OFFSTAGE: Hunter Hayes Tells VH1 Why He Plays All the Instruments

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

Hunter Hayes has come a long way since he was on Nickelodeon’s Figure It Out game show for kids. (And thank you, VH1, for unearthing Hayes’ cover of Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” on your Big Morning Buzz Live show .) Hayes was on VH1 to show the world just how far he’s come, performing his No. 1 song “Wanted.” But before he could get started, they asked him about the vast array of instruments he plays on his debut album. “I got really bored,” he joked. But then explained he did play every instrument on the songs because that’s just how he learned to make music. “It’s a process born out of the way I used to do my demos. Because I didn’t really have a choice. I knew a couple of instruments, and I had a bunch of gear,” he said. “And if I was gonna write songs, I’d never hear them finished until I’d actually cut them myself. I didn’t have money to do demos, and there was nobody else really around at the time. So it just kind of became a way I’m used to working, and we ended up making the whole record that way.” Hayes is only 21 now, so he would’ve been a teenager when he was making those demos and learning to play all those instruments. So much for the lazy, slacker, good-for-nothing teenager stereotypes.

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