Hunter Hayes suits up in designer duds from Dolce & Gabanna, Dior and Rag & Bone in Esquire 's May issue, but his profile interview is focused squarely on his music. Hunter plays about 200 concerts a year at this point, and he tells Esquire he wouldn't have it any other way.
"The stage is my comfort zone," Hunter says, "and playing live is what I've always wanted to do." Hunter especially loves how songs evolve over time as he keeps performing them live, and says one of his songs even has a 20-minute jam session tacked onto the end of it.
Hunter also feels no limits when it comes to his musical creativity, and he's glad to have a home in country music that allows him that kind of freedom. "Country music busts the wall between performer and audience," he says. "There's a connection because there's a vulnerability, a confessional quality, to so much of the songwriting. Those lyrics take you in."
For more on Hunter's music and fashion sense, pick up the May issue of Esquire .
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