Oklahoma native, Amber Hayes, was born to be on stage. She was singing and performing at state fairs and festivals by the time she was eight yeas old. She was even a finalist for Disney’s television show, “The Mickey Mouse Club”.
Amber Hayes’ resume is quite an impressive one. She launched her career by nabbing the coveted role of Kathy Twitty in the national touring play, “It’s Only Make Believe,” a story featuring the life and music of Conway Twitty. She also had three songs featured in the 2012 family film “Cowgirls N’ Angels” (which includes a duet with Lonestar’s Richie McDonald, as well as a small role in the movie). Her 2010 EP, “C’mon”, produced two Top 40 Music Row singles: “C’mon” and “Wait”.
Now Amber is ready for some new music. She is currently writing and recording for a brand new project with producer Paul Compton. Nashville Love got a chance to talk with the multi-talented Amber Hayes during this year’s 2012 CMA Music Festival where she performed at the Chevrolet Roadhouse Stage in Fan Alley.
Nashville Love: When did you decide you wanted to be in the music industry?
Amber Hayes: I think early on I decided, being as I fell in love with country music when I was five. I loved the stage. I was really shy up to the point where I started singing and it was like “Wow! This feels home to me!” So I knew I wanted to do it.
NL: Who were your musical influences when you were growing up?
Amber: I have a few. My top three were probably Barbara Mandrell, Dolly and Reba. Being from Oklahoma, I’m a small town girl so I love the Oklahoma girls.
NL: We read that you had auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club. What do you think your life would have been like today if you had been selected to be on The Mickey Mouse Club?
Amber: I don’t know (laughs) I mean, ya never know what that would have brought, but I just wanted to do country music and I think that staying in Oklahoma playing fairs and festivals gave me a real appreciation for country music.
NL: You have spent a lot of time in the acting business. If you could rewind the clock and star in any movie, what would it be?
Amber: I would love to do "Walk The Line."
NL: Is there anyone’s career you’d like to model yours after?
Amber: Either Reba or Dolly. I love Dolly. She’s a great songwriter and she’s also such a great business person. She’s a great person and gives so much, and puts on a GREAT show too. So, she’d be the one I’d want to model my career after.
NL: Was the process of recording your albums what you dreamed it would be when you walked into the studio?
Amber: Ya know, I had never really done that before, so when I first started doing that it was like, “This is different than being up on stage and performing”, but it’s a learning process just like performing in front of a live crowd or whatever. I’m a live performer, I love that, so it was different for me.
NL: What can we learn about you as a person from listening to the songs you wrote or co-wrote?
Amber: I think you’d probably learn I’m a small town country girl. I grew up in small town America Oklahoma, and also that I’m a real positive person. I think you’ll hear that in my music as well.
NL: You just completed a duet with Richie McDonald from Lonestar. Who is your dream singing partner?
Amber: My dream partner is either Dolly or Reba, but then also as far as a guy, and someone current, it would be Chris Young. Love him!
NL: You talk about loving the stage and being a live performer. How have you gotten stage experience?
Amber: I took voice lesson and dance lessons. I was performing at fairs and festivals by the time I was eight. I think just doing it as much as you can, and at an early age, I think that’s where I kinda got used to being on stage.
NL: Have you done any touring yet?
Amber: Yeah, I toured with the Conway Twitty musical, and last year I did a lot with Ty Herndon. I’ve done a lot of radio tours too. This summer I’m doing more of my own shows, so it’ll be fun!
NL: If you could pick any tour to be on, whose would you choose?
Amber: The Paisley tour!
NL: Would you be ready for the pranks? (laughs)
Amber: Hey, I could take it. I was raised with a ton of boys so believe me, I could take it (laughs).
NL: We read that you had a women’s fitness company that you started and then sold to finance your music career. Tell us about it.
Amber: It was a workout facility for women and it was a 30 minute workout place kinda like Curves. Circuit training. I learned a lot. I was really young when I opened that up and was able to do that for three years, and then sold it to do music full time. I was really lucky and learned a lot.
NL: Are you still a fitness “expert?”
Amber: Um, not crazy. I should probably be more (laughs). I think it's super important to have a healthy lifestyle.
NL: You’ve got a bit of experience across the board with musicals, acting, and your music. What do you consider your “dream” job, music or acting?
Amber: What I do is really my dream job. Just being able to go on tour, have my own tour, take country music and my music worldwide. Going on tour, doing arenas and stadiums. That would be awesome.
NL: What can we expect from you over the next year?
Amber: I’m going to have new music out, either the end of the summer or early fall. I’m real excited about that. So, that’s the next step for me, is the new music. It’s been a little while, so I’m ready.
Learn more about Amber Hayes by checking out her website http://www.amberhayesmusic.com/. Amber's music is also available on iTunes.Become a fan of Amber on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amberhayesmusic or follow her on Twitter at @amberhayesmusic.