Plenty of artists will say their whole world revolves around their music. With Hunter Hayes, it doesn’t sound like an exaggeration.
“I live, breathe to make this music in every way, shape or form,” Hayes said in a recent phone interview. “It’s funny when somebody asks me what I’m doing in my spare time when I’m not making music. It’s like well, if I’m not on stage, I’m in the back of the bus in my little studio working demos or writing something so I can demo it so that I can play it live. It’s a big circle for me. ... I never get bored with it.”
That single-minded dedication to his musical life has helped him have a fast impact on the national country music scene. His 2012 self-titled album has topped a million copies sold and given him three No. 1 country singles: “Wanted,” “Somebody’s Heartbreak” and “I Want Crazy.”
The latter single came from a deluxe version of the first album, “Encore.” That version included the original album and eight unreleased songs. It was released to coincide with Hayes’ first proper headlining tour last fall, which sold out all of its 25 dates.
For the 22-year-old Louisiana native, the chance to do his own headlining tour fulfilled a long-time ambition.
“This was something I’ve been praying and waiting for for a long time,” he said. “The stage, when you look at the vertical screen we have, keep in mind that was a drawing in my notebook when I was a freshman in high school. And all of these ideas we’ve thrown into the show are things I’ve been thinking about and dreaming about since I was practically in middle school. This is a product of a lot of time and dreaming. So if anything, it’s been nice to finally put this show on, to finally see it.”