HARDY’s got a hit, a "Hixtape," a CMA nod, and a dilemma about what to keep and what to give away

Big Loud Records

Right now, HARDY's enjoying his first top twenty-five hit as an artist with "Rednecker," while also savoring his CMA nomination for writing "God's Country" for Blake Shelton.

He spent the summer on Florida Georgia Line's Can't Say I Ain't Country Tour, and somehow found time to make his superstar-packed Hixtape Vol. 1, featuring Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, Jake Owen, Morgan Wallen, Mitchell Tenpenny, Trace Adkins, Joe Diffie, Tracy Lawrence, Lauren Alaina, Devin Dawson and more.  

HARDY also wrote Blake and Trace's hit, "Hell Right," as well as Morgan and FGL's number one, "Up Down."

So when you're an in-demand singer/songwriter, how do you decide which tunes to keep and which to give away? HARDY admits it's harder when he's in the studio.

"It's funny, because once I start cutting songs, I kind of think differently," he tells ABC Radio, "because now I just want to write really, really, really cool stuff for me."

"But it's nice to get in the room with another artist," he adds, "and just try to say what they would say, and just kind of turn just the old-school songwriter brain back on."

HARDY reveals the pull to keep songs for himself is always there, but deciding who actually ends up with a new tune is more instinctual. 

"Sometimes after we'll write a really cool song, and I'll listen to it awhile and then be like, 'This could be for me,'" he confesses.

"But for me it's more free and what comes natural, as opposed to really thinking about you know the artist and who I'm working with," he says.

Here's the complete track listing for HARDY's Hixtape Vol. 1, which is new today:

"Boy from the South" -- featuring Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch
"He Went to Jared" -- featuring Morgan Wallen
"Redneck Tendencies" -- featuring Trace Adkins and Joe Diffie
"Nothin' Out Here" -- featuring Thomas Rhett
"My Kinda Livin'" -- featuring Hunter Phelps and Jameson Rodgers
"No Place Like Hometown" -- featuring Keith Urban and Hillary Lindsey
"Something a Lil' Stronger" -- featuring Mitchell Tenpenny and Jon Langston
"What They Make Backroads For" -- featuring Tracy Lawrence and Jake Owen
"Turn You Down" -- featuring Morgan Wallen and Zakk Wylde
"One Beer" -- featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson

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