Walker Hayes was a wannabe country singer/songwriter who recorded one hit song and then fizzled. With six kids to feed, Hayes began working the 4am shift at Costco. The strain brought him to a crossroads and he knew he had to put up or shut up and quit. He made the critical decision to stop writing songs that he hoped would generate radio play and began writing about what mattered to him.
Once he shifted gears, Hayes said “there was a reckless abandon to the things I would write—they were just true. They were emotional, and really personal.” While we advise being cognizant of your audience’s desires, if you play only to what you think will please them, you may cheat yourself out of meaningful material that will satisfy you and affect your audiences on a deeper level.
Consider what drives you, and your perspective on a particular topic. Owning your material will turn you into a more powerful, confident speaker. Your audience will appreciate how genuine you are. How did this formula work out for Hayes? His new album Fancy Like
just went double platinum.