And did you also wonder how autobiographical the tune might be for him? It’s a hard thing to talk about bullying. Loneliness and the feeling you don’t quite belong.
It certainly made a lot of folks, including myself, wonderful just how close to home the song hits for the young superstar. Was he bullied in school?
“A little bit,” he recently revealed in an interview with Nashville reporters. “I’m careful to say that because even in my own experiences, I know that there were a lot of people that had it a lot worse than me. So I will not stand here and complain about it. But, yeah, I went through a lot of different feelings that come with being someone who doesn’t fit in at all and will not fit in at all.”
Hayes also admitted his high school days were filled with lots of daydreaming and wondering what it would be like if he could see his musical aspirations actually come to fruition.
“I was music-obsessed — all I thought about, all I wanted to do,” he said. “I would sit in class and draw pictures of tour buses. I would design stage sets on the side of my notebook. And it’s such a geeky thing to do, really, if you think about it. Or at least that’s how I thought about it when I was in high school. Because nobody else was doing it, and I thought it was weird.”
Different? Maybe. Weird? Certainly not my definition of weird.
But one thing is certain. It wasn’t all in vain. Those countless hours of dreaming, scheming, practicing, planning and never giving up ultimately paid off for Hayes, who never took his sights off his ultimate goal of sharing his music with the world.
“My mind was always in the future,” he said. “And I would have a fake ‘day sheet.’ Now I know they are officially called ‘day sheets.’ I had a fake schedule that kinda felt like what my day on tour would be like. I’d look at that all day long, like, ‘Where would I be now if I were on the road?’
“And I just thought that was weird — because it was. And all those things I dreamed about … that I was obsessed with. I think that led to essentially feeling like I didn’t have a place where I really fit in, you know?”
Now his world is the place we all want to exist. He’s taken his success, his talent and his message and shared his experiences with, in hopes of reminding the world that things do — and will — get better. Above all, he reminds us we’re absolutely anything but invisible.