Laci Kaye Booth was a contestant on season 17 of American Idol back in 2019. She wound up finishing in the Top 5, and since then, she’s been hard at work with her country music career. After moving to Nashville and signing a record deal, Laci released her first collection of songs in August 2021. She hasn’t forgotten the advice she got from Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie on Idol though!
“Katy Perry looked at me after a show and she said, ‘Keep working hard, keeping doing what you’re doing and working really hard, and eventually, you can put out what you want and do what you want to,'” Laci told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I thought that was really interesting advice. I took it to heart. Luke, Lionel and Katy all encouraged me to have more confidence in my singing and stage presence. I think that was really cool to hear from those people that I idolized my entire life. I was like, ‘Dang, maybe I do need to have more confidence!'”
Now that Laci is performing on her own, she credits Idol with getting her where she needed to be. “Idol was basically a bootcamp for what I’m doing now. I had no idea!” she admitted. “Before the show, I was a college student, just playing gigs on the weekend in the corner of a restaurant where no one was paying attention to me. So jumping from that to Idol, where ALL eyes were on me, it was something that I needed. I feel like I would still be scared if I hadn’t been through that. I’m happy for that push. I really needed it.”
Of course, even though Laci was learning from the best of the best, it doesn’t mean her journey was easy. With some help from a management team and label from Idol, Laci was able to temporarily move to Nashville and get to work. “At the time, I couldn’t afford to live in Nashville, so I was like, ‘When these three months are gone, if I don’t have a deal…what’s going to happen?'” she recalled. “I was a bit scared. I prayed, I met with people and I built connections, and thankfully, I got a record deal so I didn’t have to move back home.”
When the coronavirus pandemic hit shortly after Laci signed her deal, she took advantage of the downtime and began writing more songs than she ever intended. “I started writing every single day,” she said. “I think I wrote close to 400 songs during the pandemic. I was really grateful for that experience. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed songwriting and how good it was for me as an artist.”
Laci’s forthcoming radio single, “Shuffle,” was chosen from her debut collection of music to introduce her to new fans in the country music scene. “I just kind of looked at my favorite female artists — all the incredible females that I admire — and they all started out with a country song,” Laci explained, regarding the decision to choose “Shuffle” as the first single. “They were very much country-sounding and kind of familiar in a way that country fans would appreciate. So I knew I wanted to start out not too far left or right or whatever. “Shuffle” was the perfect choice for that.”