- Hello Willie, can you tell us all about yourself before you became a country singer? I grew up in Washington D.C. I went to Occidental College and The University if Miami. And before my solo career as “Willie Morrison”, I was in a band for ten years with my brother called “The Morrison Brothers Band”.
- What made you want a career in country music? It wasn’t so much country as it was music. I just loved playing and writing songs. But having grown up listening to country, I think my style inevitably lent itself well to the genre, and I couldn’t be happier about being a part of the country music community. I remember being inspired by live music from a young age. Thankfully my parents took me to see a lot of live music growing up, and I always wanted to be a part of what I was so taken by on stage.
- Who are some of your musical icons? Delbert McClinton, Merle Haggard, Zac Brown Band, Citizen Cope, Eva Cassidy, Otis Redding, Shemekia Copeland.
- What is the background behind your brand-new single “Car?” “Car” pays tribute to young love, and the difficulty of moving on when it ends. When you fall in love in high school, one of the places you end up spending most of your time together is in the car. For me, my car served as one of the major settings where my high school girlfriend and I hung out. Whether it was our first kiss, listening to music together, driving to the movies, escaping the “no-closed doors” rule of each of our parents — my car was always along for the ride. So, when things didn’t work out, it was difficult to even ride in the car sometimes without imagining her in the passenger seat. And ultimately, the tough decision must be made about keeping the car or not.
- How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Fresh, Friendly and Catchy.
- What are a few of your favorite venues to play at? 9:30 Club in D.C., The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, The Basement East and Analog in Nashville, TN.
- What is your recording process like when making and recording new music? It varies from time to time. Usually it starts with a demo, which is sometimes done in the writing session or shortly after. From there, I look at what I love about the demo or where it goes astray. I then line up a producer and go over the vision for where we see the song going. We then lineup whoever else we need to play on the song and go from there. It’s a long process. Once you are done “recording”, you then have to send to mixing, and then to mastering.
- What is one of your favorite quotes? “You have to fall in love with the process of becoming great”. I heard this said by Blake Griffin lol, but it really applies to what I do. If you are just in it for the stardom you are doomed. It takes too much work and sacrifice for fame to be your motivating factor. For me, it means loving what you do. Even if you still have room to improve, you have to love the work. You have to love writing, and creating, no matter what the outcome is.
- Is there anything else you would like to share? I’m playing a free full band show March 22 at The Analog in Nashville, TN.
Willie Morrison has always been one to see things, from a different outlook and grasp the opportunities that come his way. This tendency for “coloring outside the lines is clear on his first two solo singles, “One More Time” (2020) and “Heartbreak Girl.”
Morrison grew up in Washington, D.C. with an encouraging family who showed him not only the different aspects of government and politics, but also the value of philanthropy, a well-founded work-ethic, and most important, the love for music. His dad enjoyed all live much- blues, rock, jazz, country—and Morrison jumped at any chance he got to goes with his dad to a show. The music of Delbert McClinton and Merle Haggard to Eric Clapton and Little Feat influenced him to attend piano and guitar lessons as a child, eventually working on his songwriting skills alongside his high school guitar teacher.
While he played college baseball at Occidental College in Los Angeles for a year, it was The Morrison Brothers Band Morrison started with his brother Truman, that became his main focus. The band would sell tickets on campus for their LA. club shows and they built a following in that location. When Morrison transferred to the University of Miami to study political science, the band worked on their touring route by going up and down the east coast covering Florida, Baltimore, D.C, Philadelphia, and New York City.
A chancing meeting music artist, Maggie Rose (another D.C. local), led to a move to Nashville in 2015. Rose signed on to produce the band’s first EP, and the band was signed to an artist development deal that started to open doors to more opportunities. The Morrison Brothers Band played on the Miss World 2017 show, wrote the theme song for the Washington Capitals hockey team, and earned a Top 3 video on the CMT 12 Pack Countdown for their single, “Loud Love.” When the band member agreed to go separate ways after 10 years together, it started up the biggest door for Morrison so far in his solo career.
Morrison shared “he like the freedom and the power to do what he wants 100%. It’s been nice to take it in his own direction. He is excited he can make this exactly how he want it to be.” He is not here to keep everything between the lines, it does not have to be right down the middle. He wants it to be original.”
Morrison’s creative songwriting skills and utility have also been directed to other artists recording his songs from Ashland Craft, Brothers Osborne, and Clay Walker to 3x Grammy-nominee, Shemekia Copeland, and new country artists Tanner Stephens and Kylie Trout.
Morrison’s second single, “Heartbreak, Girl,” is an item of those special days of songwriting magic where the fun lyrics, melody and vibe y come together.
Sonically, the start of “Heartbreak Girl,” was different from “One More Time,” because the big chorus needed a bigger production. “While they maintained a funky vibe in the verse, they let the guitars crank in the chorus, and turned up the vocal as loud as they could. They knew people would be singing along so they arranged the production accordingly,” Morrison shared.
Morrison’s newest single, “Car,” pays gratitude to young love and showcases a car as the setting for all of the joyful times and hardships of a past love lost. As Morrison looks onwards to bringing his new music to both his longtime fans and new listeners, he seizes this chance to stake his claim in the country music world.
If you would like to find out more about the great Willie Morrison then please go check out his website at (https://www.williemorrison.com).
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