(Originally published on The Runner Online)
Hunter Hayes is living the dream.
He’s touring the country as a musician, writing and playing his own music. Hayes’ musicality is wise beyond his years, but you’d never know from the soulful instrumentation and lyrics he provides.
Not bad for 23, when most college students at that age don’t even know what they’re going to have for breakfast.
Currently on tour with Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt, Hayes still took the time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions via email.
Some might think Hayes is just getting started, but he’s actually a veteran to the industry, having made TV appearances since the age of three, including “Rosie O’Donnell Show,” Nickelodeon’s “Figure It Out” and even playing the famous Grand Ole Opry stage as a child.
From there, and like other artists, Hayes was discovered on MySpace, by Cyndi Forman, who is now his publisher at Universal Music Group Publishing. Forman sent him a message asking if he had written and demoed it himself, like the description said.
“I thought it was a joke or a lie at first, and she had to send another message before I realized she was actually legit and very serious,” Hayes said. “Kind of funny looking back that I didn’t think it was real.”
After deciding to pursue the message, Hayes’ career just picked up from there.
The country singer has released two albums, “Hunter Hayes” and “Storyline,” but lately, Hayes has been posting new singles, which have been available to listen to on Spotify and for download on iTunes. Some of the singles include “21,” “Where It All Begins” and the latest, “Young and In Love.”
“I love to write, I love to demo [and] I love just being part of the creative process,” Hayes said. “We’ve created so much music for past projects that never make it out of the studio.”
Hayes added that with streaming these days there are many ways to put new music out and he’s “excited to see what the possibilities are for the future on what these releases are going to be.”
Hayes added the concept of a record is changing and ultimately, he wants to give the fans what they want.
One of the recent singles, “Where It All Begins,” features Hayes’ tour mates, Lady Antebellum, and could be considered an anthem to many as they start a new chapter in their life . He explained that the four of them had to schedule way in advance to make sure that all were free for the day.
“So, we booked the day and started talking about multiple ideas— then it became this story of how the hardest moments of your life become the most defining moments of your story,” he said.
He added that he’s really proud of how it came together.
“I think some days it even reminds me of what I need to hear.”
Hayes has come a long way, even just since 2011 when his first single “Storm Warning” debuted on the radio. Growing as an artist, he said he hopes to continue to become more and more curious as he goes. He said that he learned that worrying is not productive whatsoever and wished he knew that sooner.
“I’ve always believed worrying can drive you to be productive, but worrying in itself is not productive at all, instead, let it inspire you to move,” he said.
Hayes is a dreamer through and through. While he’s had a lot of success, he continues to set new goals for himself.
“Well, out of all the things that have happened I feel ridiculous listing anything else, but there really are more dreams you create for every one you see come true,” he said.
Moving forward, Hayes said he wants to continue build big shows.
“I love the creation of what aspect of what I get to do, but not only writing music, I love production and building an experience,” he said. “I’ve barely scratched the surface with the few headlining tours we’ve done, so I can’t wait to dig deeper and search for new ways to make the shows more exciting.”
To all of the other 20-something dreamers, Hunter Hayes has a little advice for you, too.
“Every day there is going to be something new that you literally have to literally ‘figure it out,’” he said. “The only way to get through it all is to be positive and know that you will figure it out. Believing in a dream is one thing, believing in yourself is infinitely more critical and being happy is a decision you have to make for yourself with whatever the day gives you.”