Interview: Tyler Hubbard talks new album 'Strong', starting over solo and what's up next (2024)

It’s not always easy to go from being part of one of the most successful duos in country to striking out on your own, but Tyler Hubbard seems to be going from strength to strength.

Formerly the Georgia half of Florida Georgia Line, with 18 number one singles and three platinum selling albums to their name as a duo, in 2023 he released his self-titled solo debut album. The record spawned hits ‘5 Foot 9’ (a tribute to Hubbard’s wife Hayley) and ‘Dancin’ In The Country’, and now he’s back with the follow-up, ‘Strong’, due for release tomorrow.

Ahead of the album’s release, I spoke to Tyler about the process of making the record, how he’s finding life as a solo artist, his memories of playing at C2C back in 2015, what the rest of this year holds for him and much more.

You’re about to release your new album ‘Strong’ – what can you tell us about it?

Well, it’s a fun album. I’m really excited about it. I’m proud of it. And it’s been a lot of fun to record. I’ve started playing a few of the songs live and they’re really working live. So it’s exciting. It’s a lot of fun. And I can’t wait to have the whole project out. We’ve put three or four songs out already off the project so people can get a little taste of what’s to come. But songs that I’m really proud of. And yeah, hope the world loves it.

How have you found that fans are responding to the new songs? Are there any where people’s responses have maybe surprised you or that you weren’t expecting?

I think I was hopeful that they would love it. And they would respond the way they have. And it’s been really positive and fun. And you can just tell that they’re connecting with it, you know, they’re resonating with it, and they’re enjoying the new sounds and the new tempos. A lot of these songs on this album were literally created to play live. And so it’s kind of the last phase of the process, getting to take them to the road and show the world what we’ve been working on in the studio. And, yeah, like I said, it’s just stuff I’m really proud of. And it makes it really worth all the effort and energy and work when you get to play ’em live and watch the people connect the way they have been.

You’ve mentioned writing a bit already and I know you wrote a lot of this album out on the road. How did that feed into the way that you wrote, especially compared to previous projects where you approached the writing more like a nine-to-five job?

Yeah, I would say it impacted it in a really cool way. It feels like the fans gave me the energy and content to write. This album was slightly reverse engineered. Like I would literally play a show… I played a lot of shows last year and brought songwriters out with me most of the weekends. So I would play a show, myself and the songwriters I had out would watch the show, watch the fans, really take a lot of notes on what they were connecting with, and maybe what was missing in the set. And then we’d go straight to the bus and start writing, and so when those go hand in hand, when you’re playing shows every night and writing songs during the day, you can’t help but pull from the fans, right? Pull their energy, pull their enthusiasm. Last year was kind of the first time I got to meet my fans for the first time, and feel that connection. And so a lot of that was taken back to the bus and back to the studio and written about. So I hope they know that. I hope they feel that. And I’m really grateful to have fans that pour into me and support me that way they do and help me create albums like this.

Interview: Tyler Hubbard talks new album 'Strong', starting over solo and what's up next (1)

Were there any songs that you found particularly easy or particularly challenging in terms of the writing with this album?

Good question. I feel like most of the songs on the album were, like I said, they were written on the road on a bus. And for the most part, it was fairly seamless. So some songs were maybe a little more difficult. But for the most part, I’m really blessed to be surrounded by incredible songwriters that bring their A game and they bring great ideas to the table. And it’s just sort of up to us to put the puzzle pieces together, and some days that’s a little harder than others. But for the most part, getting to work with the writers that I get to work with, it all feels really fun, and not always easy, but a lot of times fairly easy. And so, songwriting is that craft that is never the same, and some days are just really difficult and some days are not. And so you live for the days that aren’t and the days that are make the ones that aren’t that much more special. So a lot of these songs were born on days where were just flowing and it just felt like it was falling from the sky.

I also wanted to ask you about ”73 Beetle’ which is your only solo write on the project. Can you tell us a little bit more about that song?

