Walker Hayes is a country music singer-songwriter who has been making waves in the industry with his unique blend of traditional country and modern pop influences. Born in Mobile, Alabama in 1979, Hayes grew up in a musical family and began playing the guitar at a young age.
He honed his skills as a songwriter while attending the University of North Alabama, where he studied music and performed in local bands. Hayes initially pursued a career as a songwriter in Nashville, where he landed a publishing deal with a prominent music company.
He wrote songs for a number of well-known artists, including Randy Houser, Thomas Rhett, and Kelsea Ballerini. However, it wasn’t until he released his debut album, ‘boom.’ in 2017 that he gained widespread recognition as a solo artist.
The album featured his breakout hit single ‘You Broke Up with Me,’ which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and earned him a loyal fan base. Since then, Hayes has continued to make a name for himself in the country music world, with his distinctive voice and unconventional songwriting style setting him apart from his peers.
- Walker Hayes is a country music singer-songwriter with a unique blend of traditional country and modern pop influences, resulting in a fresh and innovative sound.
- Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Hayes adapted by performing virtual concerts and drive-in shows to stay connected with his fans.
- His debut album ‘boom.’ gained widespread recognition as a solo artist, with hit single ‘You Broke Up with Me’ reaching top 10 on Billboard Country Airplay chart.
- Hayes engages with his audience during shows and is committed to music and his fans.
Early Life and Musical Roots
The early life and musical roots of Walker Hayes can be traced back to his upbringing in Mobile, Alabama, where he was immersed in a culturally diverse environment that greatly influenced his musical style.
Hayes grew up in a family that valued music as an important form of expression, and he was exposed to a wide range of genres from an early age. His father, who was a minister, introduced him to gospel music, while his mother, who was a choir director, shared her love for country music with him.
As he got older, Hayes became increasingly interested in different musical styles, including hip-hop. He began to experiment with creating his own music, drawing inspiration from the various genres he had been exposed to throughout his life.
This diverse musical background would ultimately play a significant role in shaping Hayes’ unique sound, which blends elements of country, pop, and hip-hop. Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks early in his career, Hayes remained committed to pursuing his passion for music, and his perseverance paid off in the form of a successful career as a singer-songwriter.
Career as a Songwriter
As a songwriter, Hayes has written songs for various artists in the country music industry. His first major success as a songwriter came in 2010 when he co-wrote the song ‘Play’for the country duo Florida Georgia Line. The song went on to become a hit and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Hayes has also written songs for other notable country artists such as Rodney Atkins, Thomas Rhett, and Kelsea Ballerini. In 2016, he co-wrote the single ‘Seven Year Ache’for Rosanne Cash, which was a remake of her classic hit from 1981.
Hayes continues to write songs for other artists while also pursuing his own career as a solo artist.
Debut Album ‘boom.’
With his debut album ‘boom.’, the country artist showcases his songwriting skills and versatility, blending traditional country sounds with modern pop influences. The album was released on December 8, 2017, under Monument Records, and features 10 tracks, including the hit single ‘You Broke Up with Me.’
The album received critical acclaim for its innovative sound and Hayes’ ability to infuse personal experiences into his songwriting. The tracks on ‘boom.’ cover a range of emotions and themes, from heartbreak to resilience, and showcase Hayes’ ability to connect with his audience through his music. Overall, ‘boom.’ is a strong debut for Walker Hayes and sets the stage for his future success in the country music industry.
The album features collaborations with songwriters including Shane McAnally and Thomas Rhett.
‘boom.’ debuted at number 48 on the US Billboard 200 and number 16 on the Top Country Albums chart.
Hayes’ unique style and storytelling in his songwriting has been compared to artists such as Ed Sheeran and Sam Hunt.
Hit Single ‘You Broke Up with Me’
One of the standout tracks from Walker Hayes’ debut album ‘boom.’ is the hit single ‘You Broke Up with Me’, which blends catchy pop hooks with traditional country instrumentation. The song has a unique sound that sets it apart from other country songs, with its use of electronic beats and a catchy chorus that is sure to get stuck in listeners’ heads.
Hayes’ vocals are also a standout feature of the track, conveying a sense of confidence and defiance as he sings about moving on from a failed relationship.
‘You Broke Up with Me’ has been a commercial success, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and earning Hayes his first gold certification from the RIAA. The song’s popularity can be attributed to its relatable lyrics and infectious melody, which have resonated with audiences across the country.
It has also helped establish Hayes as a rising star in the country music scene, with his unique sound and style setting him apart from other artists in the genre.
Musical influences can be heard in the unique sound of Walker Hayes’ hit single ‘You Broke Up with Me’. His music incorporates a variety of genres, resulting in a sound that is fresh and innovative.
