Tyler Hubbard Talks Self-Titled Debut Album And How The Florida Georgia Line Split "Impacted" His Artistry
Tyler Hubbard's debut solo album proves that he's more than one-half of Florida Georgia Line.
The multi-platinum artist joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 to discuss his recently (Jan. 27) released record and how pursuing a career separate from his former bandmate Brian Kelley has impacted his craft.
Hubbard had a hand in writing and producing all 18-tracks on his solo project, which includes his No.1 hit "5 Foot 9" and chart-climbing track "Dancin' In The Country." As an independent artist signed to EMI Records Nashville, the vocalist has already received a taste of success. The platinum-certified love song "5 Foot 9" has already accumulated 289M global streams and the second best-selling country EP debut of 2022.
Hubbard explained that venturing away from Florida Georgia Line was a musical risk that many doubted, but a business decision that paid off in his favor.
"There was people I highly respect that said, 'Man, I don't know if this is the right decision.' I thought, well, ultimately, it wasn't my decision to make. It's already been made for me, and I got to do what's best for me at this point and make lemonade out of lemons," pointing out that Kelley made the initial move to call it quits. "Sitting back now, a year later, I'm looking back and thinking, 'man, that was supposed to happen. We're in a better place, where I'm really thankful and grateful that all of it went down. I definitely had those people that were close to me, even, that just said, "Man, how can you walk away from FGL?" So, yeah, it's been challenging, but also very fun."
Hubbard mentioned that paving his own lane in the country space has significantly alerted his artistry. The well-rounded collection embodies Hubbard's growth – not just as a songwriter, but as a person. Listeners will find that Hubbard placed his heart on the line to channel his vulnerability. "Miss My Daddy" is a tribute to his late father, who died in a helicopter crash, while "35" is a refreshing promise to live life to the fullest. The mainstream-country hitmaker has single-handedly transformed into a deep-rooted storyteller with untold wisdom to share.
"It's changed the dynamic. It's changed the content of what I'm singing about a lot of times. There's still a lot of FGL-centric songs that are still real to who I am, but there's a lot more to who I am that I'm getting to explore and getting to introduce," he told the outlet. "10 years ago I was a guy with nothing to lose. Me, my best friend, and my roommate at the time – we were just like, 'Let's chase a dream.' The dynamic has shifted now. I'm a dad of three, I'm a husband, and life has drastically changed, and for the better. It's just been fun to now get to have a redo and do this all over again with a whole new support system."
Although the singer didn't have his bandmate to lean on, Hubbard said he wasn't fully alone and created a reliable team that pushed his musical boundaries.
"It was definitely new and different, and not having that extra security blanket, maybe, to bounce ideas off of, or questions. But at the same time, I still have a great team around me," uttered the seasoned artist. "I was surrounded by great players and an amazing producer, Jordan Schmidt – who became my sounding board. As we introduce this, who am I? What does Tyler Hubbard sound like? And what is my story, and how do we want to roll this album out? So to have a lot of close friends who I value as writers, and also a great producer, really made that pretty seamless," he added.
Hubbard revealed that this form of self-discovering "re-energized" him.
"I think it's just re-energized me. It's given me a rebirth of creativity. And it's also been a self-discovery journey and a process for me. So I would say I've learned a lot about myself and really who I am and what I want to say and where I came from," he noted. "It's forced me into looking a little deeper, looking within, and getting to... with an effort and an intention to get to show that to the world, and connect with people on a deeper level. So I think that's something valuable. Whether it's within music or anything you do, I think human connection is invaluable, and I'm really cherishing that at this moment."
Georgia native is slated to make his solo late-night television debut on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Following the performance, he will headline his sold-out show at New York's Bowery Ballroom.