Following two critically acclaimed EPs, country hitmaker HARDY made a grand re-entry to the scene with a mixtape, which features 17 of his all-star friends, on Friday.
Produced by Joey Moi and Derek Wells, the tape, aptly titled HIXTAPE VOL. 1, was originally supposed to be a four-song EP. However, HARDY’s success writing tracks like Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Simple” and his own hit “Rednecker” made him one of the hottest new faces in country music, and stars came from all direction to join the project.
HARDY; Cover Art by @somehoodlum
“The more we kept asking people and taking chances, people kept saying ‘yes,’ and it just became this this really cool thing,” HARDY explained. “The spectrum is really broad, and I think there’s something for every type of country fan on the record.”
The project stands out from anything else in the genre right now, with HARDY bringing the mixtape format made popular by pop artists like Charli XCX to the country music mainstream. The CMA-nominated songwriter collaborated with everyone on the country scene from Keith Urban and Lauren Alaina to the likes of Dustin Lynch and Jake Owen, introducing new creative approach to the country scene.
“Eighty percent of them are my friends,” The Mississippi native said of features on the project. “We have everyone from Devin Dawson to Joe Diffie, and everything in between.”
The rising star dropped two songs off the mixtape ahead of its release, “Nothin’ Out Here” featuring Thomas Rhett and “He Went to Jared” featuring Morgan Wallen, with the latter track already having received early acclaim from critics.
“I think it’s a perfect representation of who I am as an artist,” the musical mastermind said. “My personal goal is that this does really, and that other artists hear this and want to be on the next one, to which I would reply, ‘absolutely.’”
HARDY HIXTAPE VOL. 1 Track List:
“Boy From the South” featuring Cole Swindell and Dustin Lynch
(Matt Dragstrem, Michael Hardy and Brett Tyler)“He Went to Jared” featuring Morgan Wallen
(Michael Hardy, Chase McGill and Morgan Wallen)“Redneck Tendencies” featuring Trace Adkins and Joe Diffie
(Michael Hardy, Brian Kelley, Ernest K. Smith and Ben Stennis)“Nothin’ Out Here” featuring Thomas Rhett
(Michael Hardy, Ben Hayslip and Jimmy Yeary)“My Kinda Livin’” featuring Hunter Phelps and Jameson Rodgers
(Michael Hardy, Cameron Montgomery and Hunter Phelps)“No Place Like Hometown” featuring Keith Urban and Hillary Lindsey
(Michael Hardy, Mark Holman and Hillary Lindsey)“Something a ‘Lil Stronger” featuring Mitchell Tenpenny and Jon Langston
(Bart Butler, Michael Hardy, Jake Mitchell and Brett Tyler)“What They Make Backroads For” featuring Tracy Lawrence and Jake Owen
(Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt and Josh Thompson)“Turn You Down” featuring Morgan Wallen and Zakk Wylde
(Ben Burgess, Jacob Durrett, Michael Hardy and Morgan Wallen)“One Beer” featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson
(Michael Hardy, Hillary Lindsey and Jake Mitchell)
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