Tyler Atkins and Paris Hilton
07/17/2007 AT 12:30 PM EDT
07/17/2007 AT 08:00 AM EDT
is making the move from the jail cell to recording studio – while spending quality beach time with a new guy.
The 26-year-old, who spent 23 days in Los Angeles County Jail
after violating probation for an alcohol-related driving conviction, tells E! Online
, "I'm already working on my new record."
The hotel heiress and Simple Life
star adds that she has been collaborating "for a few weeks" with Scott Storch, a producer who helped with her first album, Paris
, and has also produced hits with Beyoncé Knowles, Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent and others.
Hilton, meanwhile, has been making music of a different sort on the sand with 21-year-old Australian clothing entrepreneur Tyler Atkins, sources tell PEOPLE.
On Saturday, the two cuddled on the beach at the Lia Sophia jewelry clam bake at a private estate, where Hilton nibbled on lobster and corn on the cob (along with celeb pals like Luke Wilson and Jesse Metcalfe) and snagged thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from the line's Malibu collection.
Hilton showed off her new Yorkie pup to her shirtless new friend and gushed to him about how much she loves dogs. Later that evening, they hung out down the beach at Rock & Republic's five-year anniversary bash, where Atkins held her purse and refilled her drink.
Atkins, who sources say is with the Australia-based clothing and accessories company Rock Stars & Angels, reveals some of his personality in loopy (and profanity-punctuated) interviews on YouTube. (See one of the videos.
As for Hilton's music career, she has nowhere to go but up. When her first album was released last summer, Paris
, a co-production between Warner Bros. and Hilton's own Heiress Records, experienced so-so sales of about 600,000 copies and received a decidedly cool reception from critics. Her single, "Stars Are Blind," proved a minor hit, however.
This time up at bat, Hilton – who told Larry King
last month that she was turning over a new leaf – is determined to take her music seriously and is having voice lessons several times a week, unnamed friends tell E! Online. Another friend says that her music is a top priority for Hilton.
How she'll fare with music critics and the CD-buying public remains to be seen. What is certain is that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is currently investigating
whether Hilton received special treatment while behind bars.
Additional reporting by JENNIFER GARCIA and ALEXIS CHIU