Walker Hayes knows he turned a few heads with the lyrics to his new song "AA."
In the chorus, he sings: And I'm just tryna keep my daughters off the pole| And my sons out of jail
But what he's really trying to say, Hayes explains, is that he wants to be the best dad possible.
"I feel like there's something wrong with me, but I'm attracted to the, 'We all are thinking it, but just never say it,'" Hayes said. "I just love that stuff. That's what's attractive to me about some of my favorite lines in songs and lyrics. I am a lyric nerd."
Hayes said one of his favorite things to do is ask people about their lives. If his Uber driver just got a divorce, he wants to hear about it. He wants to talk to other dads about their kids so they can find common ground and know that no one is going through life's trials alone.
"Like, I need to hear another dad say, 'I'm trying to keep my daughters off the pole,'" Hayes said. "It is weird. I've got a 16-year-old daughter, and she's absolutely gorgeous. I don't know what to say yes to, but I'm doing my best. When we turned that into my label, there were some, some people who said, 'You can't get away with that.' To me, that's what makes the song dangerously powerful."
"AA" is Hayes' follow-up single to his chart-busting smash "Fancy Like." He said he and his wife Laney have been in Nashville since 2004, and he's been trying to make it in country music since then. They were under financial strain for 15 years before his first hit song, "You Broke Up With Me," made them a little bit of money, and he was able to support his family with his music. When "Fancy Like" hit, Hayes said it was a dream come true that was too big for him to even dream.
"I'm just so grateful for the work," he said. "I'm playing at award shows that I truly don't feel worthy to be at. I'm seeing my name on lists of names that are heroic to us. So, our heart is just exploding with gratitude, and we're overwhelmed. It's such a vast difference for most of this adventure, and we just did it."