Hunter Hayes Gives Advice To Early-Morning OMAs Performers: ‘Don’t Sleep’

O Music Awards veteran talks to MTV News about what kept him going during last year's 24-hour show.

Just one day after rocking out in front of thousands of fans at Webster Hall for MTV’s Artist to Watch LIVE concert, Hunter Hayes is heading right back to the stage for the O Music Awards — this time as a presenter.

“It’s going to be fun,” Hayes told MTV News backstage at Tuesday night’s show. The singer is an OMAs veteran, having performed at last year’s show for an early-morning set. “We got to do some stuff last year with the 24-hour thing like at 5 in the morning, so it’s going to be a little easier on this one, but I love that whole thing, it’s so different.”

So what advice does Hayes have for those performers slotted in the wee hours? “Coffee, I don’t know how I can help, just don’t sleep,” Hayes said.

Hayes is presenting the award for “Make a Band Famous,” and one of the nominees is Nashville-based duo Striking Matches, who also happened to be handpicked by Hayes to open his MTV Artist to Watch concert.

“It’s the best kind of award in my opinion because it’s all fan-voted,” Justin Davis of Striking Matches told MTV News. “We got our fans busy and they got to show their support, and so playing there is going to be really cool.”

Bandmate Sarah Zimmermann added, “I think we are the only country band out of the five nominated, so it’s cool to represent country music in that way.”

Striking Matches, along with fellow nominees Chill Moody, Darling Parade, The So So Glos and Syd Arthur, will all be performing during the live show. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite artist, with the winning act getting the opportunity for a coveted spot as a performer during VMA weekend in August.

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.
@ChristinaMTV