Hunter Hayes Is Telling ‘The Rest Of The Story’ On Encore

MTV Artist to Watch talks to MTV News about 'closing the chapter' on his debut album with eight new songs.

Hunter Hayes’s debut album may have given him two #1 singles and three Grammy nominations, but Hayes still felt something was missing.

That’s why the country star re-released his debut album with Encore, which includes eight new or re-recorded songs featuring duets with Jason Mraz and Ashley Monroe, who will be opening for Hayes on his upcoming CMT Let’s Be Crazy Tour.

“This is an update. It’s not brand-new, but it’s just the rest of the story,” Hayes told MTV News before he took the stage at Webster Hall Tuesday night as part of MTV’s Artist to Watch LIVE series. “[It’s] the summary of everything and the closing of the chapter.”

Yet, with so much new material, many of Hayes’ dedicated fanbase, a.k.a, the Hayniacs, were wondering why the country star didn’t release this as a second album. While he’s started writing for his sophomore release, he told us he has no idea when it will be released, explaining that it’s “locked in a room.”

“I don’t want to rush [my next record],” he explained. “I’m not here to rush a record out, and I wanted to make sure that my first record that I could finish it and make sure that everything that could have been on it I put on it. I do believe that there is a time when you have to close the door and be like, ’No you can’t touch it, you cannot go back,’ but I felt like I had one opportunity to go back in and do it. And honestly, I don’t know if we planned it this way, we just kind of came up with the idea and said, ’This is the right thing to do for this record.’ ”

Hayes dropped Encore the same day as Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller, who predicted in a tweet that Hayes would “sell more than all of us combined.”

“I’m honored,” Hayes said in response to Mac. “That’s funny. It’s cool to just be releasing an album in categories with all really cool artists like that.”

Christina Garibaldi has been an on-camera reporter for MTV News since 2011. When not interviewing or writing about her favorite stars, she keeps herself busy with baby animal videos and boy bands.