Maren Morris is proud to be a woman in country music. The new bride isn't about to be swayed by the fact that male artists continue to dominate the airwaves, and she will proudly carry the torch of speaking her mind in her music, hoping that other female artists follow her example.
"To be a woman and to be honest and to write songs that aren't necessarily about pertaining to the guy or it just being a pure love song – I love exploring other dimensions beyond just that one feeling," Morris shared with PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "I really have loved growing up in this sort of spot light in the last few years and realizing, I guess, I am sort of on this weird pedestal. Because I do cuss and I talk about drinking and I talk about relationships in ways that I think we talk about it with our friends."
Morris earned plenty of attention with her freshman Hero album, which included the debut single, "My Church." The song, which eschewed the idea of Sunday morning services, and instead says, "I've fallen down from grace / A few too many times / But I find holy redemption / When I put this car in drive," initially earned Morris a reputation as a rebel – a title she doesn't entirely refute.
"The radio is like its own world," explained Morris. "I don't think really watering yourself down ends up gaining you more fans. I deal with it every time I say something maybe a little more outspoken. You lose a thousand followers but then the ones that stick with you are really, really in it with you for good and so I've learned the dark and the light side of that, is just speak your mind and not feel apologetic for it but also knowing you may polarize some people."
The 27-year-old was open and honest in "Dear Hate," a song she sang with Vince Gill and released after the devastating Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting. The song, which says, "Dear Hate / You were smiling from that Selma bridge / In Dallas, when that bullet hit and Jackie cried / You pulled those towers from the sky / But even on our darkest nights / The world keeps spinning 'round," earned her a comparison to the Dixie Chicks, who famously spoke out against President George W. Bush, and faced serious repercussions to their career as a result.
"With my music I've never really written super political song," she said. "'Dear Hate' isn't political it's just really emotional song that we put in historical facts into, to make it pertain to today. And so, I can't really speak upon that but as far the Dixie Chicks things go. That threat is always looming over you and people like to say, 'All right you might want to cool it or you'll end up like a Dixie Chick.' And I'm like, 'I just saw them in concert, and they are still as bad a– as they were back then,' so there are worse ways to end up.
"I just think that's a very easy thing to say when someone says something you don't agree with and I think that people don't even think that way anymore really," she continued. "It's changed so much sense all that went down. So I'm no threatened by that thrown out at me anymore."
As Morris prepares to release her upcoming sophomore album, she is learning how to speak her mind, while not unintentionally offending people in the process.
"Sometimes I think I say things and it comes across as super assertive and I'm really not trying to be that way," she conceded. "I'm really a very shy person but I think the biggest obstacle is just being misinterpreted when I'm just trying to be myself. And hopefully give girls and guys some hope that they don't have to change and they don't have to water themselves down to be an artist. I think people are really refreshed by honesty."
Morris will headline several of her own shows over the next few months, and will also tour overseas with pop singer Niall Horan. Dates can be found on her website.
Photo Credit: Instagram/MarenMorris