Hardy began his career behind the scenes of country music, co-penning hit songs such as Florida Georgia Line's "Simple" and Morgan Wallen's "Up Down," but the rising artist is ready for his turn as a performer in the spotlight. In October of 2018, he released his debut EP, This Ole Boy, an ode to life in the backwoods of the U.S. heartland.

Hardy (full name: Michael Hardy) comes by his small-town pride honestly: He grew up in Philadelphia, Miss., a town of about 7,500 in rural Neshoba County, and is proud to represent the life that was so important to him growing up in his music. Hardy's straight-talking subject matter, rock-inflected country sound and penchant for catchy lyrics earned him a supporting spot on Morgan Wallen's upcoming 2019 If I Know Me Tour, as well as a place in FGL's Tree Vibez family.

The country up-and-comer says he's excited -- if a little nervous -- to step into the artist role. Read to learn five things you need to know about the rising singer and his music.