Morgan Johnston who is making some huge waves on the Nashville scene sat down with us for a chat ahead of the release of her fourth single ‘If He Never Broke My Heart’.
‘If He Never Broke My Heart’ is the 4th single you’ve released and I would love to know if your emotions leading up to the release differ from your first single. Do you still have the same level of nerves?
Honestly, yes! I think that a lot of what I do in my writing is heavily focused on vulnerability and true stories so there’s always a certain amount of nerves that comes along with sharing my diary with people. But I’m also excited to share my heart and connect with people on their stories so it’s safe to say that they’re exciting nerves 🙂
Can you tell us a bit about the story behind the song and what kind of vibe we can expect from it?
I describe the song as hopeful and empowering. There’s an underlying sadness to it because heartbreak is something we all inevitably have to go through to get to where and who we are meant to be with but it really showcases the beauty of the journey. I call this my silver lining song.
You’re one of the most gifted artists I’ve come across for writing songs that always connect with live crowds in a big way. Is that something you intentionally set out to do when you write a song?
Thank you so much! I think that it’s what comes most natural to me. I used to try to avoid it because I wanted to be able to put in a more “fun” and “carefree” show but now I embrace that my strength is kind of within my ability to connect with people on a deeper level. So, I would say that now that I’ve accepted it, I’m a little more intentional with letting that part of my artistry shine.
Do you feel the down time during quarantine has allowed you to learn anything about yourself either as a person or an artist?
Yes! I got to spend some extra quality time with some really important people in my life and I also learned how much I have neglected my cooking skills – ha!!
I learned that my artistry is just a compliment of who I am as a person and if I can embrace that, I will hopefully be more powerful as an artist.
What would you say your biggest selling point as an artist is?
I kind of touched on this on my last few questions but I would say my ability to be vulnerable and connect with people. I’m that girl who gets right to the real stuff when I meet people. I don’t love surface level conversations so I’d rather get down to it.
Life in Nashville as an artist is obviously very hectic with music in every direction. Do you think it’s important to step away from that sometimes and what do you enjoy doing when you need a break?
Absolutely. I think it’s very important to have other priorities that compliment your life outside of your career so that you don’t get lost in the grind. It’s a lot of work and very demanding of your time and energy. Balancing my work and personal life has been a huge learning lesson and I’m always trying to be aware of it.
You’re very supportive of other artists in town and are always seen out at shows. Do you have a couple of acts in mind you think people in the UK may not be aware of yet and should really look out for?
This is such a hard question for me because there’s so many talented people in this town that I admire. Here’s a few that I’m listening to right now:
Kylie Morgan, SixForty1, Faren Rachels, Kaylin Roberson , Brandy Neelly, Halle Kearns
I feel like a lot of artists struggle with comparing themselves to others and their achievements. Is there any advice you would give to someone doing that?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Put on your blinders when it comes to your own work and celebrate the success of others. Your time will come when it’s supposed to. Don’t miss your own journey wishing it was someone else’s the whole time
Thinking along the lines of short term goals, do you have something in particular you’d love to achieve over the next couple of years?
Well, we all know this is 2020 and at this point surviving would be nice. Jokes aside, I would love to see some of my songs get some placements on major country playlists and expand my live show with the opportunities to continue to open for major country artists when things open back up.
It was touched on above in one of the interview questions but I truly believe Morgan Johnston to be the best in the country music business at really connecting with the listener on a deep emotional level, be it at live shows or listening at home. That feeling in her voice coupled with the impressive level of vulnerability Morgan shows when relating to real life experiences really allows her audience to live through whatever scenario she’s singing about.
I love the spin she has put on the traditional country heartbreak song here, despite the heartfelt emotion of the song she’s actually getting across the positive side of that heartbreak and expressing how it can actually lead to better things. Lyrics such as “If he never broke my heart, I wouldn’t know what I deserve, wouldn’t be putting myself first” are lovely and I think this is going to resonate with people going through, or ever having been through heartbreak in a big way. I’m a really big fan of the delicate instrumentation in the song allowing Morgan’s stunning vocals to take centre stage, with a voice as impressive as hers this is never a bad thing. We get the softer side of her vocals on this track and there’s just this spine-tingling gorgeous quality throughout the song that just has you hanging on every word.
It would be wrong of me not to give props to the co-writers Morgan had on this track in Kaylin Roberson and Brandy Neelly. When this astounding level of song writing talent sits down in a room together it’s only ever going to result in magic happening. I don’t think I could actually pick out a flaw in Morgan as an artist, she’s one of the elite songwriters in Nashville, I’m struggling to think of anyone that puts on a better live show and her passion for what she does is up there with the best of them. She’s definitely kept up the consistency in her quality of releases with ‘If He Never Broke My Heart’; it’s released on July 31st and is one that you don’t want to miss out on.
Find links to all of Morgan Johnston’s socials here morganjohnstonofficial.com
Pre-order ‘If He Never Broke My Heart’ here cmdshft.ffm.to/IHNBMH