In this EXCLUSIVE interview, Walker Hayes tells us why he never gave up on his passion for music after struggling for 12 years. Plus, he reveals the best part of touring with Thomas Rhett and more!
Walker Hayes first moved to Nashville to pursue a music career in 2005, and although he briefly had a deal with Capitol Records in 2010 , it’s taken until 2017 for his career to really take off. Clearly, it’s been a long journey for the rising country star. “This dream didn’t really look like it was coming true,” he recalls in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife.com. “It looked like I might have to do other things to provide for my family and not do the music thing.” So, about two years ago, he got a job stocking shelves at Costco. “It sucked,” he admits. “But you gotta do what you gotta do.”
He adds, “I had a lot of battles in my head going on, like, will I be a better dad if I keep chasing this dream and show my [six] kids to never give up? Or do I just go get a ‘real job’ and turn off this passion for music?” Before he could give up, though, producer/songwriter, Shane McAnally, told him what he’d been waiting to hear: He wanted to make Walker’s album. “My wife and I, every day, we’re just pinching ourselves, like, holy cow…this is for real,” Walker says. “It’s happening. Now, two years later, his album, “boom.”, is set to release on Dec. 8.
So, what can we expect from the record. “It’s just the truth,” Walker admits. “It’s a lot of stories from those hard times and a lot of songs people wouldn’t cut. Every song on that album is just 100 percent how it happened. I like to tell people they’re not even really songs…they’re just stories that happened to rhyme a whole bunch.”
And while Walker is definitely a country singer, he doesn’t limit himself to just one genre. “I just wanted to make my music,” he explains. “And that was super fulfilling as an artist. Thank goodness my project didn’t have barriers around it when we began writing it. It was just — write the truth, and make it sound how you think it needs to sound. I had nothing to lose…because I had nothing.”
This fall, Walker is finishing up a tour with Thomas Rhett, who he says is “such a good guy,” and in the spring, he’ll be hitting the road with Kelsea Ballerini. “I’m excited,” he raves. “That’s going to be a perfect avenue for me. I think we could share fans, which is how I kind of see tours.”
Meanwhile, his single, “You Broke Up With Me,” is gaining more and more popularity by the day. “When I sing it at the show, every body knows it now,” Walker admits. “It’s been fun to be on [the Thomas Rhett] tour and have my song on the charts at the same time and just watch the crowd. Every time I sing my single, it just gets louder and louder, so that’s been fun. I look forward to it every single night.”
HollywoodLifers, are you excited for Walker’s new album!?