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The CMA New Artist of the Year nominee, who last October released his self-titled debut country album (on which he co-wrote every track and played every instrument), is currently on the road with Carrie Underwood on the superstar's Blown Away tour. "Wanted," co-written with Troy Verges, is the follow-up to the Top 15 hit, "Storm Warning" and has been certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than one million copies.
Although it's almost unheard of for an artist in country music, let alone a 21-year-old making their debut album, to take the musical reins and play all the instruments on a project, the method was one Hunter was already used to, having grown from a child prodigy who delighted audiences with his renditions of classic Cajun tunes to a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
"When I was young, I was apparently really dorky, Hunter tells The Boot. "I really just loved making music. When I found songwriting, it was sort of the only way my mind figured out how to work. I had my own little recording studio at home, which I built it because I was a total tech geek ... I had to make the music by myself or it would never get made; which is why we made the record that way, because that's just the way I've always worked and it made me more comfortable. I'm a very shy guy musically, so to be in the room with someone like [producer-guitarist] Dann Huff is intimidating enough. To make the record by myself allowed me to get a little more personal with it."
Keep track of Hunter Hayes' upcoming dates on the Blown Away tour here.
Watch Hunter Hayes' 'Wanted' Video