At only 19, rising country star Laine Hardy has developed an undeniable tenacity and sense of purpose. After auditioning for American Idol in 2018 and being eliminated in the top 50, Hardy returned in 2019 and won the competition. Laine’s courage, vulnerability and perseverance will inspire you and leave you wanting to be apart of the Louisiana native’s journey.
Today, Hardy releases two new songs — “Ground I Grew Up On” and “Let There Be Country.” The biographical songs, written by Brandon Kinney, Josh Thompson, and Brett Beavers (“Ground I Grew Up On” ) and Jason Afable, Steve Moakler, and Tim Nichols (“Let There Be Country”), and produced by Michael Knox (Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Eric Church) are a definitive nod to Laine’s deep Louisiana roots, weaving the story of his childhood on the bayou.
“I am so excited to finally be able to release this new music! I hope these songs give you an idea of where I grew up on the Bayou, running through the fields with my cousins and fishing on Lake Maurepas. Louisiana is always going to be in my heart, and I want to just keep making Louisianans proud,” said Laine in a statement. “My family is all staying home together, including my cousin who is also my drummer. Makes sense to make some music while we’re at it. Really miss being on the road and can’t wait to share these new songs online.”
This week, we had the chance to speak with Laine about his upcoming singles “Let There Be County” and “Ground I Grew Up On,” his life after Idol, and plans for the future.
Laine is performing live online on “Ground I Grew Up On Virtual Tour” with more than 15 online stops through the end of May. Laine will perform new music and chat with fans during each of the virtual tour stops. Find a complete listing of Laine Hardy concert dates, including virtual tour stop details, at LaineHardyMusic.com.
CS Country: Hey Laine, congratulations on the two new singles! Can you tell me a
bit about both “Ground I Grew Up On” and “Let There Be Country?”
Laine Hardy: “‘Ground I Grew Up On’ is just about the ground I grew up on (laughs). It relates to me in a lot of ways. When I think of that song, I look back on the memories of me at home just climbing trees with my buddies and playing hide and seek at dark and just climbing through barb wire fences and ripping clothes – mama wasn’t happy. That kinda stuff. ‘Let There Be Country’ is an up tempo song and just shows my influence of classic rock because I grew up listening to classic rock. That’s my influence. That song is just country and that’s how I am and who I am.”
CSC: What has it been like working with producer Michael Knox and all the
incredible songwriters you’ve been working with in Nashville?
LH: “Working with Michael Knox, he is a really easy going guy and really simple. He knows exactly what to do. My ideas were unorganized in my head and I didn’t know how to put it into one little description. So I told Michael Knox all my ideas and he put it into one organized idea, and that’s what came out of that. I’m really excited about it and happy with the results. The songwriters are amazing, like awesome. I’ve got the chance to speak with them and talk to them about the songs and they were just awesome people. I’m glad to have a lot of amazing songwriters in Nashville because I’m still honing my craft of songwriting and those songs are just so relatable to me.”
CSC: What about this virtual tour coming up? I know it’s obviously something that hasn’t been done before because we are facing something many haven’t experienced. But are you excited? What can fans expect?
LH: “I’m really excited because we aren’t able to go on the road and this is a great way to connect with the fans, play some new music and just hangout. You know, and answer questions. We’ve got to work with what we got, we all do.”
CSC: What was your favorite part of touring last fall?
LH: “My favorite part about touring last fall was just seeing the fans and physically being there (laughs). I just loved going to different places and seeing different places.”
CSC: So let’s talk about your ‘Idol’ season 17 audition, or would I call it an un-audition? Because you didn’t even intend to audition you were just accompanying your friend Ashton right?
CSC: Can you tell me a bit about that? Did it throw you for a loop because then you went and you won?
LH: “I feel like I got thrown into black whole and I just ended up at the end (laughs). You know that day I was stress free, I was all good, I was like, all I have to do is play guitar. I didn’t have anything prepared and we were the last people to go into the room that day, and it was night time I think. We went in and me and her came out with a golden ticket.”
CSC: That’s so crazy, what did your family and your friends think? When they offered that to you was there part of you that didn’t want to do it? Or were you like full steam ahead, I’m doing this?
LH: “I mean it through me off a lot. I was like, ‘whatttt?’ That’s what I was thinking in my head, I was just shocked. And when I got offered the golden ticket I was just frozen and I just went with my gut and for some reason I just grabbed it. And right when I grabbed it I thought in my head “oh boy I have to do Hollywood week again.”
CSC: What a cool story. What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself and your artistry on idol?
LH: “The best thing I learned being on American Idol was just that you make a lot of friends on the show. You learn how to work with people and be friendly and not to ever give up because I had no idea I would win the next year. You know what I mean? The year before I got to like half way through the show. To top 40 and then I got eliminated. And so I went home and just started working harder on my craft and on my music. And the next year I won American Idol. And it just goes to show you should never give up and when you have a second chance to do something, you should take that chance.”
CSC: That’s so awesome and I’m sure every fan following you, especially those who have a dream they want to pursue is very inspired by you and your story. So what is it that you want fans to take away from these two singles?
LH: “What I want fans to take away from these two singles is that they are just
who I am, it’s just me. I mean I hope it relates to them in some ways and I hope
they enjoy the music. These songs are just explaining what I do, what I love to do
and why I am who I am.”
CSC: And what is it about Louisiana that’s so important to you? Why is it so important for you to stay true to your roots?
LH: “Louisiana has a huge impact on me. It has a permanent marker on my heart. So I’m basically just like these are my roots and these are my ways of living. I’m always going to want to stay true to Louisiana because I love it. It’s where I grew up.”
CSC: Definitely, and are you back home during this whole crazy quarantine?
LH: “Ya I am home. I’ve just been fishing a lot and building random things.”
CSC: Very cool. Well, our outlet is called Celeb Secrets Country so I’m wondering if you have a secrets fans might not know about that you might want to share about?
LH: “Let’s see, I mean I have a tattoo on my back. I guess that’s one. Is a secret a talent?”
CSC: Haha yes, I think a secret is anything you think is a secret.
LH: “Ok, I can play the banjo. I can play foggy mountain breakdown, just the intro of it.”
CSC: Would you ever think of performing with a banjo?
LH: “Haha maybe one day. That would be cool.”
CSC: Was the tattoo a secret from your parents or did they know you were getting it?
LH: “They knew (laughs).”
CSC: Ok because a lot of people have that kind of secret, I know I do haha. Anyway, what’s next? Where do you see yourself a year from now?
LH: “I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and being who I am. You can’t tell what’s going to happen in the future because everyday anything can happen.”
CSC: Well last but not least what kind of music are you listening to right now?
LH: “Right now I’m listening to a lot of old stuff. Its still rock and roll to me – Billy Joel, Come and Get Your Love, Ronnie Milsap, and Cadillac Three.”
Reporting by Caroline Renezeder