Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley Says Solo Music Has Been a ‘Creative Rebirth’
"I feel like I've reconnected with my guitar and my instrument. I stopped playing with a pick, and I didn't plan on that," the singer says (quote via Everything Nash). "I just started playing a bunch this summer. [I] would walk out to our porch, and I had this smaller guitar. I could just kind of walk around carrying it and it was super easy. And then the next thing you know, I tried to play with a pick and I'm like, 'This feels crazy.' I used to play with a pick all the time and that felt really weird."
The changes in Kelley's music-making process aren't just a result of the fact that he's operating without his longtime duo partner, Tyler Hubbard. They're also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has given the singer more time than ever off the road.
"[I'm] just really enjoying trying to better myself on the guitar and play a bunch of different songs I never learned before, and just try to work on my skills a little bit," he adds. "And I think that's also helped me through quarantine and through this time help my songwriting. So I'm just excited about, kind of a creative rebirth, in a sense."
When, on New Year's Day, the duo announced their plans to release music separately, they specified that putting out solo music has been a "lifelong dream" for Kelley. However, the timing was never right for them to explore other avenues until this point in FGL's career. Kelley hasn't specified exactly what form his music will take, though he did estimate that summer 2021 might be the right time for a potential release date.
For his part, Hubbard explained during that conversation that he's exploring the possibility of some collaborations with other artists. He's since announced a forthcoming duet with Tim McGraw called "Undivided," which was inspired by national unrest and written while Hubbard was battling COVID-19 last November.
In the meantime, Hubbard and Kelley are also hard at work together on their next album under the FGL name. Their forthcoming fifth studio project, Life Rolls On, is due out in February, and has already produced hits like "I Love My Country" and "Long Live." In January, the bandmates surprised fans with another new song off the project, "New Truck."