HARDY is currently on the road with Florida Georgia Line, serving as the opening act on their Can't Say I Ain't Country Tour. Although HARDY is getting used to performing in front of large crowds night after night, he still remembers one embarrassing moment with Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley when things didn't go quite as planned.
"So, I go out and do 'Y'all Boys' with FGL every night," HARDY recalled to All Access. "One night, I'm walking off stage and BK was just like, 'Hey HARDY, why don't you shotgun a beer?' They had a cooler full of beer on the stage, so there's one right there. This is in the middle of a show. So, I walk over there and grab a beer, and then they go into, 'Confession.' I'm standing on the stage with a beer – my moment is over. My time to shine is over, and they're going into a different song.
"I'm just standing there with a beer in the middle of the stage, and then I realized I didn't have anything to open the bottom of the beer with except a lighter," he continued. "So I pulled my lighter out of my pocket and just smashed it as hard as I could, and [the beer] busted and got all over me. After the show I told BK, 'Way to put me on the spot there, brother. So, the next night I walked out there with one [beer] in my back pocket and, at the end of "Y'all Boys," I pulled it out and I shotgunned it. I needed that for me [laughs]."
The rising star is good friends with both of the Florida Georgia Line guys, and has known them since both Hubbard and Kelley were students at Belmont University.
"I met them a long time ago when they were still at Belmont, before 'Cruise,' and all that came out," HARDY recalled. "My sister was actually friends with them at Belmont. She introduced me to them. I kind of hit it off with them back in the day, and then 'Cruise' happened and they were gone. They were superstars, and I lost contact with them. Then I was writing songs in town and they reached back out to me and were like, 'Hey, we remember you.' Tyler especially was like, 'Hey, I just want to reach out and let you know I've got my eye on you. It's cool that you got a publishing deal and you're doing the thing.' After that, they had me out to write a couple songs with them on tour and we reconnected and re-hit it off.
"After that, they pretty much had me out for two full tours, Dig your Roots and Smooth," he added. "I was out for almost the entire [time on] both of those tours, just writing. Tyler kind of pushed me in the direction of being an artist, which is cool. They had me sing on 'Y'all Boys, which is really cool ... They've done a lot for me, and I wrote a lot of songs for their most recent record. 'Simple' and 'Up Down' were my first two number ones, so they've helped a lot."
HARDY might have started out as a songwriter, but he's proud to be able to both write and sing his own songs – something he didn't even envision until the last few years.0comments
"I really didn't find my voice until probably four or five years ago," HARDY told PopCulture.com. "You really do have to learn; I mean some people are just born with it and they literally come out just literally just singing like an angel. But it took me a while to find my voice, even after I had signed a publishing deal. I go back and listen to old demos, and I just don't even sound the same as I do now. And so I would definitely say that I was, my true passion and just my true whatever was songwriting first and then singer second."
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Frazer Harrison