Florida Georgia Line Love Creating Country Fans

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By Hannahlee Allers

Country music can be a polarizing thing — most people either love it or hate it — but the boys of Florida Georgia Line say that they love bringing new listeners to the genre.

The duo has helped take country music to the masses with their pop-heavy hits, and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley say that introducing the genre to outsiders has been one of the best parts of their job.

“It’s really special. It’s one of our favorite compliments when people come up to us and say, ‘Hey, I didn’t listen to country music, I wasn’t aware of it, I didn’t know much about it until I heard “Cruise” or the remix, and now I listen to Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett …”” Kelley tells the Huffington Post. ”And that’s cool because that’s how a lot of us got into it. Tyler and I grew up listening to everything, we don’t just love one kind of music. We’re lovers of music, period, so when we’re cooking up our music in the studio or writer’s room, we just let our influences happen naturally and organically, and throughout the process, we try to keep it fresh and have our own sound.”

Part of the reason that the duo has been able to reach an audience outside of traditional country fans is that their singles also fit well among what’s being played on pop radio, making them more palatable to a wider range of listeners. Taylor Swift has been a leading force in melding pop and country for a larger audience, and Kelley says that he applauds her recent transition to pop.

“The thing about Taylor is she’s an artist. Period. Period. Period. And that’s what’s so cool,” he says. “She’s taking chances, she’s not sounding like anything she’s ever done, she’s not putting out the same record over and over, she’s advancing. It’s a beautiful thing, and it’s inspiring a lot of other artists to do the same thing. Hell yeah, more props to Taylor, man. It doesn’t matter the genre. If you’re advancing as an artist, people are going to flock to that.”

Florida Georgia Line recently released their newest single, “Sippin’ on Fire.” They are currently in the middle of their 2015 Anything Goes Tour, which also features Rhett and Frankie Ballard. Ticket information can be found at FloridaGeorgiaLine.com.