'American Idol' winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina are gearing up to both head into the studio to begin work on their debut country albums under the Universal Music Group label. This past week, the two singers spent much time in Music City as part of the 2011 CMA Music Fest, but their time in Nashville at the fan festival wasn't all for fun. The two did meet with their label to discuss song selection and material for their forthcoming releases. As the two have remained close throughout the 'Idol' experience, many have wondered: Have the two discussed working up a duet in the future?

"Yeah, we have," McCreery tells Taste of Country.

"We need to establish ourselves as artists first," adds Alaina. "[We'll establish ourselves] separately, and then hopefully down the road, if we’re still around, we’ll put [out] something together."

Both McCreery and Alaina are looking forward to writing songs and looking for new material to incorporate into their live stage shows. "It’s been really cool for us because we’ve been doing a whole show of covers," says McCreery.

"It’s kind of scary that we’re going to have to come out with our own songs that nobody’s ever heard and see how people react," notes Alaina.

One thing is for sure: the two southerners are glad to be out of L.A. and back around their home states of North Carolina (McCreery) and Georgia (Alaina).

"It was pretty insane, I tell you what," McCreery says with a grin. "Living in L.A. was cool, but I hate to say it wasn’t my scene. It’s good to be back home … have some sweet tea and being around some great people and great artists."

"Yeah, country’s where our heart is," agrees Alaina. "We’re really happy to be surrounded by country people now [laughs]."

Watch Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina Perform 'I Told You So' on 'American Idol'