On Wednesday, CitiPrivatePass held an intimate
QandA with the hottest duo in country music Florida Georgia Line. No more than 60 fans were seated at wooden tables decorated with flowers and mason jars. For only $25 each person in attendance had unlimited beverages and a full dinner with dessert. As if that were not enough, Ray Waddell, the Executive Director of Content & Programming for Touring and Live Entertainment, Billboard moderated a question and answer session with Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley for about an hour. Questions were also pulled from Twitter and then asked directly by the fans in attendance.
After introductions, the guys gave a little background on how they met, with them jokingly not remembering correctly if it was Christian Mingle.com “where BK had a great profile” or Farmers United. In actuality, they met at Belmont where they began writing songs together. The guys said some of the best advice they ever got was from Don Schlitz (if you don’t know who he is, look him up) who said once at Belmont “there is a
song in every conversation, all you need to do is listen.”
They began performing together and spoke of how they roughed it: taking baby wipe showers & living out of Brian’s Tahoe, which wasn't all that bad because it had a DVD player in it. They played little places in Nashville such as the Hotel Indigo. And as to who took on which role on stage? Well, they said, it just fell into place naturally.
Their real big break came on the Country Throwdown Tour where they gained a "mental toughness" playing only 5-6 songs on a side stage. But soon it was obvious that that side stage was where everyone wanted to be. They not only played a great set, but they would stay after for 2hours signing autographs and meeting fans in a heat that would give either parties heatstroke. They mentioned their gratitude to Corey Smith and Colt Ford as artists they opened for who gave them a chance. And of this fast rise to fame they had this year? They said they never expected all that they have & they are extremely blessed.
Earlier this month, FGL won CMA Vocal Duo of the Year and Single of the Year for Cruise' which has sold over 6 million downloads. This was far from where they were two years ago when they downed a few shots and snuck into the awards. Ray spoke of how a lot of people in the industry take shots at FGL, but “you guys are really pioneers”. He noted how they truly developed a sound all their own while writing and playing the type of music they want. Music fans have wanted something different and these guys have delivered. As Ray said, "no doubt, these guys will be ones we are all still talking about in 20 years." Their first three singles hit #1 and their current single "Stay" is poised to do the same as well as be remixed for pop radio.
Brian and Tyler than answered some fun questions such as where is the oddest place you have singed an autograph. They said boobs are “typical” so the oddest place would have to be a forehead. Their favorite tattoos: Brian’s is on his right arm “music is healing" and Tyler’s is one on his back, a Bible verse that has to do with his Dad. He certainly spoke the truth when he said “you see tattoos are addictive” as he showed off his ink. They were proud to say that from day one til now they still run their twitters and tweet themselves (except when it gets very busy). Tyler admitted BK is better at Twitter then he is, but they both love to see the fans post photos.
In their downtime, Brian likes to bow hunt and fish. Tyler likes to ride his motorcycle. They really don’t have a big long rider for shows they just really need a place to exercise, maybe ride a bike and healthy food. They also said the one person they would like to collaborate with is rapper Lil' Wayne. As time was running out, they answered a few more questions such as what their favorite song to play live was. 'Cruise' wins hands down because of the way "you guys react, the fans go nuts."
Everyone in attendance got a parting gift of a cookbook and a copy of the Here's to The Good Times cd. As a surprise everyone also had quick photo with the guys. After, the duo had to bolt to Times Square to perform for the Billboard 10th Anniversary Touring Conference Concert which benefitted Musicians On Call. Many of the fans who were at Hill Country for this special event were going in the same direction to see FGL do what they do best on stage at the Best Buy Theater.
Follow FGL on Twitter: @FLAGALine
Follow Brian on Twitter: @PlayBkPlay
Follow Tyler on Twitter: @THubbmusic
Plugged In is a brand spankin' new feature here at TDC where we give you a listen to artists on our radar who we think are poised to do great things.