William Michael Morgan Credits His Parents for His Music Career
William Michael Morgan is getting his first taste of radio success with the release of his debut single, "I Met a Girl," and the country singer credits his parents for allowing him to pursue his passion for music.
"My mom and dad are the reason obviously that I'm here. That's a given, but in all reality, my mom and dad were the people that made it possible for me to do what I wanted to do," Morgan tells Taste of Country. "At 14 years old — even at five years old running around the house, little snot nosed kid singing 'El Paso' — for them to take a chance and say, 'We want you to try this.' For them to believe in me at that young age, was amazing."
Morgan grew up singing around his home in Mississippi. The first song he remembers hearing was "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, and he was immediately hooked. He began researching classic artists like Keith Whitley and Merle Haggard and fell in love with traditional artists like Waylon Jennings and George Jones.
"I just fell in love with that sound, the realness of the lyrics and the way that you can be moved by the melody," he recalls. "It didn't matter who it was, you just immediately — within the first three words — you knew who was singing and you knew whether it was going to be a heartbreak song or you were going to be happy. You felt it. It was real."
Morgan got his first guitar as a teenager and soon started a band. By the age of 15 he was playing all the honky-tonks he could sneak into in Mississippi. Any venue that would have them, he and his band would play from 10PM until 2AM, laying the groundwork for the artist he is today.
Morgan says he instantly fell in love with his new single "I Met a Girl" the first time he heard it. It was written by Sam Hunt, Old Dominion's Trevor Rosen and Shane McAnally, and Morgan raves about Hunt's writing style.
"He's got a great way of painting these pictures in his songs. I saw that girl crossing the street with her baby blues and her crazy shoes and biting her lip and whatnot," Morgan explains.
Morgan first heard the song on Hunt's Between the Pines acoustic mixtape, and Morgan said it was unlike anything he had ever recorded.
"I'm thinking, 'Man, this is a little more to the left for me. I wear cowboy hats and Wranglers,'" he says. "Jimmy Ritchey, my producer, I've got to give all the credit to Jimmy Ritchey and Scott Hendricks on that. They really listened in and heard, which made me say, 'You know what? I've got to start listening with a different ear.'"
But Morgan took the song into the studio and made it his own, calling his version "hat country." "It's been getting some pretty good response so far, and we just hope to keep on making music that is us and can relate to the people and that the people enjoy," he says.
"I Met a Girl" is at radio now and his parents couldn't be more proud.
"My mom, she's just tickled to death about everything. She calls me all the time," Morgan says with a smile. "I think if she could make every show, she would."
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