The 2019 edition of the PBS Special A Capitol Fourth will feature a slew of singing show alums including the winners of American Idol and The Voice, Laine Hardy and Maelyn Jarmon respectively. Maelyn will open the show with a performance of the National Anthem, while Laine will sing Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”, a song he performed for the Idol competition.
Both singers chatted with the Washington Post on Wednesday about life after winning a singing competition, and what lies ahead for their post-competition music careers.
Recording contracts are part of the prize packages for both American Idol and The Voice. Laine landed a deal with Hollywood Records, while Maelyn won a contract with Republic Records. The two singers are already planning their post-show debut records.
Eighteen year old Laine met with record executives in Los Angeles shortly after his win to discuss the direction of his music. One thing the young singer is sure of–his goal to record country music. Prior to the Capitol Fourth gig, Laine was working with songwriters in Nashville. “I was hoping to come to Nashville,” he told the Post. “I’m from Louisiana, so Nashville feels more like home to me.”
Laine has already booked co-writing sessions with several songwriters to work on developing his sound and hone his writing style, including Idol stalwart Chris DeStefano (Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Luke Bryan) and country songwriter Clint Lagerberg (Keith Urban’s Blue Ain’t Your Color). Since his May 2019 win, the singer has been traveling between Nashville, Louisiana and Los Angeles for meetings.
Twenty-six year old Maelyn, who is newly engaged, plans to move from her current home in New York City to Los Angeles. She has also started meeting with the label. According to the Post, label executives are strategizing about how to introduce the singer’s original music to the public. Her The Voice coach, John Legend will be involved.
Maelyn told the Post that she will probably release several singles before dropping an EP. Additionally, she would love to do some voice-over work, and possibly write music for TV shows and movies.
“People think that once you win a competition like ‘The Voice, your career is set and made. That’s just not how it is,” Maelyn told the Post. “It’s meant to be a platform to help the artist with that first push. But you have to put the work in afterwards.”
“These days, it’s honestly really hard for a green new artist to release an album,” she said, Using the highly successful American Idol alums and The Voice coaches Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson as examples, Maelyn concluded, “There’s no science or pattern to success.”
Laine, who had auditioned for American Idol last year, but got cut in early rounds, considers both seasons he participated in educational.
“People think when they get on the show they have to be all serious about it,” Laine told the Post. “There is a little bit of seriousness in it, but you also have to have fun with it and not treat it so seriously .?.?. that can get in the way of you being open-minded to things.”
A Capitol Fourth will be hosted by John Stamos and also feature America’s Got Talent alums Lindsey Stirling and Angelica Hale. The special airs on PBS across the country on Thursday July 4. Check local listings for time and channel.