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Baylen Leonard's Country Hits Radio champion Morgan Wade
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Baylen Leonard's Country Champion: Morgan Wade

By Baylen Leonard

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Every week At Country Hits Radio we crown a new Country Champion - a new song from a new artist that we think you’ll love as much as we do.

This week's Country Champion is singer-songwriter Morgan Wade. She started writing music at eight years old, but it wasn’t until 18 that she discovered she enjoyed performing in front of other people. Her new single is a balm for our times, an acknowledgement of the hurt, but with steely determination to carry on. Morgan reminds us of that cool mysterious girl in school that you always wanted to smoke cigarettes with behind the dumpsters and hang out with, but were a bit afraid to approach. Until that one day she saw you crying, put her arm around you and said, “It’s all going to be ok, fuck the haters, you got this”.

Thanks Morgan, we needed that.

Where are you from, and has that influenced the type of artist you are?

I grew up in a small town called Floyd, Virginia. I would definitely say that had an impact upon my writing, as it's a town full of bluegrass musicians - growing up, I would listen to music on the streets of the town on Friday nights. Though I don't play bluegrass, the atmosphere that was filled with music was my start. Being in a small town where there was not much to do, also led me to the road of drinking, and eventually to sobriety.

Speaking of influences, what were you listening to growing up?

I listened to a lot of Elvis Presley. I was very drawn to him and everything he did. I was obsessed with his music, his movies, books about him. He was different and an outcast; I really connected with that.

Did you ever want to do something other than music?

A real part of me always wanted to write and play music, but I had no confidence in myself. So, I set out to college in hopes of one day becoming a physician's assistant. As you can see, that did not pan out and thankfully I am following the dream of music - I just happen to also have some debt for a bachelor's degree. Ha!

Are you more creative when you’re happy or when you’re sad?

I am definitely most creative when I am sad. I write most of my meaningful stuff when I am dealing with stress or heartbreak. It's a blessing and a curse. But the sadness forces me to connect with myself again. During those times, I tend to dig deeper and hear what is inside.

Morgan Wade

Morgan Wade

In general, which comes first for you, the title or the song?

The song definitely comes first for me. Occasionally, I have lines that come to me that I want to use in a song, or a word that hits me that I know I will have to use. But to be honest, I struggle to name the songs when they are done.

Any nicknames you care to share? How did it come about?

My friends call me Mugan. (Muhh-Gan). Not entirely sure why that really stuck but it's been a thing with all of my close friends for the last 10 years. People also call me other names, but those aren’t really nice names, so we won’t mention those.

Night owl or early bird?

Definitely an early bird since the pandemic. I have a pretty solid routine. I read Robin Sharma’s book The 5 AM Club back last February and it changed my mentality. I get up early and get my day started. Working out early and then writing in the morning work really well for me.

Who would be your dream collaboration?

Dream collaboration would be Lana Del Rey. I love her. She is raw and real and an overall phenomenal artist. I would probably die if I actually met her in person, but it would be an awesome way to go out.

What’s next?

I am hoping that I will be able to tour again soon. That is my main focus. Release the record, and then hit all the cities I can hit. I miss the stage. But I am content with how my life is at the moment.

Morgan Wade's debut album, Reckless, is set for release on March 19 via Ladylike Records / Thirty Tigers. Her new single, 'Wilder Days' is out now - listen below.

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