Hunter Hayes on his Darkest Days

This is how Hunter Hayes describes his new song “Invisible” : “This song is about not fitting in. It’s about being misunderstood.”

And then, “This is about the fact that when I was in middle school and high school, I had the most wonderful, supportive parents in the world, and I was making music every weekend, but even with all that, those were some of the most incredibly dark days.”

Hayes told all of this to People in its new country issue. He said he was awkward and an outcast and that being bullied was character-building for him.

Hayes was raised in Breaux Bridge, La., and got a very early start in the music world. One of the first instruments he taught himself to play was the accordion. He started out playing mostly Cajun music, even performing with Hank Williams Jr. in Dallas when he was just 4 years old. He played his accordion and sang Williams’ late father’s 1952 hit “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).”

But now Hayes is 22, and sticking to country music. In his case, it’s country music with a mission.

So the song, he hopes, will show the kids who feel invisible that everything will be OK.

“The point of the song was about changing the story — saying, ’Here’s the good news, this chapter will change, and you’ll never see it the same way again. All this pain is gonna be invisible.'”

Hayes favorite line in the song is, “So here’s to you and here’s to anyone who’s ever felt invisible.” Because, Hayes said, there are a lot of people who relate to that story.

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