A lot of artists would love to go back and change things about their debut albums after they've had a few years out on the road. Hunter Hayes is one of the rare artists who actually gets to do that tweaking on the expanded edition of his debut album, Hunter Hayes (Encore), now in stores. The project features re-recorded versions of three songs from that album, and Hunter didn't have to think hard about which tracks he wanted to rework.
He tells ABC News Radio, "I was like, 'OK, well, these are the songs that I absolutely don't want to listen this way anymore. (Laughs) And these are the songs I have to change or else I'm going to go crazy.'"
Since Hunter played every part on his debut album, he wanted to work with other musicians and singers for the new and re-recorded tracks. The new version of "What You Gonna Do" features duet partner Ashley Monroe.
"She was absolutely perfect for it," Hunter says of Ashley's vocal contribution. "It needed a new thing, a new light, a new look, a new feel. And she absolutely provided the inspiration for a totally new re-record."
Hunter also welcomed Jason Mraz for the new version of "Everybody's Got Somebody but Me." The two met at the Grammy Awards earlier this year, and Jason agreed to record with Hunter because of the country star's musicality.
Jason explains, "What I find in this genre is an intense musicality, especially from the songwriters who can dig into their instruments and dig into melody and dig into story and dig into spirit. I dig on that."
As for the new songs on (Encore), Hunter thinks his fans will notice a maturity in the lyrics he's been writing since the debut project came out in October 2011.
Hunter says of the new material, "It takes on more depth, and I think lyrically a couple of these songs did that 'cause they were written after the record. And so, musically, I felt like we needed to sort of search for that as well."
Hunter Hayes (Encore) features his latest hit, "I Want Crazy." Hunter is celebrating the new release with a show at New York City's Webster Hall Tuesday night. The concert will be streamed live at MTV.com.
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