Sports & Entertainment
Haley Reinhart Wants to See You Shake and Roll (and Maybe Your Dog, Too)
Born in Rhythm and Blues Postmodern Stardom, Putting out New Singles, And Pleasing the Puppy Lovers
Haley Reinhart was feeling impatient for a new single. Her fans were too. After their five years of loyalty, she wanted to give them something fun and upbeat.
“Show Me Your Moves" was the resulting thank-you. Released in 2014, it quickly took off, landing the singer and songwriter in the Mojave Desert to film an Indiegogo-funded music video. Now it is featured in a Chase commercial with dog trainer Joel Silverman, a spot Reinhart calls "the cutest thing ever!"
Reinhart says the song channels Ray Charles and “Groove is in the Heart," testifying to her eclectic musical background.
“I wanted something that went back to those olden days of I want to see you shake and roll," she says.
Born in Rhythm and Blues
Reinhart comes from a musical family. Her parents are the lead singers in a bluesy rock band, Midnight, and her father plays guitar. “They played full time even when my mom was pregnant with me," she says. When she was a toddler, her parents would hoist her up to the microphone to sing.
At home, they listened to everything from the Beatles to classical to African percussion. Reinhart helped her mom learn songs by Billie Holiday. “I got a really good ear from just shedding out different tunes and learning different genres," she says.
On her ninth birthday, Reinhart sang the Leann Rimes song “Blue" on a big stage at a tattoo convention. The crowd went silent. “It was overwhelming in the best kind of way," she remembers. “I think I cried right after I sang. People stopped to listen. I remember a guy crinkling up a $20 bill and rolling it my way."
Such adulation followed Reinhart to her high school jazz band and their tour to the Montreux and Umbria Jazz Festivals. She had the heady experience of singing Cole Porter standards while looking out at crowds in narrow ancient streets.
This jazz background gives Reinhart a certain flair and sultriness, which made her a standout finalist in American Idol. Now, she brings that sensibility to the band Postmodern Jukebox, which puts a vintage spin on pop songs. Standing at the microphone like a pouty flapper, Reinhart croons tunes by Britney Spears or the White Stripes. Her take on the Radiohead classic “Creep" has nearly 10 million views on YouTube.
Postmodern Stardom, Putting out New Singles, And Pleasing the Puppy Lovers
Reinhart is having a busy few months. She recently got back from a two-week tour in Australia with Postmodern Jukebox. In December, she'll have her voice-acting debut on the animated Netflix series F is For Family, alongside Bill Burr and Laura Dern. A new single, “Better," comes out this fall, followed by an EP of the same name in January.
The six tracks on the EP, released by Ole, were written over three years, mostly with Swedish songwriter Anders Grahn. They express how much Reinhart feels she's grown and blossomed in that time. The recording mixes demos with a live band, including her dad on guitar. It's got soul, rock, and pop. “In general I'm trying to put a smolder on things and make people feel a certain way," she says, be it peppy or funky or sexy.
“I'm really excited about it," says Reinhart. “I've got a heck of a lot of tunes that I've been itching to put out for people. It's nice to finally get the next project out there."
In the meantime, her fans are getting their Haley fix whenever the Chase commercial comes on. “They love this one," she says of the spot, which has dogs doing tricks to the melody. “It's such a cute little story."
She hadn't anticipated that “Show Me Your Moves" would find a canine audience, but is delighted with the outcome. “I had a feeling it was a pretty catchy tune and hoped it would catch on in the TV world," she says. “And what better way then to have cute little doggies shaking to the lyrics?"
Rebecca Dalzell is a journalist and historian. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, Time Out and other publications.