Interview: Texas Country Artist, Hayden Haddock's, First Rodeo
Thank you for talking with us Hayden. What is it that first drew you to music? My older brothers took me to a couple of concerts, in particular Kenny Chesney and Eric Church. It was there I caught the music bug! They are both such great performers and Eric Church is a master on that guitar. I decided right then and there that I wanted to learn the guitar. I started taking lessons at 14, but I would never play for anyone, not even my own family. Last December, I was practicing in my apartment at school when a friend knocked on my door. She heard me playing and asked if I would play her a song. Typically I did everything possible to get out of it. My roommate overheard and came out of his room to see if he could embarrass me a bit further. They both ended up talking me into playing Luke Combs “She Got The Best of Me." My roommate, without my knowledge recorded and posted it on social media and things took off. My family, friends, and many others encouraged me to do more. By January I was asked to play venues and performed my first show at a jazz bar in Addison, Texas. Since then, I have played close to 100 shows predominantly in Texas, and also in Colorado and Las Vegas. I have New Mexico and Israel booked as well. The video of that first performance at the jazz bar is still on YouTube as a reminder to me and all that have been following me over this last year as to just how far we have come. Tell us about your debut album. Why did you choose First Rodeo to be the title for it? Most musicians struggle with naming their albums. We had been working on the song "First Rodeo" for many months when I received word that I was booked to perform three shows at Mandalay Bay Resort during the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. First Rodeo is something that most people have heard for much of their lives as a simple statement, “This ain’t my First Rodeo”... “Oh, but it is!" This was my first album and we were releasing it during the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas. It was the perfect choice! How did you know when you had the right songs for it? Since this is my first album, I was interested in having a variety of sounds, but all with an authentic Texas country feel. What was selected definitely represents me and my style of music I wish to continue to produce for many years to come. Is there a specific track off the album that you’re most excited for fans to hear? I released “She Don’t Know It Yet,” as the lead-off single and it seems to be everyone's favorite. As of today, it has over 50K Spotify streams in four weeks. My personal favorite that I think fans are going to love is “More Than Enough."
How did being from Texas influence First Rodeo? The album has an authentic Texas country sound to it. My music is influenced by Texas country music greats such as George Strait, Cody Johnson, Josh Ward, Sam Riggs etc. Do you have a favorite Southern food? Boiled Crawfish with potatoes and corn. Which three things are always in your home refrigerator? Beef Jerky, Coffee, and Eggs What food fuels your morning? Traditional Texas breakfast - Coffee, Bacon, Eggs, and some Biscuits with Cream Gravy. What’s on your pizza? Pineapple, Pepperoni, and Black Olives Have you tried any food delivery services like HelloFresh and Marley Spoon or are you more of a UberEats and Postmates kind of guy? UberEats makes my life easy, especially when I am on the road! What is your favorite music to listen to while you cook? Country of course! George Strait, Cody Johnson, Josh Ward, Mike Ryan, Jon Pardi etc. Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? Being from Texas and that I eat there a lot... “WHATABURGER” without a doubt!
Haddock’s road to pursuing music was not the traditional one. At a young age, Haddock discovered his love for music, but it was not until he attended an Eric Church concert at the age of 14, that he decided to pick up a guitar. Haddock continued to write songs and play guitar throughout his teen years and was accepted into the prestigious Texas A&M University as a Construction Science major. After performing a song in the confines of his college dorm for his roommates, one friend secretly captured it on video, uploaded it to YouTube and shared it with their peers. The overwhelming response to the video made Haddock decide it was time to pursue a career in country music. Since that time, Haddock has put his head down and focused on songwriting and playing acoustic shows anywhere he can to hone his craft.
Haddock’s musical influences are deeply rooted in his home state of Texas by artists such as George Strait, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs, Jon Pardi, and Eric Church. Some may be surprised to find out that Hayden is only 19-years-old as he has a musical instinct well beyond his years. Having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at a young age, Haddock works with several organizations to help spread awareness of the disease and will be a featured panelist during JDRF’s 2019 Type One Nation Summit at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX. This might be the “First Rodeo” for Haddock, but it will surely not be his last.