Lauren Alaina has come a long way since her American Idol days, collecting tips and tricks from tourmates and duet partners ranging from Jason Aldean to Martina McBride.

Though she garnered country airplay with “Like My Mother Does,” “Georgia Peaches” and “Eighteen Inches,” Alaina’s latest radio single sticks out in her mind: “Barefoot and Buckwild” is the first she’s had a hand in writing. The experience was “exciting and scary and really awesome” — and something Alaina aims to recreate on her forthcoming sophomore album.

While in the midst of working on the follow-up to 2011’s Wildflower, Alaina sat down with to discuss the songwriting process and give a taste of what’s to come. While the 18-year-old will be writing the majority of the songs, this doesn’t mean she won’t consider outside songwriters. In the end, she asserts, “the best song wins.”

“I’ve learned so much about myself and my music from sitting in those rooms and creating different sounds,” she said. “I write about what’s on my mind. It’s like a stress reliever. I didn’t realize when I first started writing how much it would set me free from certain situations in my life. It’s incredible.”

When she harbors feelings of heartbreak or sadness, Alaina puts it into a song and finds that her mind is eased, at least temporarily.

“I was having a hard day, dealing with the fact that my grandfather has Alzheimer’s and I wrote about it,” she explained. “And then I wrote a song about my ex-boyfriend, who was terrible and the worst boyfriend I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I got a great song out of him so I can thank him for that.”



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