By Emily Wagner
Kylie Morgan is one of those acts that is going to take on the next generation of country music.
She’s been after this dream and career since she was 12, and there’s no slowing her down. We talk with her about how she got her start and what it’s been like to work with some of the biggest names in the business.
What got you interested in music in the first place? Do you come from a musical family?
“My papaw got me my very first little punk guitar for Christmas when I was twelve. I started writing songs at age 10 and was very eager to learn guitar after seeing my papaw play for so many years. My mom was a singer as well and always played country music in the car all growing up.”
Your success and recognition seems to come at a young age. Did you ever have another plan in case music didn’t work out?
“I told my mom when I was twelve I wanted to move to Nashville and be a country music artist. There was no steering me on a different path once I made that choice. I was a gymnast since I was three and realized I wasn’t going to the Olympics. So, that dream faded and country music became the only goal.”
You’re following quite the dynasty out of Oklahoma, with Carrie, Garth, Blake. Who were some of your musical influences growing up, country or otherwise?
“Shania Twain was played on repeat in our car along with Martina, Reba, and Blake. I honestly didn’t even know there was another genre besides country till the iPods came out and I heard some of my friends listening to rap on the play ground.”
Nashville is known to be a tough town to make it in. How were your first weeks and months after you made the move?
“I started traveling back and fourth to Nashville at 15. I was so blessed to have met a guy named Russ Zavitson and his wife Denise who took me under their wing and pretty much adopted me, it felt at times. He believed in me at such a young age and helped me grow. So, when I was nineteen I made the move and he signed me to my first publishing deal in Music City. Knowing I already had a deal from working hard so early on, made the move much easier.”
Getting signed to a record deal had to be a goal when moving to town, but you hit the jackpot when signing with SMACK Songs and working with Shane McAnally and Josh Osbourne. How did that all come to be?
“Some girls plan their wedding since childhood, I on the other hand planned my career. It seemed the day I signed my record deal was my “wedding day!” I met Robin Palmer who helped get Shane his start through Walker Hayes. She found my songs in his catalogue when he signed to Smack. I remember getting a call from her and a voicemail saying, “Hi, this is Robin Palmer with Smack Songs. I just wanted to know, who are you and why haven’t I heard of you?” I’ll never forget that day because that was the beginning of the next phase in my career.”
“I ended up finally meeting Shane after I met with Robin when he came to see me perform at the Bluebird Cafe. It was honestly one of the best nights of my life. I got to perform at my dream venue and then find out I get to sign under my favorite songwriter. After writing for Smack for a couple years, I did my first showcase and started talking with Universal. I met the staff of EMI along with Cindy Mabe and Mike Dungan and knew I found my people.”
Be sure to follow Kylie on Spotify to stay up to date on all new music releases.