Interview: Morgan Myles talks Acapella, the amazing story behind her soon to be released track Sanctuary, playing the UK and more

Singer/songwriter Morgan Myles is one of the most promising new female artists in country music. With powerhouse vocals and meaningful lyrics, Morgan is the real deal and makes you wonder why Women in country music aren’t constantly being played on the radio.

With a new EP yet to be released, Morgan released her single Acapella over the summer which gained a lot of attention and had a lot of people feeling good and up and dancing.

Over the Summer Morgan took some time out during her tour with artists such as Justin Moore and Cam and came over to the UK to play one of The Pizza Express – Nashville Meets London shows.

We caught up with Morgan to discuss Acapella and to learn a little bit more about her interesting background and her start in the music industry. We loved talking to Morgan and hearing her stories and hope she can share her stories with the UK on a regular basis.

Listen to Acapella here

Purchase Acapella here

Since we spoke Morgan also released the song Knew Love.

Listen to Knew Love here

Purchase Knew Love here

Hi Morgan – how are you?

I am good thanks.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what made you want a career in country music?

I am from Pennsylvania. There is no one in my family that is musical. I kind of had an odd talent and at three years old I just sat down and started singing and playing. My mum was super supportive, she was a teacher and started playing piano sessions with me and then really from that point on I never stopped, it’s just what made me happy. I was only three hours away from New York growing up so I was constantly going to and from New York City competing in dance competitions and vocal competitions to taking meetings and whatever I could do to do what I loved. I ended up going to Berkley College for one year and during that year I got some opportunities in Nashville and I was going to and from Boston to Nashville.

Basically it came to “We think you should be in Nashville” so I transferred to Belmont University. It has kind of been a crazy journey figuring it all out but I think things have finally fallen into place. Country Music has always been what I sang to as a little girl – I was obsessed with all the female singers because in the nineties, that was what was huge. Everyone from Faith Hill to Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood. Powerhouse singers too from Mariah Carey to Celine Dion and then my guitar teacher, he turned me to learning the blues because he could hear this soulfulness coming out of this thirteen year old and he made me start learning to play Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi and Eva Cassidy. That’s when I really started to hone in on who I was as an artist – connecting what I was singing about with my soul and giving it meaning.  Once I moved to Nashville, that’s when I really started to get the art of songwriting and telling that story in three minutes. That was by far quite a learning process for me but it is very therapeutic for me and definitely one of the things that I have worked hard on.

Tell us about your time in Nashville up to now? How competitive is it to get any recognition as I see you have been an intern at a label, has some ups and downs?

Since moving to Nashville, I was attending college pursuing a music business degree because I felt like I really needed to know the ins and outs of the actual business. I was able to intern for people like Taylor Swift and I was a sponge, soaking in everything that was going on because being a little girl from Pennsylvania, I didn’t even know what publishing was or what the different divisions of a label are or how to go about this and that so, I was just a sponge.

As soon as I graduated College I got an opportunity to be a utility player for an artist and we ended up on the Reba tour for like six months. That was another sponge moment for me because having a mentor that I was always looked up to like Reba and she completely full filled everything I hoped she would be and more and I just watched how this humble and amazing woman is at the top of the industry. I got off the road because when you are on the road for another artist you are disconnected from the path that you are on as an artist yourself because you are out of town and you’re not writing.

When I got home I nannied through college for a doctor. She then recommended me to a woman that needed help for two months who had ALS and that turned into me becoming part of their family for seven years. I became her caretaker and the guardian of the children. She passed away about three years ago and that’s why the writing got very therapeutic for me. Having to deal with the woman that was obviously losing her life and her children was emotional and she said to me “You have to keep doing your dream, life is too short, keep going after it and show my kids to follow your dreams and do what makes you happy”. That really gave me that balance with that struggle that is so hard in Nashville. When you put it into perspective of life is too short then it doesn’t make those hard moments that hard. People would kill to be just where I was at that moment. It has made me put my life in perspective on a greater scale because the intensity of dealing with someone that was dealing with ALS which is one of the most horrible diseases I have ever had to witness. That experience kept me going to be honest because I had gotten wrapped up in the negativity of the industry a little bit .

