Welcome to Radio Feedback, Radio.com’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.
Hunter Hayes has been performing his entire life, as this video of him as a 4-year-old sharing the stage with Hank Williams Jr. can attest. But it wasn’t until many years later that the country star first heard himself on the radio.
After six weeks of radio promotion for his debut single, “Storm Warning,” Hayes and his publisher were back in Nashville in a restaurant parking lot ready to head home when a familiar song came on.
“I had just come off a six-week radio tour so it was a bit of a time warp for me,” Hayes told Radio.com. “I had never been on the road that long. I was leaving dinner with my publisher and we were parked on opposite ends of the parking lot and she pulled around to where I was parked and rolled down the window and there was ‘Storm Warning,’ rocking. So I turned my car off and went over to her car and we jammed a little bit. That was the first time I heard it on the radio out of the blue.”
Hayes said the excitement of hearing one of his songs on the radio never wears off. In an interview with Radio.com last year, Hayes also recalled hearing his GRAMMY-nominated single “I Want Crazy” on the radio with his parents in Nashville.
“I was riding somewhere with my folks in Nashville on a day off and it came on and conversation ceased,” he said. “There was pure excitement. There is pure excitement. There will always be pure excitement. That’s not something you get used to or get comfortable with necessarily. It still catches me off guard a little bit and I think it always will because there’s something magical about somebody else endorsing your music that way, believing in you like that. It was really cool.”