Hunter Hayes has spent his entire life waiting for his shot at stardom. Now that it’s finally here, he says it’s hard to wrap his mind around.

In the past 12 months, Hayes has been on several high-profile tours, including Taylor Swift‘s and Rascal Flatts‘, has played the prestigious stage of the Grand Ole Opry five times, has been featured as one of country radio’s chosen five as the New Faces to keep an eye on, and has released his debut album, which has already spawned two hit singles.

“Last year was kind of hard to understand,” Hayes tells Taste of Country with laughter. “As a new artist — I don’t care who you talk to — I think everyone would agree, it’s hard to get your expectations right. I am a big fan of being prepared. I like to know what’s going to happen. With that said, this has been my dream for my entire life. This is all I’ve ever wanted, to make a record. I want to have about 30 by the time I’m done. I want to make records and take them out on the road and play shows and get to tour and do what we’re doing now.

“But this past year has been hard to prepare for because I didn’t know what to expect,” he continues. “I don’t think there is anything you can expect … you just kind of have to go with the flow. It’s been perfect and it’s been awesome. It’s been like a movie where I’ve just kind of watched everything happen.”

As far as 2012 goes, Hayes shows no signs of putting on the brakes of his fast rise to the top. The 20-year-old is currently headlining his own Most Wanted Tour and is working his current single, ‘Wanted’ (Check out our interview with Hayes about the inspiration behind ‘Wanted’ by clicking here).

“This summer, we get to play a lot of stuff like festivals and things like that,” Hayes reveals of his plans following the Most Wanted Tour. “We’re stoked to get to play a whole year touring. Last year was kind of a mix up of radio tour and then touring with Taylor and other tours. This year’s devoted to traveling and getting the music out.”

To keep up with where Hayes will be performing live, visit his official website.