Yeah. That was a fun song to write. I make it a personal challenge to try to write a song or two every year by myself, just to make sure that I can still do it. And yeah, that was just one of those personal songs. It was a really a true story highlighting and showcasing the one of the things that really takes me back to times with my dad, memories that I have with him. And it’s this car that we worked on for years. And so yes, it holds a special place in my heart. And when I wrote this song, I’m sure I never thought it would be on an album or anything like that. But it just felt like it called for this type of song, almost as a second cousin, if you will, to ‘Miss My Daddy’ which was on the first album, and just kind of a continuation of that story and letting people in on what that dynamic and relationship was like.

The other song I wanted to ask about was ‘Wish You Would’ which you released a few weeks ago now and which is the first song on the album. Tell us more about that and why you chose to make it the opening song…

Yeah. Definitely one of my favourite songs on the album, it’s unique in its sound and tempo and kind of pulls some inspiration… itt’s got like an 80s undertone, you know, kind of an 80s pop undertone, but just a really fun song to play live. It’s really upbeat, and there’s not a lot like it in our genre, and not anything like it I’ve ever done. So it just felt like something I really wanted to do, something fun and yeah, I guess that’s about it for that song. [laughs]

Did you have a clear vision for how you wanted to structure the album when you were putting it together?

Yeah, it was a little bit of a challenge. I think it usually is, when you’re putting together a project. You want it to kind of flow, you want it to be in the same family. And I write a bunch of songs every year. So really, my approach is just write, write, write. And then when it comes time to make an album, go through all the songs and figure out which ones may serve the album the best, and which ones – you know, what do I want to say? What do I want to sound like? What do I want to play live? And so it’s hard. It’s pretty easy to narrow it down to like, 30 or so. But when you get down to that, then you’re dealing with a lot of good songs, and it’s a good problem to have. But it does become a challenge at times. And I lean on my team quite a bit. I tried to pull my biases out of the equation and just try to pick the best songs for me that I can and let the others live a life somewhere else.

You also co-produced the album with Jordan Schmidt – how was it working with him?

It was awesome. Jordan is just an incredible producer. I’ve worked with Jordan for a long time on the songwriting side, but but as a producer, my debut album was the first time I worked with him. And so it just made sense. I’ve really enjoyed the process that we have. And I really trust Jordan a lot. So that was important. And I just felt like he was the man for the job for the second album as well. And we just had a lot of fun, and it’s become really efficient and effective. And I love what he does, and getting to co-produce and he’s he’s really open to ideas that I may have. And I just feel like we’re a good team. And so it’s just fun to to create with him.

Was there anything you learned in the process of making this album that you’re going to apply to other projects in the future?

Hmmm. Good question. You know, I don’t know if I learned anything that I’ll take with me other than just really again continuing to learn to trust the process, to trust my producer to trust the players and to kind of give them creative freedom. We usually go in with pretty good demos to these tracking sessions. But these Nashville studio musicians are next level and it’s really fun to not over-manage them and just give them the creative freedom to bring these songs to life in a way that they’re that they’re hearing or envisioning. And so a lot of times it’s exactly what Jordan and I are hearing and and so there’s a lot of freedom and being able to kind of take that weight off your shoulders and say, “man, we got some of the best in the business in here. Let’s let them do their thing.” And when it comes to singing the records, I’ll do my thing and we’ll just make a great song together.

We’ve already talked a bit about the live shows and I know you’ve been on tour in Canada and you’ll be heading out with Kane Brown as well – so what’s a typical Tyler Hubbard live show like?

Ah! Well, it’s a pretty good time, I ain’t gonna lie, it’s pretty high energy. I think there’s moments of the show where we can really strip it down a bit and connect and get vulnerable and real and relate to the audience. But ultimately, it’s just an hour and a half of connecting with the fans, and having a good time and playing songs and telling stories and having some drinks and just letting loose. And I think my hope with my live show is that when people leave, they want to come back because they feel joy, they feel like we just had fun. Maybe they’ve forgotten the rest of the world for an hour and a half or so. And I think that’s kind of the beauty of live music and what it has the power to do. And it’s really cool when you have a big room full of people just all on the same page and all singing the same song and feeling the same emotions and it’s just special. So I think it’s one of my favourite parts of the process.

