OFFSTAGE: Hunter Hayes Says “Wanted” Is About Beautiful Souls

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

If you want to hear a country song about a pretty girl, just turn on your radio and wait two minutes. Those songs are on constantly. But one song, Hunter Hayes“Wanted,” goes deeper than that. Hayes and I talked about that on the BMI Country Awards red carpet Tuesday night (Oct. 30) in Nashville. I told him my favorite line was, “Anyone can tell you you’re pretty.” And he told me his favorite — and the most important lyric in the tune — is “Your beauty’s deeper than the makeup.” He explained, “That’s a very important thing to say. The meaning behind it is that we all get caught up in the expectation, and it’s like, ‘Hey we’ve got souls, and you’ve got a beautiful soul.’ And someone told me once that their relationship worked so well because they each wanted each other. So it wasn’t like a necessity thing. It took me a while to wrap my head around that, but it helped me gain perspective.” 

Side note: If anyone else was wondering, like I was , how he gets the lyrics to that song all over his instruments when he performs it, here’s what Hayes told me: “Everything onstage — the drums, the amps, the guitars, that piano — is stripped of its paint and then painted with a matte black chalkboard paint. And then we chalk in my lyrics over everything.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.