Country music star Katy signs publishing deal and launches whiskey with MKT Distillery

Hayden Baker may already be a household name around Katy, but he’s on his way to becoming a major country music star. Baker, 24, has signed a publishing deal with Ronnie Dunn’s Perfect Pitch publishing company, bringing him one step closer to stardom.

A graduate of Katy High School, Baker describes his music as, “If Brad Paisley played guitar to a Brooks and Dunn song.”

Baker started playing guitar eight years ago and has been singing and composing for about four years. This publishing deal, he said, will allow him to hone his songwriting abilities and advance in the industry.

“With publishing deals, essentially, you get paid to write songs,” Baker explained. “Ronnie’s deal with me is a kind of artist development.”

Dunn recognized Baker’s talent, Baker said, but also saw potential for national success. “He heard my stuff and was like, ‘You know, your guitar playing is awesome. Your singing is great. Your writing is good, but it has to be great,” Baker recalled. “And that’s kind of what this process is, am I learning to write songs and getting better at it”

Baker has been a popular star at Katy concerts and events for about five years now. He tours Texas and even has two independent albums. It was shortly after the release of his second album that Dunn reached out.

“(Dunn) had heard the record, and he was sitting down with his team, and they were looking for independent artists to sign with a publishing company,” Baker said. “They heard my stuff and said, ‘Here’s the guy, let’s get him.

Along with his new publishing deal, Baker also has a new whiskey thanks to a partnership with famed Katy MKT Distillery. Baker has been friends with MKT owners Nick and Nici Jesset since opening MKT, so the decision to collaborate was easy.

“Knowing that I grew up in Katy and was a hometown guy, they came up to me after a show and asked if I wanted to do a bourbon with them, and I said, ‘ Absolutely, let’s do it.

The whiskey has an added personal element – it’s made with well water from Baker’s grandparents’ ranch in East Texas. The whiskey is called “Hayden Baker’s Against the Grain Whiskey” in honor of Baker’s second album titled “Against the Grain”. The whiskey is currently available for purchase at MKT Distillery.

Baker’s next live performance will be at the Wildcatter Saloon in Katy on April 15 where he is headlining alongside Aaron Watson. For tickets, visit Baker’s website at

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About Florence M. Sorensen

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