Have there been any songs you’ve particularly enjoyed playing live recently?

I’m gonna go with ‘Wish You Would’ on that one. It’s been really fun to play live, it’s really, we’ve never played anything like that. And so it’s been fun to see how it goes over and watch the band really get familiar with it. And then it’s also got a lot of lyrics. So it’s been challenging to learn all the lyrics, but it’s also again, it’s just a fun challenge and a fun song to play.

Yes, I saw the video on Instagram of you and your team trying to learn all the words…

It’s a lot. It’s a lot.

You were saying earlier about feeling like you’re getting to meet your fans for the first time, so I wanted to ask how you’ve found the experience of being a solo artist? Is it strange going back to the beginning in a way or have you actually found it quite refreshing and rejuvenating in a way?

Yeah, it’s exactly that. It’s been super rejuvenating and energising and a lot of fun. You know, I think I’m getting to take it back to a lot of the same rooms and clubs and places that I fell in love with playing live shows the first time. And so it’s given us new life and new energy. There’s something intimate and really cool about the smaller venues. I think they’re even more special than the bigger venues to be honest. I wish we could fit as many people in there as we can in arenas, but it’s just special. You know, it’s intimate and really cool. And you feel like you can really connect on a deeper level with the fans. And like this year, for example, is really fun, because it’s going to be a pretty dynamic year live show wise, you know, with being out on the Kane Brown tour and then doing some festivals in the summer. And then I’ll be headlining in the fall, probably some theatres and larger clubs and stuff like that. So it’ll be a very diverse live experience this year, which keeps me and the band excited.

I also wanted to ask you about the last time you were over in the UK performing at C2C back in 2015. What are your memories from that trip?

Oh wow. It’s all a little bit blurry. But I definitely had a good time. And I remember the fans being passionate, and I’ve heard that they’ve only become more passionate about country music in the UK. I love being in the UK. And I’m excited to come back and share this new music. And obviously, it’ll be from a different perspective and a solo dynamic. And so I’m just excited to come kind of reconnect with fan base there. And yeah, it’s a special place. I actually was there in London last year. I went and saw the last Elton John concert in London. So it was really special. And it took me back to when we played the O2, and it kind of was nostalgic going back and getting to see Elton John, and it made me kind of have the itch to get back over there and start playing some shows.

What’s still on your bucket list in terms of people you’d want to work with, places you’d want to play and so on?

You know, I just want to keep writing songs and putting out great records you know. And building the fans. I think one of my goals is to get out of the country and continue to build markets outside of the US, and be in the UK and be in Australia and be in Canada and build in Mexico. And I just think, thanks to streaming, there’s a lot of people listening to country music now. And it opens up the doors for us to get out of our box a bit, and do things that are a little bit out of our norm. And so I’m just excited to keep pushing the boundaries and exploring the world and connecting with fans, and making great records and collaborations. I’m excited to get back into doing that. I’ve kind of taken some time off from collaborating with other artists. And I’ve always loved making music with friends and collaborating. So yeah, that’s probably in the future as well, at some point. But yeah, I’m just gonna keep my head down and take it one day at a time.

Are there any songs you’re particularly proud of, either as an artist of as a writer?

One song? That’s really hard. You know, this one comes to mind. And it’s not a song I recorded. But as a songwriter, I think one of my proudest moments is having Jason Aldean record ‘You Make It Easy’, which is a song I was a part of writing on. And, you know, at the time, it was something that was really different for Jason. And I thought he did a really good job with it. And I thought it was a big song for him. And so as a songwriter, that was something I was really proud of. And still am, I hear it come on the radio still. And it makes me smile and feel proud. So that’s one of those special songs for sure.

What does the rest of the year look like for you? Is the album and touring going to be the main focus?

Yeah, just a lot of touring. I’m out with Kane Brown in the spring. There’s some festivals in the summer and then headline in the fall. So like I said, it’s a pretty dynamic year, a lot of shows. I’ll probably start working on another album later in the year. And just keep things rockin’. That’s the plan.

Lastly – have you got any plans to come over to the UK at any point soon?

