The actress and singer has been working with the producer Mark Bright on an album expected later in the year.
Lucy Hale's heart is in the country
On the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars, Lucy Hale's character Aria has a passion for fashion. She wears lots of layers, textures and patterns.
"All credit goes to our costume designer, Mandi Line, who calls Aria her mini-me," Hale says. "This is how she dresses so it comes easy to her. This character has become her baby. Aria's the one who wears stripes and leopard print and neon all at once. Where one person will wear one trend, she'll wear all of the above but she's just fun."
Pretty Little Liars, which is shown on MBC4, is about a group of teenage girls who are being blackmailed by a mysterious group of people who go by the name A.
While Aria loves to express herself through clothes, Hale channels her emotions through music.
The 23-year-old was among the winners in 2003 of American Juniors, a spin-off of American Idol, where the final five formed a vocal quintet. They recorded an album but broke up in 2005.
Hale laughs that she was "just convinced I was the second coming to Kelly Clarkson".
She went into acting, landing roles on the short-lived TV show Privileged, and movies including The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and Scream 4. Now she's decided to give music another go.
Hale signed with Hollywood Records and is recording a country album, produced by Mark Bright who's worked with Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Sara Evans. She's expected to release a single, followed by an album later this year.
"[The album] is something I wanted to do way before Pretty Little Liars or anything. I grew up singing, and acting sort of came up along the way. [Recording] is a lot of weekends, it's a lot of long nights but I'm so passionate about it. I'm just really excited," she says.
Hale, who was "born and bred in Tennessee", says she listened to country music as she was growing up. "Country music to me is the best music in the world. It's storytelling and it means something and it can make you feel any emotion in the world and it's just where my heart is," she says.
Kristian Bush of the country duo Sugarland is writing songs with Hale for her album. Bush says he tried to discourage Hale because of all the hard work involved. "I've had multiple record deals. Even when you're great, it doesn't guarantee success," he says.
But Hale showed she was fearless and committed, with an impressive knowledge of country music.
"I would drive around in the car with her and she always flips the station to the country station and always sings along louder than the radio.
"I'm like, 'How do you know that song? I don't even know that song. I've just heard of [the band] Florida Georgia Line. How did you get that? Did you get an advance copy?' She just obsessively listens. Nothing creates a better writer or an artist than a great listener," Bush says.
Hale hopes country fans will accept her. "Once you get in the circle of country music, you're in and they will stay with you for life," she says. "It's just going over the hurdle of getting in there because they don't just let anyone in. Look at the careers. You don't make one album. You make 25 albums. They're just behind your back always."
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