Whether discussing the careers of Hall of Fame members Conway Twitty or Jean Shepard, or current superstars such as Taylor Swift, Oklahoma native Amber Hayes has a definite sense of reverence for the country format as a whole.
That love for what she does sparkles through in her sophomore release, "Any Day Is A Good Day." She tells Billboard that she's thrilled to get her new release out to her fans, especially because she's been living with the songs for awhile.
Watch a Performance of "Any Day Is a Good Day"
"I've had the project for about a year, so it feels great to have it out," she says. "I think it shows a growth and a maturity from the 'C'Mon' EP. I think it's the next step for me. I did take a lot of time to listen to songs, and search. I'm really pleased with the ones we found."
The singer has had an eventful 2012 thus far. She made her acting debut in the film "Cowgirls n' Angels," and has had several of her songs included in the CW series "Hart Of Dixie."
She allows that all of those experiences have helped her grow as an artist. "I definitely think that all of that has something to do with it. I think anytime you have stage experience, it all is part of your growth."
What was it like seeing herself on the big screen? "Sometimes I have to pinch myself about that," she says. "I've always wanted to do country music, and be an artist. Having that on top of it is so amazing. It just came out of nowhere, and was such a big deal. I'm very thankful for it."
Watch the "Cowgirls 'n Angels" Trailer
Hayes is excited about working the title track of the disc to radio. She says that hearing her voice on the airwaves is something she will never get used to. "Your heart starts to race, and you get excited. I remember the first time I heard my song on the radio, I almost wrecked. I pulled into a car wash to go through the line. They came up to talk to me, and I said 'I can't talk. My song is on the radio.' They all started laughing at me, but at the end, when I went in to get my car, they were all excited and started asking me about it."
Besides growing as an artist, she also says that she feels her writing has gotten considerably stronger between projects. "I've gotten to write with a lot of great writers. Working with Brady Seals on 'Me and Loretta' was such a great experience. We actually wrote that the first time we met, and started talking about our love for country music. I think it turned out really well. He has a ton of charisma, and I think he has a deep appreciation, for sure."