Gearing up for the Grammys on Sunday (Feb. 10)? So are these excited nominees and performers.
Billboard had the chance to give some great news to Hunter Hayes recently. The 21-year-old Louisiana native became the youngest male country artist to be simultaneously nominated in all the categories he’s up for in the 55th annual Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, Best Country Solo Performance (for his hit “Wanted”), and Best Country Album (for his smash 2011 self-titled major-label debut).
“Are you serious? That’s awesome!” Hayes didn’t have a clue he owned the record after 2013 Grammy noms were announced in December. “I had no idea dreams come true like that – this is a milestone,” Hayes continues. “If I’d made a checklist of all the things I’d want to do in my life, I would’ve checked off half the things in the last two years alone!” Here’s how Hayes is getting prepared for music’s biggest night out.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when you wake up on Grammy day?
Find the nearest Starbucks.
Do you have a ritual planned to get ready for the ceremony?
That day is going to be jam packed – I’ll be doing a ton of interviews, and getting ready – so I’m going to take thirty minutes to an hour to just chill out. I’ll need a couple minutes to process what’s going on; If I don’t, it will all come as a surprise, and I want to live in the moment. It’s my first time, so I want to experience it as it’s happening.
Do you have a good-luck charm?
Six or seven years ago, a friend gave me a cross necklace with a message about the love of music on it. It started a trend: now I always wear a cross to remind me where I come from.
Are you going to tweet during the show?
I love tweeting during these kinds of events – it’s the most dependable connection: it gets everybody who’s had your back in there with you. I consider my fans my friends, and a tweet is the best way to bring them into that scenario.
Who are you afraid you might forget to thank if you win an award?
My memory is terrible, especially in a moment of shock, but my mom would definitely give me a little grief if I forgot her! Gosh, I have to thank my parents for everything – it blows my mind to think how much I owe them.
Who are you taking to the ceremony?
I’m going to fly solo for this one. Going by myself, I can just experience it and see what happens.
Who do you hope to meet backstage?
I definitely want to hang with The Lumineers and fun. – I respect them for the music they make, and what they stand for. Being nominated alongside them is huge for me: I’m in a category with people who are shaping and inventing new sounds, and I want sit down, chat with them, and see how they think.
How will you celebrate?
Find a spot that’s open late and celebrate with my team with some killer sushi!
What’s the party not to miss?
Warner-Atlantic is having one, so I’ll hang out there; CAA also handles all my favorite people, so I’ll go to their party and see who I can meet.
What are you wearing to the Grammys?
I’m definitely wearing a suit, but with Converse Chuck Taylors. Converse adds the subtle chill factor – that’s how I know I’m being me and not anybody else.
For you, what would be the worst possible wardrobe malfunction?
Fly unzipped, tie weird, hair out of whack – all that stuff would be quite embarrassing. Just being in front of a camera and not knowing if anything like that is wrong is a disaster in itself!
Do you have a must-do when you’re in L.A. for the Grammys?
We’re going in early to run around and check out all the music stores and guitar shops; my guitarist, Devon Malone, knows all the good places. This year I really got into buying vintage gear, so that’s my favorite thing to do.