On any given day, you might see singer Hayden Grove zipping around Northeast Ohio. One moment, he’s in athletic gear instructing a cycling class. Just an hour or two later, he’s on his way to a Browns practice as a journalist covering sports at cleveland.com. By night, he dons yet another “uniform” — a swanky jacket and tie — as he makes his way to that night’s venue to sing the evening away.
This is Grove, a man who seemingly can’t function without 50 candles burning on both ends.
“If I have something I'm passionate about, I pour myself into it,” he says. “I am a dreamer, I'm a go-getter. And, you know, I feel very blessed to do what I do.”
The trainer-turned-journalist-turned-singer plans to re-release his 2019 record Hayden: The Album — a collection of crooner classics like “That’s Amore” or “You Make Me Feel So Young” to a wider audience on Feb. 24.
Below, we caught up with this jack-of-all-trades entertainer to talk about his inspirations, hard-working ethics and a chance run-in with Michael Bublé, Grove’s biggest musical inspiration.
Cleveland Magazine: Tell us a little bit about your relationship with Cleveland. You aren’t from The Land originally — what brought you here?
Hayden Grove: Family and my love for Cleveland. I grew up coming here to visit my grandfather, who was my best friend for many, many years. He was born and raised here on Addison Road in Cleveland. And he really just kind of brainwashed that love that he had for the city, the pride that he had in this place, to me. You know he loved his Cavs, his Indians, his Browns. And he passed that down to me as well. I was kind of an oddball living in Florida loving those teams with him.
You know how it goes in Cleveland — you get indoctrinated very quickly into the sports fandom. And I think it's a beautiful thing. There's a lot of pride. There's a lot of joy, even though the teams are, you know, known for heartbreak.
CM: Honorary Clevelander from the start. Where did your interest in music begin?
HG: My dad's pretty musical. He's a singer and he was a piano player and didn't really pursue it, just did it as a kid and did it growing up. I got some of the genes from him, I guess. And then, you know, I started taking voice lessons. They asked me if I liked to sing, and I said, “Yeah.” So I started taking voice lessons when I was in, like, third grade. And then from there, you know, I just was scrounging around my parents CD collection.
I was about 10 years old and Michael Bublé popped up on the TV. I didn't know who he was, and I didn't know what the style was, but I knew that I liked the way he sounded. It just so happened that as I grew up, and kept taking voice lessons, that my voice teacher could hear that my voice lent itself to that music, and it just all came together. It was all just a big mash. I've been singing on stage since I was in fifth grade and been singing this kind of older music since I was in sixth grade.
CM: Michael Bublé continues to play a part in your life, from what we’ve seen. You ended up getting a shout out from him on stage, right?
HG: Honestly, it was kind of random. I had a decent following — like, 30,000 followers — on TikTok. I wouldn't tag [Michael Bublé], but I would just sing some of the songs that are in the genre and he happened to pop along one of my videos and liked it. And then the next thing I knew, he started following me, and I was just blown away. I thought it was like a joke. … And, lo and behold, he kept following me and kept liking along with a lot of my videos — he would comment on some of them. And I was just like, “This is unbelievable.”
So, I went to a show of his in Pittsburgh, and I was sitting pretty close, you know, because most people spend their money on food and clothes and groceries … and cars and stuff — I spend mine on concert tickets. So, I was pretty close. And he just looked out and he recognized me. He looked at me and he's, like, pointing at me, and I was like, “Oh, well that's cool.” And then he took a little break after a song and started talking about TikTok, and then all of a sudden said that he recognized me from TikTok in the audience and told everybody to follow me, and it was just an unbelievable moment.
CM: With this growing following, what comes next for Hayden Grove?
HG: I did an album in 2018 with Cleveland musicians — I was in the studio with the musicians, we did our own arrangements, we did our own thing. And I just felt like because of everything that's happened over the last couple years, that maybe if I re-release it and put some new artwork on it, and get it to the audience that it never really got to, then maybe people will listen to it that didn't listen to it before. And maybe opportunities will arise. I think we did some really good things … I had a lot of ideas for arrangements that I wanted to do, and we did them. And we change songs that you probably know, and changed the direction that they went in. I thought it was a really original and unique album.
One of my favorites is “That's Amore” — the Dean Martin version that everybody knows — we took it and we completely flipped it on its head and we made it fast, and we made it fun, and we added background vocals. We messed around with the lyrics a little bit. It’s a really different arrangement than you've ever heard, I can promise you that.
CM: You have so much going on — between the instructing, the full time journalism, the burgeoning music career — any advice for other young professionals trying to burn the candle at both ends?
HG: Do it. That's the advice. Don't think about it, don't stress about it, don't get anxious about it, do it. Put your mind to it, put your heart to it, and don't be anxious about it. Don't be scared, because I think when there's a will, there's a way — I truly believe that. I live by that motto. If you have a 9 to 5 and you want to sing or you want to start doing art, you can do it.
Make time for it. Compartmentalize things. Make sure that you're on your P's and Q's and very organized because things do get messy. So that would be my advice too, is that if you're trying to do multiple things, you’ve got to just make sure that you know you have set times, and while things do blend, you have to make sure you make time for each little thing.
Follow Hayden Grove on Instagram at @h_grove. Catch him every Tuesday performing at Pizza (216), 6 p.m., 401 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.
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