and I think they’re great and I’m really excited about them,” he gushed.
Among the Here’s To Anyone track list is Hardy’s latest single, “Memorize You,” as well as previous releases such as “Tiny Town,” “The Other LA,” and “Let There Be Country.” The album also includes songs written by heavy-hitters like Laura Veltz, David Lee Murphy, Jessi Alexander, Josh Thompson and more.
The track “Authentic,” co-written by Jessi Alexander, Matt Jenkins and David Lee Murphy, is one Hardy first heard a few years ago and kept going back to. He had the chance to record it and it ended up being a standout on the album.
“I heard it in 2019 and then I didn’t hear it for like a year and a half, so when we were trying to figure out what songs we were gonna go in the studio with, I heard it again and I was like, ‘Hmm, I like that song,’” Hardy recalled. “David Lee Murphy is one of the writers on it and he’s a good guy, wrote with him too one time, and when I heard it I was like, ‘That’s a rockin’ song’ and I figured Mr. Michael [Knox] could put his twist to it and make it rocky and cool and he did, so that’s one of my favorite ones.”
During the interview, Hardy also spoke about his songwriting and recalled some of his first writing sessions in Nashville. Click the video above to watch.
This fall, fans can catch Hardy on his headlining Monster Energy Outbreak Tour which runs through November 20.