The singer says he prefers to keep his personal life private

By Kay West
Updated May 18, 2014 11:30 AM
Credit: Matthew Eisman/Getty

Hunter Hayes, whose second album Storyline just landed at No. 1, has been in the spotlight since he first took the stage at age 4 – but the 22-year-old Louisianan has stayed notably quiet about his private life. Naturally, then, inquiring minds are wondering if there is something to tell.

“Essentially, I’m just a boring dude,” Hayes tells PEOPLE Country. “The only thing I really like to talk about is my music.”

He does share a lot of himself in those tunes, though. “One of my favorite songs on the album is ‘Secret Love,’ ” he says. “Lyrically there’s all kinds of sides to it which I like because it makes me sound a little more interesting. It’s kind of mysterious.”

In fact, Hayes says Storyline is an open book about his feelings. “In some shape or form, I have gone through all the moods, all the emotions of these songs. There are pockets of emotion, there’s love, there’s too much love, there’s maybe not love.”

Speaking of love, Hayes has never walked the red carpet with a significant other, though sources close to him say one does exist.

He’s no Taylor Swift though: you won’t find any hidden clues in his lyrics.

“I have bared my soul in these songs,” says Hayes. “That’s my choice. But anyone connected to me deserves their choice to stay private. They don’t ask to be written about and don’t ask to be talked about in interviews. I respect that and until otherwise noted, it will be that way. I see it as a matter of respect for that other person.”

Hayes will be letting his music do the talking on his We’re Not Invisible tour – his first headlining arenas – with opening acts Danielle Bradbery and Dan + Shay. Says Hayes, “We all come on the bus after every show and say, ‘Yup, playing arenas is every bit as much fun as we thought it would be!'”