I recently traveled to Baltimore to sit down with Morgan Wallen before the kick off show of the “Take Back Home” Tour. We talked about his new song and video “Up Down” as well as The Voice and his start in Nashville. If you have the chance to see Morgan in concert, I highly recommend it! He took the stage and had everyone on their feet while playing all of his classics to a mashup that had everyone singing along. Enjoy!!
B Chord – First off, Congratulations on the new video release for “Up Down.” It is awesome! How did it come about that FGL were going a part of the video? Where was it filmed? It looks like it was one huge party!
Morgan Wallen – Thank you man. I had already started recording the song and one of their managers is a partner on my record label and became friends through natural processes. FGL was on a plane r and he showed them the recording of the song and they asked to be a part of it. Florida Georgia Line has been very good to me and I was glad to agree very quickly. It was filmed in Orange Beach, Alabama. I played 30 shows with them during the “Dig Your Roots” and “Smooth” tours this past year. We were already going to be playing in Orange Beach so the vibe of the video fits that water scene. BK just got a new boat and we just put it all together and by the end of the day you could tell it was a party!
B Chord – When you say “BFE” in the song, does it mean what I think it does?
Morgan Wallen – It does! I think it is in the Redneck Dictionary so you can look it up and find out.
B Chord – Was it always planned to plug your song on the radio in FGL’s “Smooth”?
Morgan Wallen – No, I actually had no clue that was going to happen. The day “Smooth” came out I turned it on and said “Oh wow that’s cool!” BK co-directed that video, so I am sure he had a little hand in that one but no one told me prior to it happening.
B Chord – Did the beginning of the video point out the true way the song was written? Who is the guy playing guitar?
Morgan Wallen – No, not really. Michael Hardy is the guy at the beginning of the video and he is a fresh song writer in Nashville who is really awesome. He will have a couple of songs on my record and a bunch on Florida Georgia Lines record too. We have become really good friends and when we called to ask about the video he said “I am there!” He drove down the next day.
B Chord – So you went to Nashville in 2015. Did you play on Broadway and how did signing with Big Loud come about?
Morgan Wallen – I went in a different direction when I got to Nashville. I already had a management team and I met a guy named Kevin Neal, who is a booking agent, who also booked FGL and Jason Aldean and some others. He said you need to move to Nashville to make it happen and then he began getting me gigs everywhere. I ended up getting a record deal at the end of 2015 so that happened way sooner than I expected. We then had to fast forward the process of writing more than I had ever before and preparing to get my first single ready. Everything has been on the road since then.
B Chord – How was your experience on the Voice?
Morgan Wallen – Man, I really did. That was the first thing I ever did as a live show and I never had my name on a marque sign or anything before. This experience helped me to grow up and figure out who I was as a person and an artist. You get out there in front of millions of people and you really get to grow right there in front of them. It is really hard but great! I was really appreciative of my time on the show and I have no bitterness towards it at all. It has gotten me to where I am now.
B Chord – “The Way I Talk” is just a fantastic song! Can you give us some background on the song as well as the writing process?
Morgan Wallen – I am from East Tennessee and grew up in a little town called Sneedville. Most people have never even heard of it before. I grew a preacher’s kid and my mom is a teacher. So the family is pretty much there except for my parents who are living in Knoxville now. It is really hard to publish a song that you feel is about you, but also one that people can relate to. Sometimes you get too personal and people will think it is just about the writer and don’t really get it. I wanted to put out a song that was about me that other people could relate to as well. It doesn’t matter if you are from Wisconsin, Baltimore, Knoxville or Germany, you’ve got a certain way that you talk. We wanted everyone to be proud of that and accept that. When I was in California for The Voice, I realized how much I love where I grew up and I wanted to get that point across in “The Way I Talk”.
B Chord – You are now on the Take Back Home tour with Chris Lane and Bailey Bryan and tonight is the kickoff show! How are you feeling about it? Nervous, anxious, excited?
Morgan Wallen – Man, I am so ready! I just got done this past weekend playing with Chris, Florida Georgia Line and Nelly. Chris and I are on the same label, so we are boys that feed off each other. I can’t wait to see what he has in store and I have about 45 minutes worth of ruckus.
B Chord – The big question is album or an EP? Do we have a date or time for that?
Morgan Wallen – I am going to do something a little bit different I think. This is not official at all and still may change, but right now I want to release two songs in about a month or so and then two more a month after that. That would equal out to another EP and then next year take my favorite 3 or 4 and add 7 or 8 more for an album. That is the thought.
B Chord – So you did a collaboration with FGL. Is there anyone else in country music you are just itching to record with?
Morgan Wallen – I always said Chris Cornell, but we all know what happened there. I would have to think about it, but you know what, I would have to say Eric Church. Man, I love him. He is just great.
B Chord – So we have a signature question that we ask of all of our artists. You are stranded on an island and you can take one instrument with you. What would it be and why?
Morgan Wallen – I think I would take a piano. I took piano lessons when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I am pretty good at guitar, but I love the piano! If I am going to write a song, my creative juices begin to flow when I am sitting at the piano.
Cover Photo Credit : Nick Swift
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