” I want every song I sing to be the best, whether I wrote it or not.” – Morgan Wallen

There is a possibility that not every country music fan is familiar with the name Morgan Wallen.  But if you listen to country radio, we are pretty sure you know his debut single, “The Way I Talk”. The song is the title track of his debut EP, which was digitally released this summer, and has logged more than 3 million plays on Spotify. Morgan will be heading out on tour with Florida Georgia Line, opening for them on select dates, during their 2017 Dig Your Roots Tour.

We had an interview scheduled with Morgan, but discovered just seconds into it that this was not going to be your typical question and answer session.  With Morgan, it was a matter of tossing him a topic and letting him run with it.  Morgan likes to talk, and we enjoyed listening. This was the kind of conversation I would have loved to have had sitting at someone’s kitchen table with a tall glass of iced tea.  But, we did it on the phone, and I believe it was just as much fun.

Many fans remember Morgan from his appearances on Season 6 of NBC TV’s The Voice. I asked Morgan what he felt that experience did for him, and he responded, “I didn’t have a lot of experience on stage when I auditioned for the Voice.  I did sing at church as a kid, and performed with our Praise Team. but I never did a show where people were coming just to hear me sing.  I got nervous just before I hit the stage on The Voice, I didn’t know what to expect.”  Morgan went on to tell us that he learned a lot from that show, not just from the judges, but from the celebrity coaches they brought on to help.  ”They always told us to try to make the song our own, and that helped me a lot. I want every song I sing to be the best, whether I wrote it or not,” he said.  “That show helped me do that”.

Country’s Chatter has talked to many artists who have told us about their relationship with God – Darryl Worley, Josh Turner, Scotty McCreery…..  Morgan described himself as a spiritual person, and openly shared that when he was looking at a career in music, he really looked for a sign from God.  “When I was trying to decide what to do, I made it on to The Voice,” he told me.  “That show helped prove that I had a legitimate chance to do something with music,” Morgan said.

“When I was very young, I played violin. I got really good with it when I was 8 or 9.  I haven’t played it in a while though.  I think I could probably pick it back up again,”  Morgan told us.  “I gave up violin when I started baseball.  I didn’t see the other ball players playing violin,” he told us.  He also plays piano, and, most recently has added guitar to his instrumental accomplishments.

When I asked Morgan how it felt the first time he heard his song on the radio, and I got to hear the story about his Radio Tour.  Morgan visited more than 100 country radio stations all across the U.S. “When I was at KMLE in Phoenix, Ariz., I played a few acoustic songs, and they interviewed me on the air,” Morgan shared with us. “When I was done and about to leave, the dee jay told me to listen to the radio because he was going to play my song next”.  Morgan said what he felt when he heard that song on the radio is really hard to put into words – “it was extreme happiness and a release a lot of people don’t get to experience.”  Morgan added, “I know I need more than one song to have a successful career, but it gives you hope.  It was really cool”.

Since he did the radio tour, but hasn’t really performed in a lot of different cities, we wondered if he had a favorite city to play.  “Ask me again this time next year,” he said.  But quickly added, ”I like playing in Knoxville because it’s near where I’m from.  I think that’s my favorite place so far, and it might always be,” he told us.

Morgan told us that since moving to Nashville in July 2015,  he has been concentrating on his songwriting, and has written between 70 and 80 songs. He spent the last year developing his writing skills with hit makers like Craig Wiseman {“Live Like You Were Dying”}, Rodney Clawson {Dirt”}, Chris Tompkins {“Drunk on a Plane”}, the Warren Brothers {Highway Don’t Care”}, Tommy Cecil {“Home Alone tonight”} and Matt Dragstem {“Sippin’ on Fire”}.

While he didn’t write “The Way I Talk,” (written by Dan Hayslip, Jesse Alexander and Chase McGill) – Morgan told us that he did have a little hand in writing it. “I changed a few of the lyrics so they worked better for  me,” Morgan said.  “So I didn’t really write that one, but some of the things I have written you will be hearing on albums by other artists,” Morgan said.

We were curious to know if Morgan’s fast-growing fan base had chosen a name for themselves.  (Eric Church has his Church Choir, for Tracy Byrd it’s the Byrd Watchers, and everyone knows about Keith Urban’s Urbanites).  “They don’t have a name yet, and I’d like to throw that out to them.  I’m open for suggestions,” Morgan said.

We did ask him ‘which artists do you believe have influenced your music the most’?  His answer:  AC/DC, Led Zeplin and 3 Doors Down were the kind of music I listened to as a teenager.  But I always liked country music.  I never really went fully into country until Eric Church.  “’Love Your Love the Most’ really struck a chord with me, and I started listening to everything.  I found other country singers and realized how much I loved country music.  Everything I listened to helped shape my sound,” Morgan said.

There are a lot of duos in the country world right now.  And, a lot of solo artists who team up to record a duet for a one-time single experience.  We were curious to know if Morgan would consider a duet, and who he would like to record with.  “I love Stevie Nix,” he told us. “I would like to do one with her, she’s a legend.”  He also said he wouldn’t mind a duet with a guy – “Chris Cornell would be one I would really like to sing with,” Morgan said.

As a fan, we were curious to know if Morgan does his own Facebook and Twitter updates, and he shared with us that he does.  “I enjoy it, especially Twitter. It helps connect with the fans.  It doesn’t bother me that people want to know more about me.”  He also does Snapchat and Instagram.  Fans can find all of his social media links on his website.

I asked him if he always wanted to be a singer, or if he had another career goal in mind at some point in his life.  “I might have thought about being a baseball player.   I don’t really think I would have made the major leagues or anything, but you never know”. He told us that he was hurt playing baseball in high school and immediately  went to music. “I didn’t have any other career picked out, you know, like an accountant or anything”.

When we asked what he had coming up this year that he could tell his fans about, he told us that he doesn’t have a date yet, but there is a possibility he will be going out on a 25 date tour before the Florida Georgia Line tour begins.  “I hope to have more information on that in a few weeks,” he shared.

Country’s Chatter always likes to find out a little about the artist that we may not be able to find on their social media sites, so we asked a few random questions to Morgan, and here are his responses:

FAVORITE FOOD?  Four Brothers
DO YOU HAVE A PET?  No, not now.  I’m gone so much, it wouldn’t be fair to the animal.  I love dogs though.  German Shepherds mostly.
ARE YOU A SPPORTS FAN? FAVORITE TEAM?  I’m a huge sports fan.  I watch a lot of sports – basketball, baseball and football are my favorites. I like golf – I’m a golfer.  My favorite teams are the Boston Red Sox, Tennessee Titans, and University of Tennessee basketball, football and baseball.

Thank you Morgan, for a great way to spend part of our Tuesday afternoon!  Can’t think of a better way to end this one than to share Morgan’s song with all of you.

countryInterviewNew ArtistsChase McGill,Dan Hayslip,Jesse Alexander,Morgan Wallen,The Way I Talk,Twitter
” I want every song I sing to be the best, whether I wrote it or not.” – Morgan Wallen There is a possibility that not every country music fan is familiar with the name Morgan Wallen.  But if you listen to country radio, we are pretty sure you know...