This performance capped off an unparalleled year for the 21-year-old, which included three Grammy nominations, a multi-platinum single and the honor of being the youngest male solo singer to have a #1 song on Billboard‘s Hot Country.
Yet, Hayes isn’t taking a break because he is gearing up to hit the road again as Carrie Underwood‘s opening act on the second North American leg of her Blown Away Tour, which kicks off Wednesday in Colorado.
Since Hayes’ star has risen with his first stint on tour with Underwood, his set and performance will be bigger than ever before, which is still something that this crossover artist is getting used to.
“There’s a lot to process you go from a van to a bus and then all of a sudden you’ve added three people to the team you’ve never met before and I’m not used to having a team bigger than one bus,” Hayes told MTV News during “Live in the Newsroom: Hunter Hayes.”
“And now we’ve got so many people working behind the scenes it feels awesome, it’s really happening. I look at it every day and I’m constantly taking boring pictures of the bus because that’s the thing that helps me process it because when I’m on stage it’s a bit surreal.”
And even though everything may be a lot to take in for Hayes, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been thinking about this moment for quite some time.
“When I was in high school I would draw a fake schedule and I’d flip to it and that was my happy place,” Hayes admitted. “I dreamed of where I’d be on the road and now I get these schedules every day and somebody asked me ‘Is it as good or is it not as good?’ No, it’s way better. It’s way cooler. I’m living the dream.”
So what can we expect from the tour? Well, there is a possibility that Hayes will be performing some new music. The country star admitted that while he has no plans to release a new record anytime soon, he has been in the studio “experimenting.”
“I’m not in a new record state. I don’t want to make my second record. I don’t want to make a follow-up record. I want to make a new record I’m really really adamant about that because I feel like. I want to dedicate the same amount of time, not seven years like I wrote for this one, but I definitely want to dedicate a serious amount of time and be serious about it,” Hayes said. “And so I’m very cautious, but I do have new stuff that I want to put out that I’ve been wanting to put out, and I’ve been experimenting, and I guess we’ll find out the result of the experiment.”