Interviews Q&A

Top 25 Interviews of 2014: No. 7 Hunter Hayes

Before I tell you about this interview, let me just say that after watching Almost Famous for the first time in high school, it became my dream to tour with bands and interview musicians. While there were many bumps along the way, I officially accomplished that dream this year when I toured with Hunter Hayes as he broke the Guinness World Record for playing the most concerts in multiple cities in one day.

On Friday, May 9, Hunter kicked off his own record-setting journey at 8:17 a.m. with his first performance on Good Morning America. He was supposed to take a helicopter to Boston for his second show at Paradise Rock Club an hour later, but the weather got in the way.

“Essentially, right before we left to get on our plane we were told that the airport where our plane was nothing was leaving or coming into our airport,” he told me before the 10th show of the tour in Philadelphia. “We had to figure out another airport and another plane to get to Boston.”

Just a little hiccup in what took months of planning, Hunter and his team found another plane and got to Boston in record time. Not to say they weren’t worried. Lucky for Hunter and his team, the remaining shows ran early.

“I was astonished at how far ahead we got so quick and everybody was efficient coming in and out of the venues,” Hunter said.

Throughout each of his 10 shows, he apologized profusely to be playing a shortened set.

“We’re here for another two-and-a-half hours normally,” he said. “We appreciate you guys making this all happen because we’re spreading awareness and helping our friends at Child Hunger Ends Here today. What you guys have already done to make that happen is beautiful.”

“My goal is to make sure that every minute that we are lucky enough to spend with you tonight, we want to make sure you have all the fun,” he said on stage at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, Conn. “This is our seventh show we’ve done today. As you can tell, we’re still having all the fun there is to have. Let’s sing this next one all together, shall we?”

Meanwhile, the media team was feeling the exhaustion seven shows in, many of us opting to take a nap in the bunks before the eighth show in South Orange, being awakened just as Hunter was about to go on the stage. I tried out all of the bunks and learned that for the least interrupted sleep from bumps on the road, the top bunk is the best. Also, using the bathroom is extremely awkward. But that’s for another time.

Hunter played an extended set to a sold-out crowd at 7:30 a.m. at Philadelphia’s Trocadero. At the end of the set, he was presented with his official Guinness World Records certificate before a stream of confetti hit the stage.

So how is he going to celebrate? By sleeping. That, and eying yet another world record.

“Everyone goes to bed. Everyone gets some sleep,” he said. “I’ve had my eye on how we could break this if we wanted to.”

If he does, I hope to be along for the journey!

Read my complete recap over on

Features First Person

You Sing I Write’s May/June Wrap Up

I had the opportunity to tour with my first band back in 2008 when I was an intern at Rolling Stone. It was not as glamorous as I had previously thought, but an experience nonetheless. The band was Army of Me and I was in a tiny van with four guys as they toured with The Used. While it was a rite of passage I’ll never forget, I’ve always wondered what life on a tour bus is really like and I finally got to find out this year when I spent 24 hours on the road with Hunter Hayes as he broke a Guinness World Record for the most shows in 24 hours in multiple cities.

I spent 24 hours en route on a media bus where I tested out the bunks, realized the awkwardness of using the bathroom and had a newfound appreciation for the road life that so many artists deal with every day. You can read my full recap on

While I may not jump at the chance to travel the country on a tour bus myself, I wouldn’t say no to the next band opportunity. What was even more exciting was that that experience presented me with my first ever music plaque. I have a few softball trophies under my belt, but a music plaque is definitely a first.

That Hunter Hayes experience was just one of several that exhilarated me so far this summer and made me stop and cherish this crazy journey of being a music journalist. Last month, I interviewed Jason Mraz who I had grown up listening to. He was pretty much my college roommate’s life soundtrack and whenever I hear “I’m Yours” I’m always reminded of her ringtone.

I have not been that nervous for an interview in a very long time. I usually still get butterflies, but this time it was a huge knot in my stomach. He turned out to be more than cool and just a super chill person. Basically, exactly what you’d think he’d be like in real life. Watch our chat below.



Another highlight was interviewing Miranda Lambert. She just released her new album Platinum and while I only got 15 minutes with her, I was taken aback by how down to earth she was. While she’s married to perhaps the most popular man in country, Blake Shelton, she was so incredibly nice and even gave me some hilarious, yet questionable advice about turning 30 in November. “There’s always Spanx and Botox, you’ll be fine.” Watch my interview with her below.



