Maren Morris Talks Writing Unintentional Hits and Being ‘Woke': ‘I Want to Do It All’
Maren Morris is a do-it-all kind of artist. As she gets ready to drop her sophomore project, Morris says that when it comes to songwriting, she's never set out to write a radio hit, even thought she's snagged a couple. Those songs, she says, came as a surprise to her.
"I feel like, writing a hit — I've never really sought out to do that," Morris tells Taste of Country in a recent interview. "You just have to get in the room and let the song happen, and then you decide afterward if you love it and are obsessed with it and you can't really get it out of your head."
The "My Church" singer says that's how she's chosen songs for her albums. "All of my hits have been by surprise," she adds.
Morris' new album, which she's been calling "MM2" on social media, will (she hopes) contain more of that unintentional hit songwriting, along with plenty of honesty about where Morris is at in her life now. Two of the new tracks were co-written with her husband, Ryan Hurd, and the new music that she's played live shows that she's not shying away from current social and political issues either.
"I think you just write what’s going on around you, whether that’s love or the lack thereof," Morris says. "I like that people are putting things outside of relationships into the music now. So, yeah, there’s a few songs on the record that will kind of address the chaos that is the world at the moment — but in a human way."
Sending a message to her audience has always been part of Morris' plan. She says that, from the get-go, she told her label that pursuing radio hits wasn't her only mission.
"When I first met with Sony and Columbia Records I said, 'I want to do it all.' I want to be critically acclaimed because I want to make music that is meaningful and I want to have lyrics that say something," Morris explains. "But I also don’t want to abandon radio."
Morris says she tries to be socially aware -- or "woke," as she says jokingly -- and isn't afraid to share her perspective on touchy issues on social media. She says she's learned to not take the backlash seriously, because it's there whether or not she's speaks out.
"Politics or no politics — or whatever you call it — there’s always going to be someone that hates what you’re doing in your music, or an interview about your dog," Morris says. "There's going to be a critic no matter what."
Morris' hasn't announced a release date for her new album yet, but promises that the lead single is coming sometime in the very near future.