Hunter Hayes: We wanted to honour everyday S'poreans

Grammy-nominated Hunter Hayes made a surprise visit to CHIJ Toa Payoh on Wednesday.

He was here to promote his new album, performing at a showcase at The Star Terrace for his fans on Thursday.

But US singer Hunter Hayes also found time to make a surprise visit to 1,200 students at CHIJ Toa Payoh Secondary the day before.

Not only that, he shot an additional music video for his song Invisible, which will be released on Warner Music Singapore's YouTube channel in the run-up to National Day.

Featuring Hayes in Singapore, the new video will be a tribute to Singapore's unsung heroes.

He told The New Paper: "We (already) had a video for Invisible, but we wanted to do something different. We wanted to celebrate the people that make this place so beautiful. It's an inspiring place, and we've definitely felt that.

"And one of the things we wanted to do is honour the everyday people who don't get recognised, for the ways that they change your lives so much."


Ms Evelyn Woo, a promotions executive at Warner Music Singapore, said: "The purpose of the video is to give back to these Singaporeans, and show them they have not been forgotten."

She added that more details will be released at a later date.

For Storyline, Hayes took a break from being a virtual one-man band.

The 22-year-old played all the instruments on his 2011 Grammy-nominated self-titled album.

He told a US radio station that he counted 32 instruments.

But many of the 32 were different types of guitars, mandolins and drums.

At yesterday's press conference, Hayes said: "I feel ridiculous talking about the 30 instruments thing. I don't know, I just do."

He said of working with his band for his second album Storyline: "They're not just good musicians, they're great and creative guys, and I just kind of felt like I needed that on this record."

The singer of Wanted, which peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs in 2012, learnt to play his first instrument, a toy accordion given to him by his grandmother, at the age of two.

Since then, he has worked with big names in country music and beyond, including Taylor Swift, John Legend and Stevie Wonder. The next stops on Hayes' tour are Japan and Canada, followed by a slew of US states.

Of his worldwide fame, he said: "It's kind of hard to process really, hard to put into perspective, hard to explain, especially to the folks at home.

"It sinks in when you're talking to them over FaceTime, and you're talking to them in the morning but it's night-time (for them), and you realise how far apart you are and how far the music has reached."

And how will he continue that reach?

"I could write a song according to what has worked already, just say, 'Oh, I'll just do another Wanted, or whatever,' you could very well do that, and that's fine. But for me, that's not exciting. And I like moving forward," Hayes said.

"The fact that I'm sitting here, doing this press conference in a beautiful country I've never dreamed I would ever get to visit, is kind of a big deal to me," he added.

This article was first published on July 19, 2014.
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