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Lucy Hale

Twitter

The wait is finally over! Eighteen months after she signed a recording contract, Lucy Hale released her debut single, "You Sound Good to Me," at midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Hours earlier, the Pretty Little Liars actress participated in a Twitter Q&A to promote her currently untitled country album.

"It's nice to get to finally be myself," Hale, 24, said of becoming a professional musician. "I don't have to hide behind a character, wardrobe or dialogue." The American Junior alum added that the "cool thing about music is that you can find inspiration from anyone."

Hale hopes listeners can put their preconceived notions about actors-turned-musicians aside and give her single a fair shot. "I just hope people see me with a fresh pair of eyes & ears," she tweeted. "I appreciate the support people have shown. It pumps me up!" Her music is "a true sense of who I am, what I stand for, and a lot of fun," she added. "I wanted it to feel like a good time."

This isn't a side gig for Hale, either. "When I started this journey it was never for a hit single or one awesome album. I wanted it to be a lifetime thing," she explained. "I want to create music as long as the world will possibly let me. I want to tour, see every place possible."

Hale has yet another reason to celebrate today: Pretty Little Liars returns to ABC Family at 8 p.m. ET.