Hunter Hayes Reveals How ‘The Masked Singer’ Helped Him Find His ‘New Voice’ & More

Hunter Hayes was revealed as the Astronaut in the last episode of 'The Masked Singer' and he spoke with HL about how he chose the Astronaut, why the show was 'exactly' what he needed right now, and more.

Hunter Hayes
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The Masked Singer season 3 is getting down to the wire, and so many amazing celebrities continue to be unmasked. In the Battle of the Sixes, singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes was revealed as the Astronaut. HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Hunter about signing on to the show that “flips everything upside down” when it comes to performing. “It’s an incredibly humbling experience, and I think my takeaway honestly was how amazing it was to feel heard even though I was under a mask and no one knew who I was,” Hunter told HollywoodLife. “To have a voice that someone recognized was a big deal for me, and my fans noticed that it was me after the first one. As far as stepping onto the stage and performing, I felt free. There’s a strange thing that happens when you put a mask on in front of people where you kind of feel like you can do anything and try anything with little to no risk, and I think that’s exactly what I needed in this particular time. While working on this record, it was like going to a trainer for everything — vocals, performances, choreography. But just for myself, the character that you embody when you put the mask on has to be based on you. I think I spent some time trying to figure out how to be the Astronaut and realized about halfway through that process that the Astronaut’s based on me, and I needed to be myself and be present there.”

There have been a wild variety of masks on The Masked Singer, and Hunter certainly had a lot of choices. He explained why he went with the Astronaut. “I was back and forth honestly between a few different masks and stories, but the Astronaut really spoke to me,” Hunter continued. “I talk a lot about flying, and I describe music as flying very often because it does feel weightless and it can transport you to different places. My last album was all about that freedom and flying and sort of letting go of certain things. Part two of that album, which we’re working on now, is all about the unknown. I just connected with the Astronaut.”

Hunter’s most notable performance as the Astronaut was singing Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Hunter and his “good friend” Stevie actually performed that song together on Dancing With the Stars in 2013. Performing the classic tune again on The Masked Singer was a full-circle moment for Hunter. “To be honest, I was a little scared to perform that song because I knew it was going to give me away, but the more we collected a song list ahead of time I kind of realized that there was no running away from it,” Hunter said. “It was full circle for me because Dancing With the Stars filmed in that same building. I walked through the hallways the first day, and I recognized the hallway even as bland as it is, and that’s the place where I hung out with Stevie. That’s one of my favorite memories. That’s where I got to spend time with him and talk to him. So there were a lot of really cool, full-circle moments.”

Hunter is currently working on the follow-up to Wild Blue (Part I), which is titled Red Sky. Being on The Masked Singer challenged Hunter in new ways as he went on this latest musical journey. “I wanted to work on the album in Los Angeles and spend some quality time there,” the singer revealed. “So my time there and getting to work on the show at the same time was really brilliant. I don’t know that I could have designed it for myself as well as it just came together and happened. The show kind of opened my eyes to a lot of things that I needed, personal things. Part two of the album is all about the unknown and the adventurous nature of a new journey, and being on the show is definitely a new journey. It was challenging in the best ways possible. It was a great exercise for me. It was a great training ground. It gave me a place to find my new voice. It’s changed a lot over the last two years and also find that freedom in the form of expression. I got to show the world that I like a lot of different music and a lot of different things influence what I make and how I make my music. I think now this album will make more sense to people because they can see that I’m influenced by a lot of different things and it all shows through in the making of the record.” The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX.

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