OFFSTAGE: Hunter Hayes’ First Songwriting Lessons

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

With the kinds of lyrics Hunter Hayes has been generating since he first had a hit on country radio with “Storm Warning,” I kind of thought he was just born with that enviable songwriting gene. But Hayes told CMT Radio it was something he was determined to work on once he got to Music City. “When I moved to Nashville, I was looking forward to learning how to write a song, you know? Learning the right ways. And the biggest thing I’ve learned is that everybody writes differently,” he said. So maybe he learned that the right way is his way? “Everybody’s got a different process, and everybody’s gonna go about it a different way.” Sometimes, he says, it feels weird to come at an idea from a different perspective as your co-writer. “For a long time, I was trying to emulate what they do, and then I realized, ’No, no, no, that’s what they do. I’ve got to find what I can do to complement it,'” he said.

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