Some of the main musical influences that can be heard in Hayes’ work include:
Country music: Hayes grew up listening to country music and has cited artists such as Merle Haggard and George Strait as major influences on his style.
Hip hop: Hayes has also been heavily influenced by hip hop music, which can be heard in the electronic beats and rhythmic flow of his songs.
Pop music: Hayes’ music incorporates catchy pop hooks and melodies, which help to make his songs highly accessible to a wide range of listeners.
Alternative rock: Hayes has cited alternative rock bands such as The Killers and Coldplay as influences on his music, particularly in terms of their use of electronic instrumentation.
Overall, Walker Hayes’ music is a unique blend of various genres, resulting in a sound that is both contemporary and classic. His ability to incorporate a variety of influences into his work has helped to make him one of the most innovative and exciting country music artists of his generation.
Collaborations with Other Artists
Collaborations with various artists have helped expand the reach of Walker Hayes’ music and showcase his versatility as a performer.
In 2017, Hayes collaborated with duo duo, The Young Fables, on a song called ‘Let’s Get It On.’The song was featured on The Young Fables’ album, ‘Old Songs.’
Hayes also collaborated with country singer, Bobby Bones, on a parody song called ‘Fancy Like (Bobby Bones Remix).’The song was a spin-off of Hayes’ hit single ‘Fancy Like,’and was released in August 2021.
Hayes has also collaborated with other artists in the songwriting process. He co-wrote ‘Don’t Let Her’with Andrew DeRoberts and Matt Jenkins, which was recorded by country singer, and fellow songwriter, Walker McGuire.
He also co-wrote ‘Heist’with Josh Jenkins, which was recorded by country music duo, Dan + Shay.
These collaborations have allowed Hayes to diversify his musical output and showcase his talents in different genres of music.
Awards and Accolades
Moving on from discussing Walker Hayes’ collaborations with other artists, it is worth noting that his career has been marked by several awards and accolades. Hayes has received recognition from various award-giving bodies in the music industry, including nominations for the Grammy Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, and Country Music Association Awards.
In 2018, Hayes received his first-ever Grammy nomination for his hit single ‘You Broke Up with Me’in the Best Country Solo Performance category. That same year, he received two nominations from the Academy of Country Music Awards for New Male Vocalist of the Year and Single Record of the Year for ‘You Broke Up with Me.’
Hayes also received his first-ever nomination from the Country Music Association Awards in 2021 for Musical Event of the Year for his collaboration with Carly Pearce on ‘I Hope You’re Happy Now.’These nominations attest to the growing recognition and acclaim that Hayes is receiving in the country music scene, as well as his ability to deliver quality music that resonates with audiences.
Touring and Live Performances
One notable aspect of Walker Hayes’ career is his extensive touring and live performances, which have allowed him to connect with fans and showcase his musical talents on stage.
Hayes has performed at numerous venues across the United States, including music festivals, county fairs, and arenas. His live shows are known for their high energy, and Hayes often interacts with the crowd, making each performance a unique experience for his fans.
In addition to headlining his own tours, Hayes has also served as an opening act for major country artists such as Kelsea Ballerini and Old Dominion. This has allowed him to reach new audiences and gain exposure as an up-and-coming artist.
Hayes’ touring and live performances have been a critical part of his success in the country music industry, and he continues to tour extensively in order to connect with fans and promote his music.
Future Projects and Plans
Upcoming projects and plans for this country artist include the release of new music and the continuation of his touring schedule. According to Hayes, he has been working on new music and is excited to share it with his fans. He has hinted at a possible album release in the near future, although no official announcement has been made yet.
In addition to his new music, Hayes is also planning to continue his touring schedule. He has been known for his high-energy performances and engaging with his audience during his shows. With the ongoing pandemic, Hayes has adapted to the current situation by performing virtual concerts and drive-in shows.
As the situation improves, he plans to resume in-person concerts and festivals. Overall, it seems that Hayes is committed to his music and his fans as he continues to produce new music and connect with his audience through live performances.
Impact on the Country Music Industry
The country music industry has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many artists having to adapt to virtual performances and canceled tours. Walker Hayes, like many other artists, had to cancel his tour in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, he was quick to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic and used social media platforms to connect with his fans.
He started a live stream series called ‘The Good Stuff,’where he performed his songs and interacted with his fans. This allowed him to stay connected with his audience and maintain his presence in the industry.
The resilience of country music artists in the face of adversity is truly inspiring.
The ability of virtual performances to bring people together, despite physical distance, is a testament to the power of music.
The pandemic has brought about a new era of creativity and innovation in the country music industry.
Walker Hayes’ determination to connect with his fans and maintain his presence in the industry is a reflection of his passion for music and his dedication to his craft.