I was lucky to spend some time chatting with the guys of The Wild Feathers over beers and found a new favorite band in married duo Johnnyswim during an interview. Also, Naughty Boy told me my interview with him was like therapy, which reaffirmed my decision to major in journalism and not psychology. Now I have the best of both worlds!

Stay tuned for more adventures next month. I promise to update more often! In the meantime, follow me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with my day-to-day.


Radio Feedback: Hunter Hayes

hunter hayes

I’ve been lucky to have interviewed Hunter Hayes several times last year. A fan of his music, I’ve been known to have his songs on repeat for hours (especially “Wanted” and “I Want Crazy”). So, when I sat down to interview him, I had to ask about the first time he heard his song on the radio and if he ever gets tired of it (he doesn’t.) For a guy who has been performing live since he was four-years-old, who could blame him?

“I had just come off a six-week radio tour so it was a bit of a time warp for me,” he told me. “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.”

He added: “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.”



To read my complete interview, visit

Features News

You Sing I Write June Recap


As I sat in my childhood bedroom this weekend, I was reminded of how far I’ve come. Home in Jersey for the Fourth of July, my room is full of hints at my future career as a journalist, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought all this would have come to fruition. My walls are surrounded by posters, photos with bands and quotes from my favorite musicians. One that I live by is from Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman: “Be honest, and never let anyone else define success for you — money ain’t it.”

On the wall behind my bed is a framed copy of my very first front page article from the Rutgers school paper from October 2003. Nearly 10 years later I have two more articles to frame — my first concert review on Luke Bryan and band review on Mike Mangione & the Union for Billboard magazine. It took 10 years, but I finally feel like I’m exactly where I belong. I love that I can write about bands I believe in for a reputable publication like Billboard. That’s why I first began my blog: to write about artists I believe in and bring their music to those who might not stumble upon it themselves. Nearly six years later, not much has changed.

This past month I’ve interviewed some of the artists I grew up listening to. Chatting with Jack Johnson was a dream come true as much of my college years were spent listening to his music. Earlier last month, I sat down with Robin Thicke and he gave me a ton of relationship advice. A week later his single “Blurred Lines” went to No. 1.

It’s no secret that country music has become a passion of mine so when I had the opportunity to talk with Toby Keith on the phone I was floored. (He rarely does interviews). I learned the story behind his monster hit “Red Solo Cup” and he told me how his benefit concert for tornado victims in Oklahoma came together. Later in the month, I witnessed Hunter Hayes live for the first time. Verdict: go see him! (His album is my most listened to so far of 2013).

hunter hayes

That same week, I sat VIP while watching Hanson perform for their 21st anniversary. Yes, they played “MMMBop.” And of course I sang along word for word.

I’m a strong advocate of the saying, “Find a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” While getting to this place was by no means easy, there is nothing else I’d rather do. There have been many times this past month that I said to myself, “Remember this moment forever.” I still feel like a kid when I get to a show only to realize my seats are better than I thought. Granted, I’m covering these shows, but the excitement never wears off. The moment it does I’ll have a major problem. But, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.



Hunter Hayes Celebrates GRAMMY Noms & Releases Video


Hunter Hayes has a lot to be thankful for this year. With the chart-topping success of his single “Wanted,” and now having just received three GRAMMY nominations, he shows no sign of slowing down.

In fact, just last week Hunter released the music video for his new single “Somebody’s Heartbreak.”

I chatted with Hunter about the story behind his new single. A song he calls the follow up to “Wanted,” learn the inspiration behind the song.

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For my complete article visit CBS Local.

Features Q&A

Hunter Hayes’ Love Letter Turns Into A Radio Single

Hunter Hayes


When Hunter Hayes sat down to write “Wanted” he only had one person in mind.

“‘Wanted’ is very much a love letter. It was written basically to tell a girl how I felt about her,” Hunter said. “It didn’t actually work but I’m okay with that. I got my single, I got my song and I’m okay with that.”

What he didn’t know was the song would become his first No. 1 hit as well be covered by a contestant on The Voice. On it’s way to becoming a crossover hit, not unlike Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, Hunter is being embraced beyond country music.

“I went on to write this song and I was definitely just desperately trying to get the point across to this girl,” he said. “Those are the songs that really write themselves very quickly. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time over-thinking this one.”

Video –

For my complete article visit CBS.