This year Bluesfest presents one of the hottest up-and-coming acts on the planet – 23-year-old Hunter Hayes, direct from the US on his first Australian sojourn.
Having just released his second album, Hunter Hayes is a name creating a serious buzz in American music.
‘First of all you should know I’m a geek. I am beyond passionate about music – there is always something playing in my head.’
Enviably talented beyond his years, and able to play an impressive 30-plus instruments, the singer/songwriter/guitarist received his first guitar from actor Robert Duvall at age six, performed for the US president the following year, signed with Atlantic Nashville Records at age 18, supported Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, broke the Guinness Book of World Records mark for most concerts in a 24-hour period, and was the youngest male act ever to top the Billboard Hot Country song chart.
‘I am obsessed with vinyl,’ he says. ‘Not just collecting or listening to it but obsessively cataloguing it! One of my favourite things to do is pour a glass of wine and spin and catalogue records!’
The son of a school teacher and a mechanic, Hunter Hayes has a refreshing humility that permeates most of his work. ‘We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and our house was right next to a train track. I didn’t get any of my mum’s athletic abilities and being in my little bedroom, I made that into my little music world.’
The family realised they had a big talent in their midst and moved to Nashville after a message from a music publisher on MySpace. Here Hayes finished school, got a publishing deal and signed to Atlantic Records.
With rapid-fire and bustling energy Hunter Hayes is a young man on a mission, his mind always churning, ideas jettisoning from brain to hand and voice.
‘I’m on an unending search to find what it is that I love and how it is that I will do it,’ says this four-time Grammy nominee.
Impressively Hunter has racked up accolades including recent performances at the Grammys, and alongside country superstars Lady Antebellum and Grammy nominations, won CMA New Artist of the Year award; he just won the 2015 People’s Choice Award for Favourite Male Country Artist, and will be hosting the 2015 Grammys!
If that’s not enough reason to get to one of his shows, we don’t know what is!