The story of Hardy's first single, "Rednecker," begins in a cabin in Colorado -- and almost ended with the track being cut by Blake Shelton. Read on to learn the whole story, in the songwriter-turned-artist's own words.

It was January of 2018. A bunch of songwriters, we all took a trip to Winter Park, Colo. -- just kind of huddled up in a cabin for a week and wrote songs. I believe it was the last night there, when everybody was awake, and we were all hanging out. It was like, three or four in the morning, so either really late or really early, depending on how you look at it.

Jordan Schmidt and Andy [Albert] and I were sitting off in a corner, and we were laughing about something. One of the guys said, "I'm rednecker than you." We were just going on and on about something stupid, and kept saying that.

There's a thing with songwriters, where, if somebody says something either profound or very unique, and they say it loud enough to hear -- if you're in a room with a bunch of songwriters, you'll always catch another person looking around to see if anybody heard it. It's a really funny thing. So anyway, we kinda laughed, and then we all got real serious for a second, and we were like, "Oh s--t, we need to go write that, right now."

We actually went upstairs in the cabin -- didn't take an acoustic guitar or anything. We were just so excited to write the lyrics to see what we could make of it, and we ended up writing the entire lyric that night, probably in about 30 minutes. We wrote it with no music, no guitar. We had a little bit of melody in the chorus, but literally, I've been telling people that we wrote it like a Dr. Seuss poem.

And the whole time we were writing it, we were like, "This is the dumbest thing." We thought it was really cool and unique, but at the same time, we didn't have any music to it, so we just didn't know what to think of it. Once we turned it into the music, it was like a rock song, you know? We were like, "Wow, this is something special."

At the time, I hadn't thought about signing a record deal yet, so we sent it out to be pitched, and a few people put it on hold. Actually, there was a label that wanted it for [Blake Shelton], and by the time it got to him, I had signed my record deal and started talking about songs.

I had to call my buddies up and say, "Hey, this label wants the song, but I really think this could be a career song for me, and I would like y'all's blessing for us to tell them no and for me to cut it." And thankfully, they're such cool guys, and such good friends, that they said, "Absolutely." So we went back to the label and told them that I was gonna keep it for myself.

And we cut it and honestly didn't plan on having a single at country radio until we put out a lot more music, but it just kind of raised its hand after, like, two months, and we went straight to radio with it. It's crazy how it all worked out.

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