We caught up with the country star for a chat before her UK live dates.
Maren Morris has been catching traction in the country community for several years now. After an incredible 2018, which saw her win a Grammy Award, collaborate on For The Throne – an entire soundtrack of new songs for the HBO series which also features tracks by Travis Scott and The National – and brought the news of her solo UK tour, Girl the World Tour in May 2019.
Ready to show this side of the pond who she really is, Morris’ UK dates kick off on 25 May in Leeds before she performs in Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, and finally London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall.
We caught up with her to chat all things Taylor Swift, Game Of Thrones, touring and tequila shots.
Your UK tour kicks off in two weeks time, what are you most looking forward to?
I’ve always had such an affinity for touring across the UK. The fans have such a love for songwriting and songwriters and it’s always made me feel at home. We try to come over as much as we can and every time we do, we hit bigger venues, so ending the tour at the Royal Albert Hall in London this time around has got me freaking out a little!
You recently featured on the Game of Thrones soundtrack, For The Throne – are you a fan of the show? What was it like composing the track Kingdom of One for such a popular series?
I am a massive fan of the show! It’s so bittersweet that it’s ending, but I knew this was my last chance to get onto the soundtrack for one season.
I think Kingdom of One gives off a really Cersei/Daenerys vibe, and it was really fun for me to kind of play a character whilst I was composing the track.
You also joined Taylor Swift on her Reputation tour last year, and surprised your hometown audience. How did that feel?
It was effectively a sensory overload. It was the biggest stage I’ve ever seen, the biggest crowd I’ve ever performed in front of and to be on stage with a superstar like that, I just tried to learn as much as I could from the few hours I had with her.
I loved that she asked me to come out and perform The Middle because it meant my whole family could come out. Everyone from high school was there to witness this dream come true. I’m so thankful for the opportunity.
Let’s talk Grammy’s – You received five nominations this year and won the Best Country Solo Performance for My Church at last year’s ceremony?
Well, of course it was incredible. That’s what you dream of as a kid right?! Making up speeches in your bathroom mirror and then being on that stage holding that trophy was just surreal.
The most amazing part since then is being invited back and receiving more nominations for other projects that I’ve done. It’s such an honour – especially as these nominations are from your peers. There is no vote trading or politics, it’s pure votes form industry personnel which for me is very special.
Are there any up and coming UK country artists that you’d like to work with in future or anyone’s work you are currently admiring from this side of the Atlantic?
There are so many UK artists that I love, but in the country realm I would have to say The Shires.
Outside of country I would definitely say Anne-Marie, James Bay and a personal favourite of mine currently is Yola. She’s just released a country album she made with Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys and it’s so brilliant and soulful.
You’ve been playing guitar since you were 12 and performing since you were 14 years old. Now that you’re a platinum selling country music star, do you have any advice for young performers coming through the ranks today?
The genre of country music is changing so much and personally I have always tried to keep the roots in tact whilst playing around with the sonics of the genre. I think you have to be conscious of not sounding like anyone else and be yourself.
Once you understand the history of this genre and understand why the songwriting is so unique and heartfelt then you can strive to be unique yourself. There are a ton of new musicians currently shifting the paradigm of country for the better and they are all being themselves and just being brave.
Do you have any rituals that you do before a gig?
Tequila. We take a shot of tequila and hope for the best.
Do you have a message for your UK fans before the tour?
I am so excited to be coming back and seeing you guys! We will be playing all across the country and we are super excited for RaeLynn to come out and support the tour also. If you haven’t heard her music or seen her live then you need to, I think the UK fans are really going to love her. She is so effervescent and such a great songwriter that the British fans are just going fall in love with her. Ending the tour at the Royal Albert Hall will be extremely special to me and I cannot wait to get across the pond.
See Maren live this month at the following venues:
May 25 – O2 Academy, Leeds
May 26 – O2 Academy, Glasgow
May 27 – Albert Hall, Manchester
May 29 – O2 Academy, Bristol
May 30 – O2 Institute, Birmingham
May 31 – Royal Albert Hall, London
Remaining tickets are available for Maren Morris’ Girl the World Tour via Ticketmaster.co.uk.