When country star Walker Hayes was in the studio writing the song “Fancy Like,” he didn’t know it would become such a juggernaut. It’s racked up millions of streams and platinum certification, appeared in Applebee’s commercials, and is currently No. 8 on country radio. And yet, he’s still baffled by the whole thing.
The success has even surprised his family, including his daughter Lela. After the track was released last June, she suggested that they create a TikTok dance video to go with it. They did and it skyrocketed to more than four million views, with other users creating their own versions of the dance. The organic social media discovery helped push the single to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and then it got an even larger boost when Applebee’s featured the song (and father-daughter dancing) in a national campaign.
Jason Lipshutz, a music analyst and critic for Rolling Stone, says the chorus is one of the reasons the song has caught fire. “It’s a screamer,” he says, with “inner rhymes” like, “Got that Bourbon Street STEAK with the Oreo SHAKE” helping make it stick in people’s heads. He also thinks it’s smart that Hayes used Kesha for a remix, as it will help the song get some additional radio airplay from pop PDs who may have been skeptical of a full-on country track.
While Hayes doesn’t seem worried about a follow up, he does acknowledge that it is a lot of pressure to have such an instant hit. But, he’s focused on the lessons he has learned from his non-linear path to success and is determined to let his kids see that anything is possible.