The genre “Bro-Country” has become the unofficial term to describe the whiskey-drinking, pickup-truck-driving, cutoff-shorts-wearing country anthems that currently rule the radio.
Whether it's a term of endearment or criticism, there's no doubt that Florida Georgia Line counterparts Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard have become the poster boys of the party.
The multiplatinum duo will crash a sold-out Parkview Field on Thursday with their “This Is How We Roll” baseball park tour featuring rapper Nelly and Chris Lane, who is currently recording his first album with producer Joey Moi, a driving force behind the success of Florida Georgia Line's 2012 debut album, “Here's to the Good Times.”
“Country music is lifestyle – it's about life,” Kelley said from his home in Nashville. “You can't fit 30 songs on an album, so you just put the best ones on there that make sense, that tell a story about where you're at in your life. That's what ‘Here's To The Good Times' was about.”
“People can label it whatever they want but, apparently, a lot of people are enjoying it.”
“Here's To The Good Times” has fueled a series of consecutive hits with gold record-certified “Round Here,” platinum-certified “Get Your Shine On” and six-time platinum record, “Cruise,” which surpassed Lady Antebellum's “Need You Now” as the top selling country digital song of all time with more than 6.3 million downloads, aided by the remix with Nelly, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The three consecutive No. 1 hits put them in the company of one other country duo – Brooks and Dunn.
Not bad for two guys who met as students at Nashville's Belmont University. Kelley from Ormond Beach, Florida, and Hubbard from Monroe, Georgia, started songwriting together between classes and playing local clubs. The pair wrote half of the songs that made it to their debut album, winning a BMI Pop Award for writing the “Cruise” remix.
“Tyler and I worked really hard on that album. From every word, to melody, to hook,” Kelley says. “With us and Joey Moi, our team argued over one word or one line for two-week stretches until we figured out what the best one was. I think that's why this album has had so much success. Nothing was overlooked – we didn't have a song you wanted to skip. ”
Halfway through recording the sophomore album, Kelley says he doesn't feel any pressure for this album to live up to “Here's To The Good Times.”
“It's going to be awesome. I can't wait for everybody to hear it,” he says. “Our producer Joey Moi has gotten better and he's really challenging us to sing better, write better and then it goes full circle with performance.”
Until then, the two are keeping busy racking up a number of single and breakthrough awards. The two were awarded Duo Video of the Year for “Round Here” and Collaborative Video of the Year for “This Is How We Roll” featuring Luke Bryan.
Kelley says that collaborating in and outside of the country genre is what makes the music fun for the two and brings a new crop of country fans.
“Luke (Bryan) is always a good time; he's one of my best friends, and when you add Jason Derulo (who is featured on the new remix for ‘This is How We Roll') to the mix, it's that much more of a party. It was a blessing to make music with all those guys,” he says.
“Music is fun and I think as country artists, if we didn't embrace things like that, we're not doing ourselves justice and we're not doing our fans justice. I think people like something that's a little different and that's we have always strived to do – create songs that won't sound like anything else on the radio,” he says.