Florida Georgia Line cruises in for Faster Horses FestivalWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida Georgia Line is riding up the charts again with “Cruise” thanks to a remix featuring Nelly.
The new version accelerated to No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
“We had some pop radio stations approaching us to come up with a different version of ‘Cruise’ that they could play, and [Nelly’s] name got thrown out there,” said Brian Kelley.
“We’re obviously huge fans of Nelly and have been for years. It’s an honor to have him on the track. He killed it and brought it to another level and gave it another life. It’s been unreal to be able to work with him, just incredible.”
Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are fans of many genres.
“We grew up listening to everything — obviously country is our roots, but R&B, hip-hop, rap, rock, Christian music,” Kelley said. “Everything we’ve always listened to is an influence of ours, so when we’re writing and listening for songs, we’re drawing from a lot of different places.”
And fans are digging it. Last year was a breakout year for the duo, which scored a No. 1 country song with “Cruise” from its debut, “Here’s to the Good Times.”
This year, Florida Georgia Line topped the Billboard Country Airplay chart again with “Get Your Shine On” and won two Academy of Country Music Awards for new vocal duo or group of the year and new artist of the year, and two CMT Music Awards for duo video of the year and breakthrough video of the year for “Cruise.”
“It’s been a crazy ride. It’s been a blast; we’re having the time of our lives out here on the road,” Kelley said during a call from a tour stop in Clarksburg, W.Va. “It shows a testament to our amazing fans and how loyal they are and how much they believe in our music and us as individuals. It’s just a special time.
“We’re selling out shows left and right. It’s something that we’ve dreamed of for a long time, and for it to happen this fast makes you realize we can’t take anything for granted.”
The two singer-songwriter-guitarists met at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
“We just hit it off immediately,” Kelley recalled. “I think from the start, it was kind of a package thing. We liked hanging out, we liked writing songs, we wrote cool songs together and we sounded pretty good together.
“So to us, it was kind of one of those things where we’re better together than we are separate, so that’s where Florida Georgia Line was born.”
Kelley, who hails from Ormond Beach, Fla., and Hubbard, who grew up in Monroe, Ga., had a couple lean years after college.
“We did a lot of different things, anything we could do here or there to earn a dollar to pay the bills. We did anything from remodeling golf carts to putting up bathroom stalls, cutting grass, washing cars,” Kelley said.
It’s no wonder the guys crank up the fun and country boy charm in their music with songs that include “Tip It Back,” “Hell Raisin’ Heat of the Summer” and “Party People.”
“If you listen to our album, songs one through 11, you’re going to get to know Tyler and I really, really well,” Kelley said.
Florida Georgia Line will bring that party to the Faster Horses Festival at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. The duo will take the main stage at 6:30 p.m. July 20. Tickets for the three-day event are $170. Also slated to play are Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley. See the lineup at fasterhorsesfestival.com.
When he gets a day off, Kelley slides behind the wheel of his blue and silver SUV.
“I do as little as possible and probably turn my phone off and drive around town in my Blazer with the top off and listening to music and just chilling out,” he said. “That’s my favorite thing to do, just drive around Nashville in the country on some back roads and just hang out and listen to music.”