Girls weren’t getting played and it’s hard because as an artist you have to be really open and vulnerable and genuine because of the writing side and I believe that if you are not genuine then it is going to come across that way, if you’re not connecting then how can you connect with the fans? Then you have to out yourself out there and put the armour back up and be ok. It is a very odd balance haha. I say the best part has brought me to where I am now and about two years ago I released something independently that got quite a bit of recognition. I then ended up getting my label and management deal and everything started falling into place because of that. So I feel fortunate to experience the ups and downs and it always makes you write a better song.

Thank you sharing that and it’s true, you write what you know, what you experience.

Your came over for the Nashville meets London Pizza Express night – tell us about that and is it your first time over here?

No it is my third time but I hadn’t been to the UK in a long time so I was really excited to come over. I have played a smaller songwriters tour a couple of years ago and it was amazing because I was nobody at that point and I had this great opportunity. I was so amazed by the culture and people truly listening to original music over there. Y’all just want original music and it was so amazing haha, it was like Wow! It was very intense listening which is exciting. The crowds are amazing and are just intelligent listeners and very very passionate about the art of songwriting. Even though people won’t know the new music, I know they are going to be very open minded and ready to hear the songs they haven’t heard before.

Tell us about your single Acapella – who you wrote it with and the creative process.

Yes, I co wrote everything on the EP that will be out eventually but Acapella I wrote with my producer Corey Crowder and a guy named John Pierce who is another great writer in town. We chose the song because it is a great summer groove. It has a country, soul feel vibe that people can enjoy the summer with. There are a lot more intense songs coming but this song is what I am all about. It’s about self love – you’ve got to start loving yourself first before you can heal. It is also about power to stand up for yourself. Everything that I strive for is making sure that you believe in yourself because when you stop believing in yourself you let too many wrong turns happen. This song is an anthem about loving yourself and I hope that people feel that way when they listen to it.

I listened to the EP this morning and I liked the diversity in the genres. A song in particular called Sanctuary which was quite gospel driven.

Yes, that song is how I got my label and management deal. I wrote the song after I hit a deer. I was funding my whole music and shows independently and I was in somebody else’s van and I hit a deer after opening for Little Big Town. I was in Wisconsin on my way to Nebraska with zero dollars and I totalled this guys van. It was like a crumbling mountain of crashing, a series of unfortunate events after that. Long story short, we get home in an F – 150 and a pathfinder and we still got three speeding tickets on the way home. I had two days off the road with my parents, I live with my parents like struggling musician 101 ha, my parents moved to Nashville for me a couple years ago and they had this way of always supporting me and mentally picking me up off the ground. I am super close to my family and I went into write with a really close friend of mine and I like oozed this song out in two hours because I was just so emotionally drained haha. This song is just funny because I walked in and played this for my now manager and he was totally floored and I was like “Well Mum, I guess I had to hit a deer to get this deal haha” . This song means a lot to me though, it’s truly about family and about the people who are there for you.

You can hear the emotion and passion in your voice, it is a very believable song.

I wish I could emotionally cut off a bit more haha, that is one thing I lack. It’s a bittersweet thing.

Another song I enjoyed was Silence. Well I liked them all but those two really stood out for me. Have you got a release date for the EP yet?

Thank you. No, we are just watching Acapella and then we will decide whether to drop the EP or another focus track. I do think the EP will be out in a timely manner.

What song do you like performing live most and what song gets the best reaction?

So I haven’t played this new music out a lot but since I wrote Sanctuary so long ago and that’s what I was performing all the time, that was the song that I was playing most with the live crowd and I mixed it in with music I released that people already knew. I played the song and told the band that this is where you just don’t play and there’s something about where it is just me and the guitar where people are lost in it. It is a huge connection point and for me I literally just go to this place in my head of my whole family and the people that I have lost in my life and it’s a true connection moment where I can take a breath and go “Ok, this is why I do this”. It’s a release, it’s just a huge release. It’s like going to church and feeling therapeutic or going to a therapy lesson, feeling a weight get lifted off you and that has song has that ability to do that to me.

Well we love hearing the stories behind the songs so do please keep coming back and sharing those stories with us. I hope you come back.

Thank you, I will try to keep coming back.

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