Article/Interview: Getting to know up and coming country singer, Corey Hager and his music

Corey Hager playing for the crowd at Country Night Lights 2015
Corey Hager playing for the crowd at Country Night Lights 2015

This world is full of talented musicians and singers that are working hard to get that first big break into the business and Corey Hager is one of those talents! I first heard Corey at this past years Country Night Lights Festival in Athens, OH as he caught my attention from the very first note when the entire front row of girls let out a deafening scream. Corey owned the stage as if he had been performing for many years and expressed great maturity in the songs that he writes and sings. I had the opportunity to do a little Q&A with Corey to let our readers get an inside glimpse at who Corey Hager is. Feel free to read over the Q&A and take time to check out Corey’s album sampler below!

“Take some time to meet Corey Hager”

 1.)  Tell us about growing up in Ripley, WV? Work? play? How did you first get interested in music? Who were your biggest influences growing up (musical and non musical)
CH-“I actually moved to Ripley when I was in high school, at the start of my sophomore year. I was kind of quiet from where I moved here at a late age for a kid. During my senior year, I saw that the school talent show was coming up, and up until then I only dabbled on guitar. I thought I would still give it a shot though because I thought I was just as good as anyone else. My dad also played at his talent show when he was in school, so he was a big influence. I played for around 1000 classmates, and afterwards it went over so well that they asked me to write and perform an original graduation song. Not only did it get me started in music, it got people to recognize the person that I was, and I liked that feeling.”

2.) You have a full length album that you have just released called “Wanna Be Country”, How did you come up with the title to the album? What is personally your favorite track on this album? Did you write all of your own tracks on this album? How many did you write yourself if not all of them? What influences your songwriting when you are writing your own music? 
CH-“The title for my album came really natural to me. “Wanna Be Country” to me means “wanting to be, no matter how much you already are” to others it may mean “just a wanna be”, I like the double meaning of that. Before playing country, I actually played “folkish-pop-country stuff” and opened for heavy metal/rock bands. It sounds weird I know… but I was offering country music to a group of people who didn’t necessarily like it. Doing what I believed I had to do to push my music forward, the new release with the title “Wanna Be Country” hit very personal to me, and to country music fans.
I wrote all of the songs on the album – I would say my favorite is “Catching Up With You”. It is a simple love song, that captures everything I personally look for in a song as a listener. My influences as a writer actually draw from whatever I am listening to at the time, and I pretty much listen to about everything.”

3.) When I met you at Country Night Lights, You were all smiles and I could tell you were flying high and having an amazing time performing/attending such a big festival, Do you have any big shows/festival coming up that you will be performing? Will You be opening for any national acts? What show has been your favorite experience or who has been your favorite artist to be able to open up for? 
CH-“As of right now, all my bigger shows are finished up for the year. I will be slowing down with shows – doing a lot of writing, getting ready for my next recording project, rehearsing with my new band, and getting ready for summer/fall dates in 2016. It is going to be a busy winter, and even bigger summer.
My favorite show by far was Country Night Lights with Sam Hunt, Easton Corbin, Chase Bryant, and so many other great bands. It was awesome getting to hang with so many different musicians, and getting to see and meet all of the fans. I also opened for Joe Diffie, and Sammy Kershaw – those were some of my favorite shows being such a big fan of traditional country music… I got to share the stage with guys that I grew up listening to.”
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4.)  Let’s get personal a bit to give our readers a better overall picture of Corey Hager. How old are You? One artist that you would consider a bucket list to be able to perform with? Are you all country or do you have any other musical genre interests? Sports Car, Van, Jeep, or Truck? Lover or fighter? Miller or Bud? Acoustic or Electric? City, mountains or ocean? Cowboy hat or baseball cap? Are you a sports guy?/What sports?/teams? What are some of your personal goals for your career? Anything else Corey Hager would like for our readers to know about him?
CH-“I actually just turned 25, although I look like I might be 18 years old. I’m all about that contemporary country. I also like R&B and upbeat dancy stuff. I would love to open for Justin Moore or Luke Bryan, but really anyone in country music, I would be honored. I drive a Chevy Cavalier, but as for the title of one of my songs on my album goes… “You Make Me Wanna Drive A Truck”. Miller or Bud. Acoustic guitars, Martin to be exact. I’m definitely a fan of the mountains! Cowboy hats all the way. I don’t really have the time to watch sports haha. My goals in music are to get my original songs cut by other artists, share the stage with more national artists, record and push my next single to radio, take this thing as far as I can… getting my music out and meeting as many people as possible.”

5.) How do you feel about Traditional Country music? How do You feel about the new “Bro Country? What about Hick-Hop? Where do you see yourself in country music and which category do you find yourself fitting into the most or are you bringing something different to country music?

CH-“
Traditional country is my favorite. Bro Country is not really my thing (I’m not a Bro type kind of guy) but it can be good. I love what country music is today and all the styles of it, it gives everyone something to listen to and have their own favorites. Although I think some country isn’t really country (it’s more pop with country sounds, etc.,) but I guess that’s part of the fun of it.
I’ve always had a hard time sort of finding myself as an artist. I’ve always considered myself a songwriter so I write from many different feelings, styles, and places. I would say my style as an entertainer is very country, upbeat, and full of energy and emotion.”

6.) What has been your weirdest request/gift from a fan during a meet and greet? 

CH
-“
I actually haven’t had any requests or gifts that have been too weird yet. I guess I’m due for something soon haha.
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7.) What is your preferred guitar to play? Do you play any other instruments besides the guitar and if so what instruments?

CH-“
I am a diehard Martin fan. I love the whole brand and image. I don’t really play any other guitars besides my Custom D Rosewood and D-28 Sunburst.”
 
8.)  Where can our readers buy or download “Wanna Be Country”?

CH-“
You can find my album on my website (www.coreyhager.com), or anywhere that digital music is sold, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc. You can also check out my tour dates and see where I’m playing next. Also be on the lookout for more new music and stuff coming your way soon!”
CH– “Thanks so much for the interview!”
Thank You Corey for giving our readers a glimpse into your life, your dreams and your musical career goals! We appreciate you for taking the time to answer our questions! For our readers, we hope that you will take time to check out Corey’s music and tour dates for any upcoming shows and support him throughout his journey!
Corey Hager Links

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