Walker Hayes Gets Candid About How Music 'Makes Me Feel Less Alone'

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Tons of fans have been loving Walker Hayes’ music for its catchy lyrics and TikTok-worthy dances, and the singer-songwriter shared that the music “makes me feel less alone.” Hayes appeared on the Biscuits & Jam podcast, speaking with Sid Evans, Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living Magazine, about his life and his music:

“ In this week’s episode, Sid Evans, Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living Magazine, welcomes Mobile, Alabama native and ‘Fancy Like’ singer, Walker Hayes. Today on the show, the Father of 6 talks about how his Dad booked his first ‘life changing’ gig at The Yacht Club in Mobile Bay, his struggles with alcoholism, and his friend Craig, who introduced him to the church and even gave him a van. Plus, Walker shares his go-to meal at Applebees, where he can now eat for free for the rest of his life.”

Evans asked Hayes about his struggles with alcoholism and his hit song “AA,” one of the tracks included on Country Stuff The Album. He asked the country artist about “where you were when you wrote that,” and how to turn darkness into a fresh new sound.

“…if I had one goal with my music, it's just, I love music that makes me feel less alone,” Hayes answered. “Whether it feels like I'm feeling or whether it's saying what I'm actually going through, and so I feel like God has gifted me with lyrics. I'm not a melody guy. I'm not a musician. I'm not like some virtuoso. I just love words, and so AA to me, you could actually sing that song and it would be very sad.

“You could make it sad, because it's a struggle. Life is a struggle. Life's not really the happiest thing ever. There are moments, but the moments between those great moments are pretty tough. Dads die, so do dogs. Hearts break, dreams don't all come true. I'm one of a billion people who try to be a singer-songwriter, but what AA to me focuses on is how life, really, if you look at it, and you don't try to not do this, but it can kind of be narrowed down to coping mechanisms. One by one, what makes you feel validated and gets you to the next moment? As a dad, that's trying to raise my daughters, trying to raise my sons, trying to continually win my wife, and balance our relationship like a plate spinning. Then with the AA line, really, that's a very deeply rooted line. A lot of people have commented or critiqued that line, but I thought long and hard about leaving it as, ‘I’m trying to stay out of AA,’ and the reason I left it there, because I actually do go to AA, and AA is great. It's wonderful for me and I will never stop going. It is awesome, but when I drank that first beer, when I was 13, 14, my end goal was not to go to AA. It wasn't to go to rehab. It wasn't to use something that would eventually control me, and so, yeah, I mean, AA was kind of my Anthem to just all the dads out there. It's been an amazing song to watch people react, but I ... If people are like me, I love the truth, and I love especially when it's dressed up with sadness and laughter.”

Hayes went on to tell the story behind his song “Craig,” inspired by his real-life friend who co-authored his book. It was Craig who made Hayes feel welcome in church at a time that he experienced hardships in his faith. Hayes also spoke about his mega-hit song “Fancy Like,” and his go-to Applebee’s orders after releasing the iconic song.

Biscuits & Jam is a weekly podcast that shares stories of musicians, including how Southern culture shared their lives and musical inspirations: “In the South, talking about food is personal. It’s a way of sharing a part of your history, your family, your culture, and yourself. Each week, Sid Evans, Editor in Chief of Southern Living, will sit down with celebrity musicians to hear stories of how they grew up, what inspired them, and how they’ve been shaped by Southern culture. Sid will take us back to some of their most cherished memories and traditions, the family meals they still think about, and their favorite places to eat on the road.”

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