Up and coming country artist Hayden Haddock is as Texan as it gets. Not only is he from Texas, he pays homage to the Lone Star state all throughout his sophomore album Red Dirt Texas and his single of the same name.
I got the chance to talk to Hayden about how he got started in music, simultaneously balancing college and a music career, what he first thought when he heard the demo of his single “Red Dirt Texas” and so much more. Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I learned to play the guitar when I was 14 after going to a Eric Church concert. About 5 years later, my freshman year of college, a young girl talked me into singing and playing the guitar in front of her which was the first person I had ever done that for! I played my first show about a month later and the rest is history!
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
Probably after my first show, just getting a good response from the crowd and realizing maybe I wasn’t half bad. I had a blast on stage so I knew it was something I wanted to pursue.
If I read things right, you’re a full time college student studying construction science. What made you want to pursue that rather than something related to entertainment or music?
Yes, I attend Texas A&M studying Construction Science! I actually chose that before I ever started my music career, but I still wouldn’t do anything music related. The reason is that I believe no class or professor could teach about live music – it’s all experience!
Have you found it challenging trying to balance your up-and-coming music career and school?
It definitely gets tough sometimes, but I knew what I was getting into so I just do what I have to to get it all done!
Back to your music, I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. Your sound would typically be classified as red dirt country, but if you had to describe the music you create without using genre names, how would you describe it?
I would describe my music as genuine, relatable, and down home.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
My biggest influences are Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi, Tracy Lawrence, and Clay Walker!
You had your first Top 10 at Texas radio with “Red Dirt Texas” and it’s written by David Lee Murphy, Kevin Fowler and Terry McBride. What was your reaction when you first heard it?
I knew I wanted to record “Red Dirt Texas” as soon as I heard it. The demo actually had David Lee Murphy singing which was already pretty cool! I just knew this song would be great for all my Texas fans.
Since you didn’t write the song, what was the process of acquiring it?
My producer, Trent Willmon, played me the song, I said I wanted to record it, and he basically just reached out to the management of those guys and they gave us approval to record it!
Were there any major changes made to “Red Dirt Texas” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
We definitely changed some instrumentation along with some words to make the song more relatable to me! An example is at the beginning of the song it says “Bare Bones BBQ” which is one my favorite venues to play here in TX.
Your sophomore album was released early this year. Tell us about it.
The album has 10 songs total. I am so proud of this album and hope everyone loves it. It is definitely some country music!
You’re still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years of your career?
There are some certain venues I would like to play at, some people I’d like to meet, some awards I’d like to win! With that being said, I’m a very go with the flow person so I’m just taking this business one day at a time!
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
Currently, I’m nerding out about the TV show Yellowstone.