With his new album Wild Blue (Part 1), Hunter Hayes gets a fresh start both musically and personally.

The country singer — who became a breakthrough star following the success of his self-titled debut album in 2011 that featured his signature hit "Wanted" — went through a transformation while creating the new project.

Following a tough breakup and the end of a series of professional relationships, Hayes was ready for a reboot. He scrapped the more conventional music he was working on that he wasn't entirely proud of, instead taking a deep dive into his soul for musical inspiration. Wild Blue reflects it.

“This was my chance to start over as if no one was watching,” he tells People“To me, just having this album track listing be all over the map, it’s an introduction to a person versus just an album. I feel like that’s what I dreamed about. That’s what I wanted.”

As co-writer and co-producer of the album, Hayes says he made the music "unfiltered," a result of his journey of self-discovery that comes from assessing past relationships and moving travel experiences.

“At the end of the day, I love making music unfiltered and I love being me unfiltered, and I feel like that’s part of my purpose,” he describes. “I’ve been writing more than I have ever written in my life lately. Yes, it’s music, but it’s also just a way for me to express things that I don’t really know how to figure out.”

Hayes made a surprise announcement to his fans on Wednesday (Aug. 14) that his new project would be dropping two days later ,on Friday (Aug. 16). Wild Blue (Part 1) features lead single "Heartbreak," along with "Madness" and "One Good Reason." Release dates for parts two and three have yet to be announced.

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