Laine Hardy is raising a glass to everyone as he debuts his first album, Here's To Anyone. Coming off his American Idol win in 2019, the Lousiana native has already graced the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, but told PopCulture.com exclusively that he's "really excited" for his fans to hear his debut album, available now.
"I've been waiting two years and my fans have been waiting patiently too for a good little while," Hardy told PopCulture ahead of the Sept. 17 album drop. "And I'm just really excited to release my first album." The album first got started almost two years ago when Hardy met with his producer, Michael Knox, but the COVID-19 lockdown really acted as an incubator for the project.
"During all the quarantine, we had a lot of time to kind of pace ourselves and pick the songs that we thought were best out of the other pile we had," Hardy explained. While there were "all kinds of different routes" they could have gone, the musician couldn't be happier with the choices they made. "The message behind Here's To Anyone [is] like, here's to anyone and cheers! Cheers to you," he said.
Hardy's favorite tracks off the album are "California Won't," which he said had particularly meaningful lyrics to him, and title track "Here's To Anyone," which was "a little different" than Hardy's typical style. "It was fun experimenting with different things in these songs and stuff," he explained of stepping away from the sound that first put him in the spotlight on Idol.
Releasing his first album just a month after performing on the Opry stage has been a wild ride for the 21-year-old. "[Performing at the Opry] was a surreal moment for me and it's a big ... achievement of mine," he told PopCulture. "A dream of mine to do." He continued, "I never would've thought I was going to be up there. I never thought that, and being up there was really crazy and it was a really great memory." Here's To Anyone is available now wherever you find music.