Morgan Evans has become a popular name within the country music scene since the release of his debut US single ‘Kiss Somebody.’
His follow-up single ‘Day Drunk’ spent an incredible twenty-five weeks at the Number One spot on TMN’s Country Airplay Chart and two weeks on TMN’s Hot 100 Airplay Chart – which made him the first country artist to achieve this since Taylor Swift’s broke records with smash hit ‘Love Story.’ The track additionally was awarded ‘Single of The Year’ at Australia’s Golden Guitar Awards.
He released his latest album ‘Things That We Drink To’ in late 2018, a collection of original tracks, including a beautiful collaboration with his wife Kelsea Ballerini.
He has most recently supported Dan & Shay, along with supporting artists such as Chris Young and Old Dominion, as well as performing at his own sold-out shows.
Later this year, he is set to headline a host of shows in the UK, Ireland and Europe, with shows in Dublin, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Lutterworth and Berlin.
CelebMix had the opportunity to exclusively speak with Morgan Evans about his tour dates later this year, his recent album, his musical influences and much more. Keep reading to check out our exclusive interview!
You’ve recently announced headline tour dates across the UK, Ireland and Europe for later this year. Are you looking forward to getting out on the road and performing your own material?
“Absolutely! I’ve been on the road sort of non-stop for the last couple of years, but mostly opening up for people – opening up for some of my favourite artists in the world. I actually get to play songs off the album that I’ve never played live before and that is exciting for me, to be able to give the full experience of the album – ‘Things That We Drink To’ – that was put out last year.”
Aside from the performing aspect, are you looking forward to seeing a bunch of new cities?
“I feel like I’ve been to most of them before, but I definitely haven’t been to Liverpool or Berlin yet and certainly not Lutterworth – so there’s three out of the six that will be first timers for me. I’m super stoked! I’ll be equal part a tourist and equal part working, that’s for sure!”
What can people coming to the tour expect from your set?
“There’s a lot of first times on this tour. I have a one-man show and it’s something that has been growing every show. I went from just standing up there with a guitar to having a keyboard now and a banjo and an electric guitar – stuff like that. It’ll be the biggest and loudest show that I’ve ever played. As I said before, I think more than ever, I’m looking forward to sharing music with my people – the people who like my record and also getting to share parts of the record that I haven’t been able to play live ever before. It’s exciting for me to look forward to that and know that at the end of the year, I’ll get to have that experience.”
As you mentioned earlier, you’ve been supporting artists too and you’ve recently finished supporting Dan and Shay. How was that experience for you?
“It was so good! I love those guys. We did a bunch of dates together at the end of last year with Chris Young as well. They’ve had such a crazy year – it was exciting to be around them, both as musicians and mates, they’re such good fellas. There was a real family feeling on the road. I don’t know if it was just their fans in particular or if it was the fact that their music has been on the radio more than it ever has before, but the fans showed up early to watch my whole set and they sang along to almost every song. It was my favourite experience I’ve had so far opening up for someone – it’s a really good place to be right now!”
Your album ‘Things That We Drink To’ has a very honest narrative throughout. What was the writing process for the album like?
“It was a long writing process. It wasn’t my first album that I’ve ever made, but it was the first album that was made for outside Australia, as my first album only came out in Australia. I feel like in a way I’ve been writing for this album my whole life and there were hundreds of songs to choose from. I was very conscious of the fact that I would be singing songs from this album for the rest of my life and I wanted to make them as honest as possible and to tell as much of the story as possible. We obviously tried to pick the best songs, but even more than that, we wanted to pick songs that told our story over the last couple of years. I feel like a lot has happened in the last couple of years. It was a good guideline and compass in terms of picking the songs to make the record.”
You have a duet with your wife, Kelsea Ballerini, on the album – ‘Dance With Me.’ Was it a special moment for you both being able to record the track and then having it feature on the album?
“It’s really special to us and for me, definitely. It’s my favourite song on the album and my favourite song I think I’ve ever written. What’s funny about that was we recorded that and we sent it in to the record label when it was finished. Kelsea wasn’t on it at all and she asked me to go and sing backing vocals on one of her songs on the ‘Unapologetically’ album. On the way to the studio, I was like ‘oh hey, I was supposed to sing on this, but if I sing on one of yours, will you sing on one of mine?’ And she was like ‘of course, which one?’ We sort of thought about them and she was like ”Dance With Me’ is done and I said ‘one night, we’ll not tell anybody, we’ll go into the studio with my producer Chris and you can sing and can see if you like it.’ I remember that night like it was yesterday – we went in there and the second she started to sing on that first chorus, Chris and I just looked at each other and the hairs on the back of our necks were standing up. It was a perfect moment and I’m so glad to have her on it, for personal reasons, but also for musical reasons. She is an incredible singer and it definitely takes that song to the next level.”
Going back to your roots, how did you discover your love for music?
“I don’t remember not loving it – it was always just on around the house, whether that was Led Zeppelin or The Beatles or The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band or Willie Nelson or Garth Brooks – I just grew up in a house that was full of music. My parents weren’t necessarily musicians, but my Mum, had she been given the chance as a kid to pursue music, she may have. That resulted in her not being crazy about it, but encouraging my brother, sister and I by saying ‘do you guys want to play piano, be in a band, play football or do you want to play guitar?’ We all had the opportunity to pick up instruments at a young age. It wasn’t until I picked up a guitar at thirteen that I really fell in love with it and knew that it was something I was going to do for the rest of my life – whether it was commercial or not. It’s been a lifelong thing.”
Who are your musical influences?
“It’s so wide and varied right now. I feel like growing up, my favourite bands were The Eagles, Garth Brooks and The Beatles. In my teens, I discovered Keith Urban, which was the door that opened to Nashville and what was happening there at the time. I feel like more than ever right now, living, working and writing songs in the community of Nashville, I am inspired by my friends and the people I get to work with every day. It’s an ever changing thing.”
You have had many incredible achievements throughout your career so far. What has been the stand-out memory for you so far?
“I think the stand-out memory for me probably was when ‘Kiss Somebody’ – my first single in America – went Number One last year. There’s something about that – I’m not sure if it’s the same in the UK, but when you’re from Australia, the idea of having a Number One song in America is the biggest, craziest thing you could ever imagine. As an Australian guy to get to experience that for the first time last year, it was pretty overwhelming. When the charts came out and I got to celebrate with all the people I work with and made that music with, that was a pretty special moment!”
Aside from your tour later this year, what have you got planned for the rest of the year?
“We’re heading out with Rascal Flatts for the summer – that’ll be a big American summer tour, where we get to go round and play all these huge venues and open up for those guys, which is going to be awesome! That’s literally going to take up the entire summer. There is a couple of festivals here and there, but that’s pretty much the whole summer and then in the fall, I’ll be playing my music all over the world. I’m excited to get back on the plane and go and play in other parts of the world too. I can’t talk too much about that because we haven’t announced all of that yet, but I’ll also be writing as many songs as possible. I’ll be busy, but I am very grateful to be busy playing music.”
Finally, do you have a message for your supporters?
“Just thank you! Thank you so much. I appreciate that you take the time to listen to my music, when there is so much music in the world these days to choose from. The fact that you dig it makes it all worthwhile. I can’t wait to get over and play it live for you!”
For a full list of tour dates and to buy tickets to any of his tour dates, click here.
CelebMix would like to take this opportunity to thank Morgan Evans for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with us.