May 7, 2012

SJP

Hayes on tour with Underwood
By Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency


Hunter Hayes (QMI Agency photo)


Country music newcomer Hunter Hayes has packed a lot into his 20 years on the planet.

The Nashville-based singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist, originally from the college town of Breaux Bridge, La., near Lafayette, began as a child musical prodigy playing a toy accordion given to him by his grandmother at age two.

He later appeared alongside Hank Williams Jr. on stage at age four and two years later was cast in a church scene in The Apostle opposite Robert Duvall, who gave him his first guitar. He’d later play with Johnny and June Carter Cash - who he met through Duvall - at a backyard BBQ and perform at age eight at the White House lawn press picnic for President Bill Clinton.

Eventually, Hayes moved to Nashville at age 16 - after graduating early from high school - with his parents where he was signed as a songwriter to such stars as Rascall Flatts before getting his own record deal.

Some might say he's blessed or lucky or both.

“Nobody in my family is remotely musical,” says the blond-haired cutie. “I guess when I started picking things up around the house like silverwear and making instruments out of them, (my parents) knew something was either wrong or right.”


Hayes’ major self-titled debut came out in fall 2011, and featured him playing every single instrument, writing or co-writing every song - including the first single, Storm Warning. He’s since appeared on Letterman, Fallon and Good Morning America and more recently, he’s been announced as the opening act on Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away fall tour which includes five Canadian dates.

As for the hordes of screaming girls who attend his shows, he says, “I don’t mind. There’s a few (guys). I think most of them are just boyfriends of the girls coming. They get sucked into this. It’s definitely swung more towards the ladies for sure.”

For those out there wondering, Hayes describes his dating status as “single-ish,” but “looking.”

And, oh, you don’t necessarily have to be someone in “the business,” which he says is not necessarily his preference.

“I’ve always wondered about that - I don’t know. I have dated inside the business. It’s both easier and much more difficult. I feel like if it’s someone in the business it has to be the right person. It has to be either someone exactly like me, who’s 100 per cent into what they do as well. Or if it’s not, it needs to be someone the exact opposite and not in the business. They have their own thing but it’s totally not musical. I don’t know. It is tough because (with my schedule), there’s no turning it off.”

jane.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

 




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