Walker Hayes Says He Doesn’t Consider Himself A Country Artist: “I’m Scared Of Horses”

Walker Hayes
Walker Hayes

I mean, nobody does, right?

I’m kind of kidding (but not really). Of course we’ve busted Walker Hayes’ balls quite a bit over “Fancy Like,” and the fact that it somehow became one of the biggest songs in country music despite being pretty not country at all.

Is it catchy? Absolutely. Is it a fun pop song? I’ll even give you that. But is it country? Hell no.

But then again, Walker Hayes says he doesn’t consider himself a country artist.

Walker joined the Zach Sang Show where he discussed the criticism that the song has received, admitting that he’s heard the hate on “Fancy Like” (remember his polite beef with Zach Bryan?) but attributing it to the song’s insane popularity:

“I think that’s just the biggest things on earth. I think everything that’s huge, at one point, it is polarizing. Everything that blasts off that big, it’s inevitable. It will be polarizing in nature.

Now…if you’re traditional country sounds only, you probably don’t like bass, you probably don’t like that I can kinda sound like a rapper at times…

But I think that just kinda comes with the territory, like when something just goes off like that, as many people who literally can’t stop rewinding it, you’re just gonna get some hate.”

And he’s not entirely wrong. Would people be as upset about “Fancy Like” if it was just a catchy TikTok song, as opposed to being performed at major awards shows, every sporting event known to man, and played on country radio every half hour? Of course not.

But Walker also says that despite being from Mobile, Alabama and growing up in the south before moving to Nashville, he doesn’t even necessarily consider himself a “country” artist – at least not in the traditional “country and western” sense.

“I mean I think if I met I’d be like, ‘That dude is southern,’ if I talked. And I try to sing like I talk.

I got no business ever saying I’m a country western artist. I’ve never lassoed a cow, I’m scared of horses…

I grew up listening to David Allan Coe, and Hank Williams, and Willie Nelson, but it’s not like they were on the radio…That was more like Garth and that kind of stuff. But I love the lyricism in the country music that was going on when I moved to Nashville.

So in that sense, I mean that’s all I want to write is country music.

Now, I get on the rap side. I listened to a lot of Tupac growing up. He was one of my favorites. Coolio, Warren G, Notorious B.I.G., Nelly, I mean it was just all kinds of music. So I just – when I say that, I just don’t wake up and really decide, I just go in and go, ‘I want to write a twanger today.’ Just an absolute smash that I want to sing live, and I think most of ’em, they come out country to me.

Now, fan to fan, or person out there, they have an opinion. I might not be country enough to them. And that’s ok. Hey, free world. Do your thing.”

@zachsangshow Is @Walker Hayes a country artist? 🤠 #walkerhayes #countrymusic #sober #fancylike #applebees #zachsangshow #zachsang #danzolot #fyp #foryou @Amazon Music @Zach Sang @Dan Zolot ♬ original sound – Zach Sang Show

Country or not, there’s no denying the success that Walker’s had on the back of “Fancy Like.” And he’s obviously heard the criticism and realizes that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, so good for him for not taking it personally (which too many artists do these days, just check my inbox).

Overall, Walker seems like a good dude that I wouldn’t mind sitting down and having a beer with – as long as “Fancy Like” isn’t playing in the background.

But is he country? Well, apparently even he can admit that he can see why people think he’s not.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock