Living the life of a honky-tonk performer is something that most of us would only dream of doing. Hayden Haddock is quickly turning this dream into a reality.
The 20-year-old Texas A&M University sophomore has been on an impressive upward trajectory since his debut onto the music scene last year. Despite only recently starting his career, Haddock is already performing more than 100 dates per year in Texas and surrounding states. His music style embodies the heart and soul of red dirt country music, and Haddock has quickly found himself among some of country music’s biggest influences.
Between playing sold-out venues and traveling to Nashville to work with #1 songwriters like John Pierce, Tommy Karlas, Trent Willmon and Jim Collins, Haddock still makes time to pursue other endeavors. He works closely with JDRF, a nonprofit that funds diabetes research, as an advocate for helping youth navigate Type 1 diabetes.
How did you get your start in music?
It was very untraditional. I learned to play the guitar when I was 14, but never would play in front of anyone. That changed when I went to College Station for my freshman year. A young lady heard me playing and singing in my living room, knocked on the door and finally talked me into playing her a song. I played my first show about a month later and have been doing it ever since!
What was the turning point in your career?
When I got a band together about 6 months ago and I could really showcase my live performance.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I have been a type 1 diabetic for almost 13 years!
What is your process for songwriting?
I don’t have a set songwriting process. If an idea or something hits me then that will spark a song or a line. I really like to co-write with people because I think you get a better overall product.
Who has influenced you in your music career?
My biggest inspirations have been Cody Johnson, George Strait and Jon Pardi. I really love traditional country and especially the newer guys who are trying to keep long-established country music alive.
What is your advice to aspiring musicians?
Just keep going, no matter what. Success in this business will not come overnight, so even when things seem like they aren’t going your way you have to keep going.
Where is your favorite place to perform, and why?
Anywhere in Texas. The crowds just have a certain energy and love for the music that is something special.
Cover: The Hayden Haddock Band. Courtesy photo
Cullen Parker is an Agricultural Communications and Journalism student at Texas A&M University. Parker is an agricultural enthusiast, and you can often find him outdoors or playing a concert with his band in Austin or College Station.