Ryan Hurd Didn’t Want to Drop ‘To a T,’ But Maren Morris Set Him Straight
Ryan Hurd kept his new song "To a T" a secret until his wife said he was being an idiot. "When you have a Grammy Award-winning artist on your A&R team, you kind of have to lean on her perspective whenever she has one," he says.
Of course Hurd is married to Maren Morris, and goes as far as to share a familiar joke among songwriters in Nashville "that if you're writing a song with Ryan you’re writing a song about Maren."
His hits as a songwriter include "Lonely Tonight" by Blake Shelton and "Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset" for Luke Bryan. When he was writing "You Look Good" (Lady Antebellum), Hurd recalls the other writers in the room calling him out.
"It's nice to have a muse," he tells Taste of Country, somewhat sheepishly.
Writer Laura Veltz pitched the idea of "To a T" to Hurd and co-writer Nathan Spicer, and the Michigan native was immediately drawn to the math-like nature of figuring out a chorus reliant on lining up vowels and phrases without giving up the story. It took a long time and was anything but that fairytale, fell-from-heaven story you often hear.
Hurd also liked that unlike his previous releases "Love In a Bar" and "Diamonds or Twine," this song wasn't autobiographical. There's something universal about it that makes it easy to apply to one's own love story. That's another reason Morris urged him to share it.
"I didn't turn it into my publisher. I didn't turn it into my label. I don't know why, I think I just wanted to have it in my back pocket," Hurd says. "She was the reason that I played it for my manager and ended up playing it for the label. She was like, 'You are an idiot for not putting this song out.'"
Now officially released to radio, Hurd is excited about taking a journey he's watched his wife take several times. But he's not anxious about the song's success. His goals for 2019 are more personal than professional, involving creativity and a sense of satisfaction instead of chart success or awards.
"If I ever got to do my own No. 1 party, and it was my name and I got to see all the people that like helped me get to that point ..." he says, dreaming for a second, "I don’t know how I'd get through that. I'm actually kind of scared of that."
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