Morgan Evans did not receive a CMA Award nomination for New Artist of the Year, although many thought he would – and should. The Australian native says the five artists nominated – Lauren Alaina, Luke Combs, Chris Janson, Midland and Brett Young – are the ones who deserve to be in the running this year.
"If you look at all the artists in that category, they've had songs on the radio for years. It's like to get to the point where you're acknowledged at that level, I think you really need to earn it," Evans tells PopCulture.com. "But you're talking about a category that Luke Combs is nominated in. That's something to aspire to, for sure."
Evans' freshman Things That We Drink To album will be released on Oct. 12, and Evans admits he is nervous leading up to the big day.
"My favorite thing to do is write and play live," says Evans. "And I like playing live because you're up there and you can see what people are doing. And you can do more of that or you can see like, 'Is this song too slow? We'll play a fast one next.' But when you put a record out, there's no context; you have no idea if someone's listening in their car, if they're sad, if they're happy, if they're drunk, if they're sober, if they're high. You don't even know. So it's just such a big part of yourself to put out there."
Not that Evans is opposed to giving fans a personal glimpse of himself. The 33-year-old is happy to share himself with others, at least when it comes to his music.
"I can't remember who said it, but I really relate to the idea of when you're writing a song, when you're recording the song, when you're making the record, it's all yours. But then once you put it out, it's not yours anymore," Evans explains. "It's everyone's to experience in all those ways that I've mentioned before. It may be their first dance at their wedding. It may be their least favorite they've ever heard. It's just not yours anymore. So all you can do is do your best, put it out and then get on the road and play it live."
Evans may not be nominated for a CMA Award, but his wife, Kelsea Ballerini, scored a nod for Female Vocalist of the Year. The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.
Pre-order Things That We Drink To at MorganEvansMusic.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Erika Goldring