Having been signed to an Australian label for years, releasing albums and EP’s in Australia and achieving a lot of success, Morgan has now signed with Warner Music Nashville and will be releasing new music very soon.
Morgan has just spent some time in the UK for a few shows which fans have been raving about, I caught up with Morgan to discuss his UK trip, his music and the Australian Country Music scene.
How are you enjoying the UK so far? Is this your first time here or have you been here on vacation?
It’s my first time here and I’m having an absolute blast. Friendly, music loving people!
Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What made you want to become a musician and a country one at that?
I grew up in Newcastle, on the east coast of Australia. My parents weren’t musicians but there was always a lot of music in the house, a lot of Country Music of course, and a lot of 70’s Rock’n’Roll. I remember when I got my first guitar. I was 13 and playing it was all I wanted to do.
There is quite a big country scene in Australia how does it differ from the US? Are things like country radio as big over there and do they have a particular area like Nashville that have the central scene for country music?
There is a lot of Country Music in Australia for sure. I guess the main difference would be the Australian Country Music. There are big artists in Australia like Lee Kernaghan and John Williamson that sing with real Australian voices about real Australian things.
We do have country radio in Australia and Country Music television, The Country Music Channel (CMC).
Australia doesn’t have a centre of creativity quite like Nashville. That said, I don’t think there is one like it anywhere in the world! The creative communities are certainly growing in Sydney & Melbourne and collaboration is becoming more and more common in all genres thanks to organisations like APRA who have started running songwriting camps all over the world.
So many great country artists such as yourself and Keith Urban have emerged from Australia. Who else should we look out?
The McClymonts are great! Check them out!
You live in Nashville now is that right? What do you love most about living there and what do you miss most about living in Australia?
Yep that’s right. The thing I love most about living in Nashville is being able to get up and make music every single day. It’s incredible. The things I miss most about Australia are my family and friends, of course, and definitly the beach!
Nashville has just had CMA Fest, what did you get up to during the festival?
I spent the week running around, performing here and there, basically introducing myself to as many people as I could. I’m still the new kid in town and my first music is coming out next month!
Did you go and see any artists?
Keith Urban & Kelsea Ballerini were my highlights!
You are over here in the UK for you first tour? What made you decide to come over here this year and did Kelsea give you any tips or hints at what we are like as an audience?
I really wanted to get over here and play! I’d heard such great things about the UK Country fans and I wanted to come and meet as many as I could before my first UK single release.
Haha she had the best time over here and I know she’s looking forward to coming back too.
Your first show was in Manchester as part of Buckle and Boots Festival, how was that experience for you? I have never been, from what I can see it is a very intimate and cosy festival, how were the audience?
It was a great festival, very grass roots, and all about discovering new music, which I love! It was my first time on stage in the UK and a night I’ll never forget. The 1500 strong crowd were singing my own songs back to me by the 2nd chorus. I was blown away!
You debuted a song there, can you tell me a little bit about that?
It’s a song called Young Again. It’s a song about living, loving, drinking and listening to music. Buckle & Boots felt like that kind of place!!
You have done a few more shows in the UK, how were they and how were the audiences in comparison to the US and AUS audiences?
I played Glasgow, Scotland last night. The venue was beautiful, a place called Oran Mor. I loved it. Country Music fans all over the world are so passionate. Manchester, Glasgow are perfect examples. I have Bristol and London yet to go on this run, so you’ll have to ask me about them another time, but I have a great feeling about them!
You have just been signed to Warner Music Nashville – congratulations! How did the signing come to be and what excites you most about the label?
Thankyou. I have been on Warner Australia for a few years. We’ve put out 2 EP’s and 1 Album down there, but I have spent the best part of the last 2-3 years in Nashville working on this new music. The Warner Nashville folks were tipped off by the Aussies and over the course of a year everything fell into place.
You just mentioned that you have released albums and EPs in Australia. As you have just signed in the US, have you an idea of when we can expect a single or album and what can we expect from your new music?
My first single in the UK and the US will be out July 21 and it will come out in Australia at the same time.
I find it pretty hard to describe my own music. I moved to the US with a suitcase and an acoustic guitar 2 years ago. I left my family, friends and my band behind. Life in Nashville can be inspiring but it can also be intimidating and for me, from the other side of the world, it can be lonely. Since then I’ve found a new home, I met a girl, made new friends, got engaged, signed a record deal and I’m about to release my first music into the world. A lot has happened during the writing of this record! I have learned that my best songs come from honest places, and I’ve learned that honest places are not always the easiest to dive into, but I did, and I wrote it all on that same acoustic guitar I flew into Nashville with …
Can we ask who you have written with/worked with on this new record?
Chris DeStefano is my producer and main collaborator. He’s probably the most talented person I’ve ever met! The first single is a song Chris and I wrote with Josh Osbourne.
Tell us about the song Best Of Me, it is a beautiful song – I understand it was a song written straight after you landed in the US?
I LOVE THAT SONG! Thank you for asking. It sort of became the wedding song from that first Australian record. I got so many messages, videos etc. from people using that song to walk down the aisle, or as their first dance. It was crazy.
You have had 3 #1 singles in Australia, congratulations! I am sure you will follow the same success in the US. One of those songs was One Eye for an Eye which I love! Can you tell us a bit about the song? Is it likely to be released as part of your US record?
Haha well thank you again! That’s probably the angriest song I’ve ever written. It sure it fun to play live, but no, everything released in the UK and the US will be brand new.
Tell us about your Mash-Ups, how do you decide on what songs to put together or do you just get inspired by your current favourite songs/artists?
That’s a good question! It really is an inspired decision. I’ll start playing a song I love, then I’ll go to the loop pedal and build an arrangement and see what else comes out … it’s a lot of fun!
Apart from Music, what do you like to get up to in your spare time?
I like to get outside. I love surfing but that’s a pretty hard thing to do in Nashville.
Can we expect a return to the UK anytime soon?
Return to the UK, absolutely. Look forward to it.