One of the very, very few Country 2 Country festival events that actually took place prior to the festival being postponed until 2021 was a Snakefarm Records showcase entitled “One Night in London: The Snakefarm Acoustic Jam,” featuring live sets from four of the label’s artists, namely, Caylee Hammack, Austin Jenckes, Kyle Daniel, and Kylie Morgan.
Designed to be an appetiser for the main C2C musical feast that was, at that time, still scheduled to take place just two days later, the acoustic jam ended up being all the more memorable, not just for the quality of the acts on display, but because for many of those in attendance, not to mention the artists who performed, it would be the last live music they would witness, or play, for many months.
The experience was truly bitter-sweet for the performers involved. Instead of going on to appear at C2C, after experiencing the excitement of the intimate showcase, they instead faced a frantic rush to return home to the US, and then having to self-isolate for 14 days (this was before the worldwide lockdowns for all really started to take hold).
For Kylie Morgan, who I recently had the pleasure of speaking to on the line from Florida, it was a “pretty intense,” experience.
It was the most intense travel day I have ever had in my whole life, Kylie said. I mean, we literally got there, went to bed, were there for a day, went to bed, and I was woken up immediately, and they were like, “Pack your bags, you’re leaving.” I’m like, “Oh my God, okay!”
Was that your first ever time in the UK?
Yes, that was my first time overseas, and first UK show. It was definitely a dream come true. I was so excited to be able to be a part of that.
What was that experience like of playing to your first UK crowd?
Oh man, I felt so lucky to be able to able to just play one show in the UK. I talked to so many artists and they literally landed and had to leave then. The fact that I was able to really just get there, explore a little bit, and play a show, was definitely on the upside, for sure.
Kylie’s impressive acoustic performance at the Snakefarm showcase certainly justified the CMA’s faith in her, with that organization having chosen her, along with Angie K and Everette, as a recipient of its KixStart Artist Scholarship. Aside from the gritty, edgy quality to her vocals, she also came across as very relatable on stage, especially when she talked about her life so far. In particular, she referenced being a tomboy growing up, shedding some light on the typically intelligent lyrics of her first single, Boys Girl.
So, I grew up very honest and raw when it came to just what I listened to, and how I was, perspective-wise, she told me. I’m originally from Oklahoma, and a very, very small town, so I always knew that I loved that small town so much, but I always knew that Nashville was where I needed to be. My grandfather was actually from Tennessee originally, so I have been going back and forth from Tennessee all my life, and I just loved it there.
And so growing up I was a very Type-A creative, musician. I just was a little different than everyone else, as far as just like what I was thinking about, what my goals were, and what I wanted to do with my life. And so I didn’t really relate to a lot of the kids my age, which is why I really was, definitely, friends with a bunch of dudes, because all the girls were worrying about makeup and their boyfriends, and when they wanna get married, and all these things that I did not care about! (laughs) And so, I was in such a different headspace than a lot of them, so I was able to channel that in my music, and really just write about what I was feeling at the time, and I feel like a lot of people are able to relate to that, which is so nice!
You’re currently working on your first album with Shane McAnally and Ben Johnson, and Shane and Josh Osborne have taken you under their wings at SMACKSongs. What’s it like working so much with such a legendary songwriter as Shane?
Oh, my goodness! I still pinch myself all the time, being in the same room as him. I look up to him so much, as a songwriter. All growing up, when it came to the songs that I loved, I would always see who wrote it, and it would always be him. And so, to be able to be involved with someone like that, and have him be the co-captain of my ship, is such an honour.
And he’s also a great Instagrammer!
(Laughs) Man, he’s good at that Instagram!
Even better than his songwriting!
You’ve already toured with some huge Country music acts (including Little Big Town, Kip Moore, Dan + Shay, Maren Morris, Brett Eldredge, Billy Currington, Lady Antebellum, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, and Gavin DeGraw). What is it like to tour with so many great artists?
Man, it’s so funny when I’m in those situations, I always look around and I’m like, “Who let me in here? Who let this happen?” I just feel so blessed, all the time, to be able to be in such good company, and not only that, but just to have these artists take a chance on me, and trust me with warming up their crowd. It’s just such an amazing feeling, and I learn so much from them, and I continue to just wanna be a sponge, and just continue to learn, and figure out how I can put on the best show live, and I feel like I’m definitely in those rooms to be able to learn that, for sure.
Where, and how, are you spending your quarantine?
I actually decided to come down to Florida before all the lock in, so I could get a little bit of Vitamin D while we’re doing this. So we actually started this thing called “Namaste at Home.” I’m a yoga instructor as well. I wanted to start something to be able to still bring people together during this time, and so I started to think of “Namaste at Home,” where I teach classes live on Facebook and Instagram. It’s been a blast. It’s been great to get everyone together doing the same things at the same time, starting to find a little bit of normalcy.
You’re one of the people that would actually be able to help us all at the moment to stay chilled.
I know. I’m trying my best!
Are you hoping to come back to the UK for the postponed C2C in 2021?
As soon as we left I was like, “When are we coming back?” Because I loved it there, and the fans were so great, and the audiences, just the energy was wonderful, and so for sure, I wanna come back.
And finally, have you got a message for your fans in the UK?
Sure. At first I wanna say, just thank you for taking the time to get to know me and my music, and I need more people like you guys. I mean, I just have heard nothing but great things about the fans in the UK. I heard that they’re all very attentive and just love the songs and the lyrics, and that makes me so happy, ‘cause those are the people that I live for, to play music for, and so, I just wanna say thank you, and I cannot wait to come back and give them just more of what I’ve been working on, and hopefully meet every single one of them.
Hopefully we’ll have had some more singles from Kylie by next March, and maybe even some more hints about what to expect from that debut album. Meanwhile, you can check her out at kyliemorgan.com and on all the usual socials, especially on TikTok (kyliemorganmusic), where she already has 27,000 followers!
By Maura Sutton