NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 12, 2013 – Country newcomer Lauren Alaina headed to the Special Olympics World Games in Pyeong Chang, South Korea, last month as an ambassador for Project Unify. While the singer was able to push herself well outside her comfort zone, she notes that the experience was absolutely incredible.
“I’ve only been out of the country twice and that was to go to Canada and the Philippines,” Alaina tells The Boot. “It was cool to go to Korea and see how different everything is there. On top of that, I got to go to the Special Olympics and I got to meet all of those amazing athletes who worked so hard and were so excited to be there. You don’t understand how much it truly means to them until you’re there and you watch it first hand. To see people from all different countries come together and support each other, and to see their smiling faces as they’re competing, it’s incredible.”
Not only did the 18-year-old cheer for the participants on the side lines, she also was heavily involved in the hands-on experience. “I met a girl named Brina from Argentina,” she explains. “We went to this youth rally and she immediately came up to me and hugged me. I don’t even think at first she really even knew who I was, or she may have, I’m not sure. She was so excited to meet me. In Korea and a lot of other countries, they don’t see a lot of blondes, so I stood out quite a bit. [laughs] So she hugged me and she was precious and had a great spirit.”
Alaina asserts that she greatly enjoyed the trip but says it took some time to get used to the vastly different lifestyle. “The food is just so different in Korea,” she laughs. “I ate cereal a lot. Then, it was so random, they’d have spaghetti. I’m thinking, ‘Really?’ They would serve, I don’t know what it was called but something I’d never heard of before, and I’d be like, ‘OK, not sure what to do here.’ And, the way people treat each other stood out. They’re very respectful and they love meeting you. They’re very welcoming when you come to their country. It was just a great experience.”
Currently, now back in the states, Alaina is continuing her work on her highly anticipated sophomore album, set for release later this year. At a recent concert stop, the golden voiced songstress debuted a new song (among many) called “Break Down,” a mid-tempo track co-written by Heather Morgan and Jimmy Robbins. Plus, she’s been confirmed as having co-penned a slew of other songs, such as “N O” (Alaina, Ross Copperman, Ryan Tyndell), “That Chevrolet” (Alaina, Morgan) “Catching Fire” (Alaina, Cary Barlowe, Shane Stevens), “Goodbye Song” (Alaina, Barlowe, Eric Paslay), “The World Inside Of Your Heart” (Alaina, Barlowe, Paslay) and “I’ll Remember For You” (Alaina, Jessi Alexander, Troy Verges).
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