I should probably know my schedule a little better than I do. But I don’t think there’s anything on the books at the moment. But I’ve definitely been telling the team, “hey, let’s let’s find a window and get back over there soon and play some shows.” So hopefully sooner than later.

Tyler Hubbard’s new album ‘Strong’ is out Friday 12th April on Hubbard House Records/UMG Recordings.

Interview: Tyler Hubbard talks new album 'Strong', starting over solo and what's up next (2024)


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Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley wrote many of Florida Georgia Line's best-known songs and penned hits for other artists, including Jason Aldean's “Burnin' It Down” and Cole Swindell's “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight.” They also launched their own label (Round Here Records) and song publishing firm (Tree Vibez Music), ...

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Tyler Hubbard is the debut solo studio album by American country music singer Tyler Hubbard.

Does Florida Georgia Line still sing together? ›

They then signed with Republic Nashville, part of Big Machine Records and released Anything Goes (2014), Dig Your Roots (2016), Can't Say I Ain't Country (2019), and Life Rolls On (2021). The duo went on hiatus in 2022, at which point both members began solo careers.

Who was the lead singer of Florida Georgia Line? ›

The longtime lead singer of Florida Georgia Line is launching a solo career and just dropped his first album.

Why did Florida Georgia Line stop singing together? ›

We're being artists. We love creating. And so a couple years back, we started writing without each other and trying different writers, and now we're both doing that with our music." Hubbard said "taking a break" is the "proper term, as opposed to breaking up."

Why did Brian Kelly leave Florida Georgia Line? ›

Brian Kelley and his Florida Georgia Line partner, Tyler Hubbard, have previously remained fairly tight-lipped on the specific reasons why they decided to take a break, with the general impetus being credited to Kelley's desire to embark on a solo career.

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The most popular album by Tyler, The Creator is IGOR with a total of 12.8M page views.

What is Tyler's best selling album? ›

IGOR, released in May 2019, marked Tyler The Creator's evolution as an artist. The album's experimental sound and deeply personal lyrics resonated with audiences, propelling it to double platinum status with over 2 million units sold.

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Hubbard, of course, has been involved in Nashville's songwriting and publishing community since the beginning of his career, as a writer not only nearly all of the songs he's recorded as a solo artist and as part of FGL, but also hits recorded by Jason Aldean (“You Make It Easy”), Little Big Town (“Hell Yeah”), and ...

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Yes! Florida Georgia Line I Love My Country tour dates for 2024 are available now. The tour kicks off in Sept.

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Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley's Drama Through the Years. Florida Georgia Line bandmates Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley have achieved major success in country music, but behind the scenes, it wasn't always peachy between them.

How much is Florida Georgia Line worth? ›

Florida Georgia Line Net Worth: $50 Million.

Is Tyler Hubbard done with Florida Georgia Line? ›

News that Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, the latter a Volusia County native and son of former Volusia County Council Chair Ed Kelley, had decided to pursue solo careers burned up the internet about a year ago, following the duo's final official performance together on Aug. 31, 2022.

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Brittney Cole

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Tyler Hubbard is loving every moment of being a girl dad. On Friday, the Florida Georgia Line singer, 35, shared a sweet photo on Instagram with his 4-year-old daughter Olivia Rose after taking her out on a daddy-daughter date.

What songs did HARDY write for Florida Georgia Line? ›

Hardy also co-wrote Florida Georgia Line's singles "Simple" and "Talk You Out of It", Blake Shelton's singles "God's Country" and "Hell Right", "Drop" by Dallas Smith, Chris Lane's single "I Don't Know About You", and Jameson Rodgers' debut single "Some Girls".

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Florida Georgia Line, "Like You Never Had It"

Wallen wrote this track with Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, as well as Mark Holman.

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He was a co-writer of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" which topped Billboard Hot Country Songs.

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Alabama's main members — Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook — wrote or co-wrote a significant amount of material in their catalogue, which was considered unusual for country musicians at that time. Contributing songwriter Greg Fowler is credited on 72 Alabama songs, followed by Ronnie Rogers at 68.


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