CMT.com writer Chet Flippo once said that “the future of country music will be decided by the authenticity of the music itself.” I couldn’t agree more – and that’s why I am confident that Hunter Hayes’ approach to music is the way of the future.
His Atlantic Records self-titled debut album has earned him an enormous amount of praise – as he is the first and only country artist to write, co-produce and play every instrument on every song of the record. “The reason we did it this way was because we knew that it would be a more honest process,” Hunter explains, “we knew that it was completely transparent and I love that.”
Would he do it that way again? He says yes. “It most definitely means more to me because of that,” he says about the hands-on process of recording his debut, “I got to represent those songs…I got to execute what I dreamed of for those songs. I got to see those songs all the way through, so it’s got tons of personality.”
The album is also full of well-written lyrics and catchy hooks that leave people of all ages singing along to Hunter’s brand of pop country.
Hunter is currently headlining shows across the US on his Most Wanted tour – something that he’s always wanted to do. “Headlining alone…this is a big milestone for me.” He says, “To know that somebody is connecting to the record…to know that it means something to someone else and they’re telling me this by coming to the show – it’s huge. It tells me that I’m finally at a point where the music matters to someone else. That’s such a big deal, I cannot express how much of a milestone that is…how much of a huge step that is for me to be here where I am. …It’s a dream come true.”
Hunter has shared the stage with some of country music’s most respected artists, including Hank Williams, Jr., Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. He’s been nominated for an ACM Best New Artist Award, sold out multiple venues across the country – and he’s not even twenty-one years old yet. Needless to say, Hunter Hayes has had a pretty incredible journey up to this point.
And it’s only getting better from here.
I had the chance to talk to Hunter over the phone on the day of his show in Seattle just a few days ago. I will tell you this – I am twice the fan I was before I chatted with him. He is an awesome person and I have no doubt that you’ll love him. His next stop in Seattle will be on October 6th, opening for Carrie Underwood at the Key Arena.
Check out his record and I won’t need to give you any more reasons why you’ve got to add it to your collection!
You can listen to our fun conversation, listen to clips from his record and preview some of his favorite records below:
What Hunter’s into: