Singer-songwriter Lexie Hayden is a prime example that country artists with their eye on the prize can reach success in under 10 years in Music City. Hayden arrived in Nashville in 2017, but it wasn't until her 2020 EP "You Heard Right" that she began to receive positive praise. Her witty wordplay and soulful sound quickly scored her a spot within the inner circle of fast-rising musicians.
"I came up with Priscilla Block, Breland, Lainey Wilson, and Tyler Braden," the songstress told CMT. "We were playing the same little dive bars. Priscilla and I were in the trenches together. We wrote "My Bar" in 2019, and she held onto It."
After Hayden and Block had a similar experience at Tin Roof on Broadway, the two penned "My Bar" alongside Stone Aielli. Upon release – the sing-along worthy track shot up the charts, and Hayden received her first country radio single. After making her mark as a savvy songsmith, Hayden declared that the performer within her was itching to be recognized. Therefore, Hayden exclusively shared the performance video for the upbeat drinking song, "Tequila For Two" with CMT to prove that she is a country mainstay ready for the spotlight.
"It's my first full band performance video that I have ever done," Hayden pointed out. "We basically went into a basement, and the whole band tracked in the same room together. So, it's actually a live performance, and all the audio is live as well," she added.
When the Virginia native sat down to write the sexy single with frequent collaborators Derek George and Monty Criswell, she had her next career steps in mind – touring.
"I was ready for something fun," she said about the writing process. "It is kind of that song I needed to play full band shows with and to make people dance. I felt like I really needed a song like this ["Tequila For Two"] in my repertoire. I like to keep listeners on their toes, and I don't want to keep putting out singles where everyone can expect what's coming next. I think one of the huge items on my bucket list is to start touring soon."
The budding vocalist mentioned that filming the performance video allowed her to experiment with the stage. She hopes her fans realize that she is a star in the making and was born to be in front of a roaring crowd.
"I want people to feel like they can see me as a performer," she stressed. "That was the most fun part of playing with a band and to the camera. Just getting to move around with the microphone and show a different side of my personality. So, I definitely want people to feel pumped up like they could go and dance or jam in their car," she added.
Hayden's soaring vocals shine through as her drummer keeps a steady beat. Meanwhile, more than one guitarist fiddles with their strings to find a delicate balance between a modern and traditional country sound. The multi-piece band slowly fades during the bridge to help emphasize the radio-ready chorus.
The track that is as shocking as a shot of tequila, was released following Hayden's run on MTV's competition series, "Becoming a Popstar." Hayden revealed that the disco-like ensemble seen in the clip was initially meant for the reality show.
"I'm wearing an outfit that I did not get to wear on the show. I had to bring 28 outfits to LA, and some things just didn't get worn," she professed. "I made it a point to wear it for the performance video, it's like a three-piece sequence suit. I'm very excited because it's like the coolest thing I have ever worn. I wore it with a purpose in that video."
Hayden said she walked away with new profound confidence after being the only artist representing the country music genre on the show. The celebrity judges – Joe Jonas, Becky G, and Sean Bankhead, encouraged Hayden to take musical risks to bring her artistry to new heights.
"I dropped everything. I flew to Los Angeles to film a reality show, where I had no idea what would happen," she laughed. "It ended up being the most incredible time in my life. I definitely feel inspired to go out of my comfort zone and do things that I normally would shy away from, because I thought I had to stay in my lane. I feel like I can do anything now, and I feel like it made me a lot more confident."
During the binge-worthy series, Hayden was challenged to write independently and was pushed to put her vocals to the test during Collaboration week. The up-and-coming artist was paired with Amira, an R&B singer. Together the two created the vibrant anthem "Sunshine." The vocalist said that the unique crossover exercise had inspired her to incorporate a duet into her forthcoming EP.
"On my EP that will be coming out soon, I think I will have a duet on it. I am very much more comfortable doing it now. I am more open to collaborating with other genres now that I have done it. CMT Crossroads, it's so cool to see that."
The promising Artist says she already reached out to Jason Nix, the writer behind Lainey Wilson's breakthrough single, "Things A Man Oughta Know." Hayden confirmed that the highly anticipated collection would arrive in the next couple of months, but fans can catch her first big performance on June 17 and 18 at the CMA Theater in Nashville with radio personality and musician Bobby Bones.