Walker Hayes has been on the country music scene for years, but thanks to TikTok he's been going viral in recent months thanks to his song "Fancy Like." He stopped by The Bobby Bones Show today (November 5) to talk all about what life has been like for him ever since he went mega-viral.
When the pandemic hit, Hayes was trying to find any possible way to bond with each of his kids. For his daughter Lela, their way of bonding was dancing together on TikTok. Together they learned all of the different dance trends and did them as he recalls "shamelessly." He's been doing TikTok's with the help of his family ever since, however it wasn't until "Fancy Like" came into the picture that things blew up. He had done videos to some of his other songs like "You Broke Up With Me," which happened to be one of the only videos that he got some traction on, but it took weeks. After he released "Fancy Like," Lela told them they needed a dance for it and threw one together in about 35 minutes. Hayes wife Laney filmed it all. By that evening, the video passed over a million views and Hayes originally thought it was a glitch. He has since seen his following on TikTok go from 86,000 followers to over 2 million because of that particular dance video and song. His favorite reenactments of the dance video from others include the one where a lady is dancing in front of Applebee's and Shaq walks out, a sea lion and a penguin dancing to it with the help of their trainers, and Amy Adams talking about hearing the Applebee's commercial on Seth Meyers and doing some of the dance.
Fans have likely seen and heard the Applebee's commercial that now features "Fancy Like," however it was all because of Hayes and his team that the collaboration even happened. Hayes admitted they were the ones who called Applebee's and told them they had a song for them to hear. The Applebee's team said they would listen to it, but it wasn't until about 2 weeks later that Walker and his team heard from them and wanted to use it for their commercial. Hayes also noted that Applebee's even brought back their once discontinued Oreo Shake all because of his song.
To add to an already interesting story of the song's success, Hayes shared the interesting way the song happened. He went in for a song write with Josh Jenkins, and a guy named Shane Stevens showed up on accident, he got the date of his write wrong. Then Cameron Bartolini showed up, who had never written a country song in his life and came in to write his first country song. Hayes shared that for four hours, they didn't even write a song, they talked about God while laughing, crying, and praying. At the end of the day, they finally started to write a song when Jenkins shared he had a title in his head, "Fancy." Then Hayes chimed in with the lyric "We fancy like Applebee's on a date night" and shared a story about his kids. They were on the road one time and he asked them if they wanted fast food or something fancy with a waiter, like an Applebee's. From there the song just spilled out and Hayes admitted he's never written a song that fast before. After the write, Hayes went home and recorded the song in his make shift recording studio next to his kitchen. The next day, his team heard the completed song and told him it was going on his EP.
Hayes has seen many things happen since "Fancy Like" went viral, including several big time performances across the board and he's headed out on his own Fancy Like Tour with special guest MacKenzie Porter. However, his favorite thing he's been able to do since his success involves his kids. He shared a story about a time 8 years ago when his whole family was at Lowes and his kids just wanted Christmas blow ups for their lawn. He couldn't afford to buy them one then, but told them if he ever got a number 1 song, he would get them all their own Christmas blow up. Now that "Fancy Like" has hit number 1, Hayes fulfilled that promise to his kids and got each of them their own Christmas blow up. Hayes noted he's "humbled and freaking grateful" and hopes for several more years to continue building on this success.