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Countr Haye ‘new a

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Music - By GLENN GAMBOA

HUNTER Hayes is ready for the fu­ture.

“We’re in a new age,” says the 25-year-old singer-song­writer. “We’re not in an age where you work for six months mak­ing a 12-song record, and then go out and tour for six months. We kind of do both all the time.”

Hayes, who still holds the record for be­ing the youngest male solo artiste to top the Coun­try charts af­ter his sin­gle, Wanted, hit No. 1 in 2012 when he was only 21, says that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween artistes and fans is some­thing that needs to be nur­tured more con­sis­tently than it was in pre­vi­ous years. Fans want to con­nect with their favourite artistes reg­u­larly, on social media, at con­certs and by lis­ten­ing to new mu­sic.

“It’s time to em­brace re­leas­ing mu­sic more of­ten,” Hayes says. “It’s time to let the cre­ative process re­flect that as well.”

And Hayes is ready to back that up. Though he’s in the middle of a na­tional tour, Hayes says this sum­mer will be filled with new mu­sic from him, even be­fore he re­leases a new al­bum this fall.

“I have 100 songs wait­ing in the wings,” he of­fers.

Hayes says that in the last few years, he has main­tained a sched­ule split­ting his time pretty evenly be­tween tour­ing and record­ing.

“A lot of it has been recorded in the base­ment of my house,” he says.

“I can take all day on a song, work­ing for hours on, say, a drum sound, get­ting to sculpt it un­til it’s right.”

That means Hayes can ex­per­i­ment with all kinds of sounds for his mu­sic. Last year, he re­leased sev­eral songs that re­flected a va­ri­ety of styles, from the straight­for­ward coun­try rock in the sin­gle Yes­ter­day’s Song to the edgier, blues-in­flu­enced Young Blood.

How­ever, at this point, it’s not clear if any of those songs will be on the new record and that’s just fine with Hayes.

Hayes’ em­brace of the fu­ture in­cludes a will­ing­ness to take the good with the bad. He en­joys play­ing new mu­sic for his fans. “We just play stuff,” he says. “We’ll play a song that we wrote a week be­fore ... The way I look at it, no­body can walk on stage and turn off the mic.”

Re­veal­ing new ma­te­rial in this age where smart­phones are al­ways on hand to send the songs straight to YouTube, though, cre­ates its own set of is­sues.

“It’s nerve-wrack­ing be­cause you want to make sure the first im­pres­sion is a good one,” Hayes says, adding that some­times he gets scared to read the com­ments about his songs.

“In a way when peo­ple put it on YouTube, they’re say­ing, ‘I sup­port this.’ And when they talk about it, I just feel in­cred­i­bly up­lifted. It makes me feel good. It’s just rad, man.”

Hayes says fan re­ac­tions can also make him re­think his feel­ings about a song. He re­cently played a new song and saw three dif­fer­ent fans up­load it to YouTube the next morn­ing.

“They voted for the song,” he says. “They gave it a story, as they talked about it, and it rose in its im­por­tance to us.”

His next sin­gle, though, is al­ready set, even if he wants to keep it un­der wraps for a bit longer. Hayes pro­duced it with Bus­bee, who has worked with everyone from Keith Ur­ban to Jon Bel­lion, and wrapped up the video for it ear­lier this month.

“It has a lot of per­sonal value to me,” Hayes says of the song, which will most likely be re­vealed in July.

“It’s about the peo­ple who kept me glued to­gether ... who showed me my own in­ner strength. The song has a mes­sage that’s up­lift­ing to me, and the video is just beau­ti­ful.”

That team, as well as his fans, bol­ster Hayes’ be­lief that he is do­ing the right thing by re­leas­ing so much new mu­sic. “Business is not my favourite part of this,” he says. “It’s a lot like a song. You have an idea and a dream for it ... . We have a to­tally dif­fer­ent plan now, and it’s re­ally fun.” – Newsday/ Tri­bune News Ser­vice Jus­tice

When Hayes was just start­ing out, he teamed with Jus­tice for the re­make of the Mike Reno and Ann Wilson bal­lad from Foot­loose, as part of the sound­track to the movie re­make.

The story:

Every­body’s Got Some­body But Me

(2013) Worked with:

Mraz

The story:

When At­lantic Records re-re­leased Hayes’ epony­mous de­but – fol­low­ing the success of his hit, Wanted – he decided to re-record this song as a duet with Mraz, whose acous­tic rock seemed to in­flu­ence the orig­i­nal. The re­sult was an­other hit for both singers.

Where It All Be­gins

Lady An­te­bel­lum

As part of his 21 EP, Hayes rolled out a se­ries of sur­prise sin­gles in­clud­ing this an­them with his tour­ing part­ners Lady A that has quickly be­come a fan favourite, es­pe­cially when their har­monies kick in.

Worked with: The story:

Singer-song­writer Ja­son

(2015)

Hayes holds the record for be­ing the youngest male solo artiste to top the Coun­try charts af­ter his sin­gle Wanted hit No. 1 in 2012 when he was only 21. — Tri­bune News Ser­vice

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