Country newcomer Hunter Hayes stopped by MTV News earlier this week to perform a two-song acoustic set and to chat about heartbreak and his love-inspired music. His first No. 1 Country smash, "Wanted," off his self-titled debut album, is a rather personal song, the singer reveals. His entire Atlantic-released collection features a wide range of love-strewn odes from his personal experiences, including "Somebody's Heartbreak," "If You Told Me To" and "Love Makes Me."
"Oh yeah. Who hasn't?" Hayes admitted when asked if he's ever been heartbroken. "If you haven't, then you haven't lived. It was terrible, but you have to have that happen. And it's going to keep happening so get used to it. It's a part of life; you learn from it."
Falling in love, a common human roller coaster, makes Hayes do some pretty out-of-the-box things, he later concedes. "[I] do crazy things like totally out of character and out of my comfort zone," he says. "Craziest thing I've ever done for love — I don't know if I could remember it, and if I could, I don't know if I'd admit to it. Honestly, write a song 'cause that's really personal because 'Wanted' was really personal. I was like, 'I'm going to go there. I'm gonna talk first person. I'm gonna talk directly to this person,' and I did it."
While his love might seem like it comes without boundaries, Hayes notes that there are certain limits to what he will or will not do in a relationship. He continues:
"[I will not] compromise who I am. You know how you start changing for someone and then you back off? And it's like, it's not right. As much as I want this to work out and every relationship, it requires compromise. You have to work with it. You have to make it work, but there are certain points that you're changing so much about yourself that you're not yourself anymore that you gotta look in the mirror and go, 'This is not right. It's not healthy and as good as the relationship could be, if I kept changing myself, I'm never going to be happy in it.'"
Hayes is up for three awards at Sunday's 55th Annual Grammy Awards, including "Best Country Solo Performance" and "Best Country Album." The event, hosted by LL Cool J, kicks off live from Los Angeles' Staples Center and will be broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ESt.
The sensitive singer-songwriter is set to it the road again next week, Feb. 13, as Carrie Underwood's opener on the Blown Away Tour.
Check out Hayes' full interview to the left.