Despite racking up millions of monthly listeners, garnering substantial critical acclaim for her sophomore album Road Less Traveled, and collaborating with some of country’s biggest stars like Kane Brown and Trisha Yearwood, Lauren Alaina wasn’t always the confident songstress she is today.
After making it all the way up to runner-up on the tenth season of “American Idol”, Alaina moved to Nashville with a catalog of songs, career momentum, and big hopes of finally realizing her dreams. By integrating herself in the local music community though, she quickly realized that Nashville was full of people just like her – except they were better.
“I came to Nashville fresh off ‘American Idol,’ and I said, ‘I write songs.’ People told me, ‘Oh, yeah, everybody says they write songs.’ But I had been writing songs since I was nine years old. I wasn’t very good at it at the time, but I definitely had that need and want to do it,” Alaina says.
Even though she was just a teen at the time of her move, Alaina never let intimidation get the best of her and she soon learned to use her talented peers as a resource to improve her own skillset.
“It’s a craft, so you have to design your craft and work on it. You have to get better. It’s like tennis. If you play with somebody whose game is better than yours, you improve. You learn from them. You become more vulnerable,” she explains.
While Alaina has only released around 30 songs, most recently an EP entitled Getting Over Him, she shares that she’s written hundreds of songs. Her advice is to write often in order to uncover those diamonds in the rough that actually make the final cut.
“You have to do it as often as it takes to get somewhere…Every song isn’t a hit. You’re not going to leave every writing session thinking you did a good job,” she says.
Grateful for the people who helped her grow as a songwriter, Alaina adds, “It took me a long time to feel safe in a writing room. I was so scared to share my truth. Emily Shackleton was one of the most influential songwriters in my life. She and Busbee pulled me out of that shell of hiding and showed me that it’s OK to share your truth.”
As a result of being patient, prolific, and vulnerable with her work, Alaina’s truth has forged the kind of success which her younger self could only dream of.
Stream and purchase Getting Over Him on Alaina’s website now.