Haley Reinhart takes time to make album right

'Idol' singer talks about mentor Jimmy Iovine and tour

In fact, to ensure her debut album sounds just the way she wants it, she's going to take as much time as possible to make it.

She also talked about her relationship with mentor Jimmy Iovine and her plans once the #8220;Idols Live#8221; tour ends in September.

Q.Where are you in the recording process? I know when we spoke last week, you said you were just starting work on the album.

A.Haley: Right now we are in the first steps of the entire process. I'm giving a feel of my vibe, what I'm going for, to everybody. I'm telling everybody what I want my sound to be like, which is raw, kind of organic, bluesy, sultry kind of deal. I'm basically just looking to find songwriters and producers that I can mesh with really well. I'd love to have real musicians work on the album.

Q.Do you see yourself going in a more growly or more jazzy direction on the album?

A. I would love to mix it up. I'm really going to try to sneak jazz in. I know Interscope itself has lots of pop artists and hip-hop artists. I know I have a lot of that soul RB in me so I definitely want to try to get that across but as well as funk, rock and a jazzy flavor. I think I told you before it sounds like a lot but I mean all of these things compact into one. As long as your style comes through, I think it's easy to tell.

Q.So are you just writing now, you haven't hit the studio or laid down any tracks yet?

A. Right, no, I haven't. I know a lot of the other Idols are jumping into it and that's fine. To each his own. For me the style I'm going for, I'd rather make it right than to rush it. I have lyrics and melodies for songs I've written years ago, and those are complete. I just don't have the chords behind it, the instrumentation. Casey has helped me out with a few of them. We'll see if they make it on the album. I really hope they do.

Q.So there's no timetable for the album or single release yet?

A. Not at all. I'm still just getting ideas. When I'm in New York City, I'm supposed to meet with a couple of producers to start talking about it.

Q.Any dream collaborators?

A. I know I told you I was so bummed to have missed the Chicago Paul McCartney show #8212; I had backstage passes and I was supposed to meet him. There's one right there. He's a god, a superstar. A duet with him would be beyond amazing, but I would take whatever I could get, a song, a lyric, whatever.

Q.Talk about your relationship with mentor Jimmy Iovine. Sometimes he really seemed to get you, but at other times, your relationship seemed contentious.

A. I think Jimmy and I got each other especially toward the end when he picked #8220;Rhiannon#8221; for me. We had our moments on the show, but he's there to fight for all the contestants. There's a lot of moments that they don't show on TV, a lot of ways they edit things. But when we were off camera, things could be a lot different.

Q.Will you be working with him on the album?

A. Now that the show's over, I don't really see him much. He's the guy at the top, he's overseeing everything, but I'm not working with him at the moment, no.

Q.When the tour's over, will you come back to live in Chicago or move elsewhere?

A. You know I'd love to come back to Chicago because Chicago's home and Chicago's got such a great musical history. But if I want to make the album, I'm going to have to move to L.A. But I want to visit Chicago lots.

Q.Do you play any musical instruments?

A. I don't. This is going to sound crazy, but my sister, Ang gave me a keyboard to mess around on a few years ago. But my nails, they're the same as my mom's and they grow like weeds. And I like to grow them out so the nails would always get in the way of my playing.

Q.You've got great fashion sense. Where do you get your inspiration?

H: Thanks, yeah I blow a lot of my money on clothes. Honestly if it's vintage, then it's freaking awesome. I skip around the decades a ton. For instance I love the looks of the pinup girls from the #8216;40s and #8216;50s. But if there's a decade I love the most, it's the rock #8216;n' roll era of the 70s. Janis Joplin, Woodstock, bell-bottoms, feathers. I love all that kind of bohemian stuff.

Q.Anything else you want your fans to know?

A.Just that their support means the most to me in the world. I'm so grateful for it. Oh yeah and always be yourself as much as possible!

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Wheeling sweetheart Reinhart plays to sold-out crowd