Behind the Song: Walker Hayes’ Viral Hit “Fancy Like”

Walker Hayes never expected a song about eating Applebee’s Bourbon Street Steak sandwiches and sipping a Wendy’s Oreo frosty on a date to have much traction. “Fancy Like” was one of many TikTok videos he and has family had been making, including tracks from his Country Stuff EP, “I Hope You Miss Me” and “Country Stuff,” to get through the pandemic lockdown together.

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When Hayes posted “Fancy Like,” featuring him and his daughter, Lela, dancing to the song on their porch, the video instantly reached 300,000 views, and TikTok users started uploading their own versions of the Hayes family dance.

“Fancy Like” was viral and eventually jumped up the country music charts in the Top 10, pulling in more than 5.4 million streams (as of press time) on Spotify.

Originally written by Hayes, along with Cameron Bartolini, Shane Stevens, and Josh Jenkins after their writing session chat shifted toward how people often have misconceptions about artists—big mansions, fancy cars, and private jets—they started piecing together “Fancy Like,” a term coined by Jenkins during one of their conversations.

“I swear to you, I am the slowest writer on earth, but this song just dumps out, like it already existed,” said Hayes during a recent interview  on The Kelleigh Bannen Show on Apple Music Country. “Then Josh [Jenkins] and I, on the way home, we’re like, ‘Hey, I think it needs a bridge’ and just texted it out, and I laid it down that night.” 

YouTubers have since shared “Fancy Like” dance tutorials, and Hayes joined Hoda & Jenna on and NBC to make their first-ever TikTok video, dancing to “Fancy Like,” while he performed the song remotely.

The next day, Hayes took it to his publishing company, to mixed reactions.

“I wouldn’t say split down the middle, but there were some people who were like, ‘This is crazy, but it makes me laugh,’” said Hayes. “And then some people were like, ‘This is the biggest song I’ve ever heard.’”

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