Hayden Jack River was born on 13 September 1993 in Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland. His parents, Christopher and Kathleen River, divorced when he was eleven years old, so he lived with their mother for a year. After spending a year apart from their father, he later decided to move in with him.
Hayden tried to play the guitar that his father bought for Christmas but was not able to play it. River, then aged 14, taught himself how to play the guitar by following YouTube tutorials. His aunt discovered his talent one day when she was in the car with River as he started singing. She originally thought the radio was on.
When he turned eighteen, he moved to the city of Glasgow to attend the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland which specialised in the performing arts. His sole focus was on music. There, he learned to play more than just the guitar and put his soul into mastering the instruments. Hayden also learned to compose, the production side of releasing music and songwriting. He was also able to continue to improve his vocal abilities.
In his final year at the academy, Hayden was co-composed one of the ends of year productions. He composed a full theatre score with his then best friend, Jordan. Together, with a live band, they performed the score over a course of four nights and earned special recognition for it. Within the first year of leaving the academy, Jordan passed away from Cancer and Hayden released the score in honour of his friend, using the money raised as a donation to Cancer Research.
After a long successful career with his bandmates (Harry, Liam and Louis) he went on to have a solo career. Writing and producing all of his own music. He still composes musical scores for certain projects and plans to do it as a career when he feels like retiring from being a pop artist. He also sells songs that he has written but does not plan to ever record.