NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Hayden Joseph has been a serious musician for the last three and half years but considers himself a lifelong musician. He said he grew up on the country sound from back in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“I adore Shania Twain, love Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift. I mean these are all people that started in country music that wrote country story arcs and then made them mainstream,” Joseph said.
Joseph said he noticed a shift in the late 2000s in country music.
“Everybody's singing country music for the most part looks the exact same, they sound the same and they sing about the same things: beer trucks and women,” Joseph said.
Joseph is looking to change that by pushing for new perspectives.
“I’m willing to bet that you’ve fallen out of love with the genre a bit because it doesn’t sound like it used to and there is still virtually no LGBT representation,” Joseph said in a video he posted to his TikTok account. “My name is Hayden Joseph. I’m an openly gay artist and I want to change both of those things. My goal is simply to write songs for everyone.”
He posts about his goal on TikTok to his more than 100,000 followers.
“Writing inclusive lyrics shouldn’t make it ‘queer’ country it’s just country music that works for everyone,” Hayden said in TikTok.
Joseph said he does not want to get rid of anything but makes songs applicable to everyone.
“Including me and including new perspectives is not excluding you. You can still have everything you’ve come to like about current country music and then some,” Joseph said.
He said he is not here to play the victim and as a white man is not necessarily the poster child for making the genre more diverse but says as a gay man, he has a different perspective.
“That will lead to a different sound and a different story being told on country radio,” Joseph said.
Aside from bringing in more perspective, Hayden believes we have normalized country music to not let men show emotion.
“I will submit for feedback or criticisms on songs, that are about very basic human concepts, falling in love or like being heartbroken or feeling lost and the feedback I will get on them quite frequently is, ‘I love the lyrics of this, the melody is really cool, but I think it would be better sung by a woman,’” Joseph said.
He said his ultimate goal is to have songs on country radio, be a household name in country music, and be a crossover country music star.
“If in my lifetime radio won't change enough to let me be the one singing on country radio, if I can get my perspective on country radio with artists that they ‘approve’ of. Honestly, that would be a win,” Joseph said.