By Annie Reuter
The ACM Award-nominated “This Is How We Roll” truly was a group effort between friends. Cole Swindell and Luke Bryan, who wrote the song with Florida Georgia Line‘s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, share with us how the song came to be.
As Swindell recalls, they were all on Bryan’s Dirt Road Diaries Tour when the song took shape.
“I was in the back of the bus with Brian Kelley writing,” Swindell says with a smile. “The reason we wrote that song was because Luke, the night before, he did a little thing in his show where he was playing ‘Muckalee Creek’ and he was saying, being in the country you can shoot bullets at the moon and no one’s going to bother you. Brian Kelley said, ‘Hey, we gotta write something. Shooting bullets at the moon, I love that idea.’ And we wrote ‘This Is How We Roll’ around it.”
Swindell and Kelley had “This Is How We Roll” started by the time Bryan came in, something Bryan says is the luckiest he’s ever been as a songwriter.
“I just walked up on their bus randomly and I was up there goofing off with them and they were working on ‘This Is How We Roll.’ They said, ‘Sit down and write it with us,'” Bryan recalls of the day he joined Florida Georgia Line and Swindell in writing the song. “They had it halfway done and I was like, ‘Guys, y’all have this thing.'”
While he was hesitant at first, Bryan explains that the guys were adamant about him joining in on the writing process.
“I added my two cents and we knocked it out that day and then we worked it to where it made sense for me to have a cameo on it,” he says. “We do it live on my show and I bring Cole back out and it’s a huge stage moment, huge hit. I felt like that was just right place, right time and great friends letting a buddy in on a song with them.”
Swindell agrees with Bryan, noting the power of studying a friends’ live show and how it helped to inspire the track.
“Florida Georgia Line, as big as they are, they were watching Luke’s show. I think that’s how it should be. We’re all learning from everybody we’re around,” he says. “For Brian to catch that out at Luke’s show and then say, ‘Hey, Luke inspired this. Let’s get him in here to write it.’ He was cool with it and Luke came in and wrote it with us.”
He adds: “It’s just crazy to have two acts that are your good friends, at the top of the genre, record a song that you wrote with them. It’s big for me as a songwriter and an artist.”
Watch this year’s ACM Awards airing April 19 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.
Luke Bryan interview by Courtney Smith