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Showbiz Analysis: Hunter Hayes Shares His Creative Secrets

  • May 17, 2017
    Showbiz Analysis: Hunter Hayes Shares His Creative Secrets

    Twenty-five-year-old, five-time Grammy nominee Hunter Hayes is a busy guy. But in between touring and recording, the country music favorite took a little time to join me for my podcast to discuss his career, creative process, and upcoming gig at the Malibu Guitar Festival.

    Listen to the conversation with Hunter Hayes on Nancy’s podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/whine-at-9/id381334225?mt=2&i=100038...

    Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Hayes has packed a lot of success into his early career. With double- and multi-platinum music under his belt, including three No. 1 singles (Wanted, I Want Crazy, Somebody’s Heartbreak), Hayes is excited about the business, and quick to note that he isn’t just sitting back thinking he has the tried-and-true formula for making great music.

    “I find my home in country [music]. It’s where my heart’s been for a long time. It feels like home for me. But you know, I study as much as I can, I think it’s kind of a responsibility you have as a musician in general, but especially as an artist. You owe it yourself to listen, to study—to really dig into everything you can find that inspires you. Everything that lifts you up. Everything that makes you wonder about something new. You know, every adventure that looks like it’s intriguing to you…you owe it to yourself to really go down that road for the first time if you’ve never been.”

    Now with his own recording studio, Hayes has the flexibility and safe zone to test out ideas and projects that enable him to zero in on his own unique sound.

    “I write close to 100 songs for every record. That’s just because it takes me ten songs to get to the one that actually says what I want to say. You know, you’ll write ten of the same kinds of songs. Ten different sets of collaborators and you’ll make ten different demos before you finally settle on the one.”

    Not having to rent a studio, or be confined by prescribed session times has helped maximize his creativity. Explains Hayes, “You have to feel free. You have to feel safe too. You have to feel like you can fail enough times, you know, until you get it right. In my opinion, to really kind of create.”

    Learning is part of the reason Hayes will be performing at the Malibu Guitar Festival this year, where he’ll cross paths with legendary musicians like Fleetwood Mac co-founder and Roll Hall of Famer Mick Fleetwood. (Fleetwood and Mick Fleetwood’s Blues Band will be kicking off the festival.)

    “We’ve never really had the chance to play something like this. As a guitar player that studies a lot of guitar players, and has for a long time, I mean, this is a whole new opportunity for me. We’ve got to play a lot of awesome shows and all kinds of festivals and stuff, but just the talk of this has got me really excited.”

    Touring has never been a problem for Hayes. “We live for it. I love it,” says the musician with the enthusiasm of a teenager. “When I was in middle school, high school, I used to print out pictures of tour buses and draw tour buses inside of my notebooks because that was my dream. My visualization if you will. That was my dream board of what I loved.”

    Whether you have a dream board or not, Hayes believes that another secret to success lies in holding onto the “kid” in you that first initiated the creativity. “I want to hold onto that. I want to hold onto what makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. When I’m onstage and I’m playing, that’s such a home for me. That’s such a happy place for me. Hold onto that. Never lose that.”

Team HH's picture
on May 17, 2017 - 11:37am

Twenty-five-year-old, five-time Grammy nominee Hunter Hayes is a busy guy. But in between touring and recording, the country music favorite took a little time to join me for my podcast to discuss his career, creative process, and upcoming gig at the Malibu Guitar Festival.

Listen to the conversation with Hunter Hayes on Nancy’s podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/whine-at-9/id381334225?mt=2&i=100038...

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Hayes has packed a lot of success into his early career. With double- and multi-platinum music under his belt, including three No. 1 singles (Wanted, I Want Crazy, Somebody’s Heartbreak), Hayes is excited about the business, and quick to note that he isn’t just sitting back thinking he has the tried-and-true formula for making great music.

“I find my home in country [music]. It’s where my heart’s been for a long time. It feels like home for me. But you know, I study as much as I can, I think it’s kind of a responsibility you have as a musician in general, but especially as an artist. You owe it yourself to listen, to study—to really dig into everything you can find that inspires you. Everything that lifts you up. Everything that makes you wonder about something new. You know, every adventure that looks like it’s intriguing to you…you owe it to yourself to really go down that road for the first time if you’ve never been.”

Now with his own recording studio, Hayes has the flexibility and safe zone to test out ideas and projects that enable him to zero in on his own unique sound.

“I write close to 100 songs for every record. That’s just because it takes me ten songs to get to the one that actually says what I want to say. You know, you’ll write ten of the same kinds of songs. Ten different sets of collaborators and you’ll make ten different demos before you finally settle on the one.”

Not having to rent a studio, or be confined by prescribed session times has helped maximize his creativity. Explains Hayes, “You have to feel free. You have to feel safe too. You have to feel like you can fail enough times, you know, until you get it right. In my opinion, to really kind of create.”

Learning is part of the reason Hayes will be performing at the Malibu Guitar Festival this year, where he’ll cross paths with legendary musicians like Fleetwood Mac co-founder and Roll Hall of Famer Mick Fleetwood. (Fleetwood and Mick Fleetwood’s Blues Band will be kicking off the festival.)

“We’ve never really had the chance to play something like this. As a guitar player that studies a lot of guitar players, and has for a long time, I mean, this is a whole new opportunity for me. We’ve got to play a lot of awesome shows and all kinds of festivals and stuff, but just the talk of this has got me really excited.”

Touring has never been a problem for Hayes. “We live for it. I love it,” says the musician with the enthusiasm of a teenager. “When I was in middle school, high school, I used to print out pictures of tour buses and draw tour buses inside of my notebooks because that was my dream. My visualization if you will. That was my dream board of what I loved.”

Whether you have a dream board or not, Hayes believes that another secret to success lies in holding onto the “kid” in you that first initiated the creativity. “I want to hold onto that. I want to hold onto what makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. When I’m onstage and I’m playing, that’s such a home for me. That’s such a happy place for me. Hold onto that. Never lose that.”

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