Singer/songwriter Kylie Morgan recently released her highly anticipated EP, P.S. The seven-track project was entirely co-written by the songstress and serves as a continuation of her debut EP, Love, Kylie.
Kylie bares her heart and soul throughout the project as each track is very personal to her, including her debut single to country radio, “If He Wanted To He Would.”
Country Now recently caught up with Kylie Morgan ahead of her show at Westin Nashville’s L27 Rooftop Lounge for the 27 Live series where she talked about releasing her EP, telling her personal stories through her music, her upcoming Grand Ole Opry debut, and more.
Check out our recent Q&A with the rising singer/songwriter below.
How does it feel to have P.S. out into the world?
Honestly, like a big exhale, a big relief. I’ve been writing songs in my bedroom since I was 12. And I just now, as far as a year ago, started finally getting to actually release music, as far as more than a song a year. I write so many songs and I feel so close to all of them. So it just feels so good to feel like everyone feels what I have been feeling for so many years. It’s very therapeutic for me to see people react to the songs because to me they’re old. I’ve written them however many years ago, but they’re brand new to everyone else. And it’s just so cool to see that timeline. It’s a pretty beautiful experience.
You co-wrote every song on the project. Is that super important to you as an artist to have every song be one of your own?
Yes. I was actually just telling my guitarist, I’m like, I pretty much have a 10-year catalog of song babies. And so I can’t see myself adopting any anytime soon, only because I have so many of my own. Now when it comes to the point where I’m on the road full-time, maybe. For me, I was a songwriter first before I was an artist. So I feel like who can sing about your life better than you, you know? So that’s been my biggest thing. I was a Taylor Swift fan growing up, I was a Shania [Twain] fan and they wrote their music. And you can tell, you can feel that. So I think that’s why it’s so important to me.
Your songs do tell your personal stories. Do you find it difficult to be so open and honest through your music?
Oh yeah. I mean it’s literally airing your dirty laundry to everyone who hits play and you’re like, ‘Hi, my name’s Kylie. You want to know my deepest, darkest secret? Because I’m going to tell you.’ I mean, it’s very scary. It’s very vulnerable. But I think what I realized is I was writing for so long to be down the middle. My label was originally wanting… like, ‘Oh, we need something easy for radio or easy to digest.’ And as soon as I started putting out songs, even on TikTok, they told me were too personal to release. That’s when my following blew up. That’s when everyone started wanting those songs. And so that’s what’s so cool to me, is I was trying so hard to be relevant in a way of not being too specific. And then as soon as I got more specific is when I found my audience. So it’s very much a relief.
Does it make it hard to find a single amongst your catalog?
Oh yeah. So that’s when I definitely rely on my team. I rely on my label and my management especially, because I’m so close to each one of these songs. So I can trust them to be like, ‘Hey, it’s not your best.’ Or, ‘We love this one more.’ So I trust them because I know that at the end of the day, if I present them a song that I want to release, I want to release it. So it’s not going to be like, Well, I really wish that we would’ve picked this one. Even though I may feel that way. But if it’s a song that I feel close to and that they love, then I’m like, ‘Okay, we’re on the same page. Awesome.’
Can you share the story behind “If You Wanted To He Would?”
There’s so many pieces of this story and I’ll make it quick, but it’s one of those, you know where there’s just little rocks and little pebbles that lead to one big giant structure? I feel like that’s what happened with this one. So where it began, the first time I fell in love was with the worst person I could have fallen in love with. He was older. He cheated on me. He lied to me, and gaslighted me. It was just very toxic. But I loved him so much, that that was my idea of love. And I’m like, oh, I guess love is just like this. It’s just me making excuses for him and realizing that no one knows him better than I do. And no one gets it. And now that I’m older and I see, once you take off your rose-colored glasses, it’s like, what was I thinking?
But, when you’re in it, you don’t see it. So I wanted to always write a song like that, but I was waiting for the moment to present itself. And I joined TikTok over the pandemic because what else were we doing? And I was scrolling through TikTok one day and I found this girl named Zandi Holup. She showed up on my For You page, and she was just captivating. She was beautiful. She wrote and sang lyrics very similar to me in a very honest, vulnerable way. And I was like, I think this girl’s a star. I think she’s amazing. And so I’ve never done this before, but I sent her a message and I was like, I’m a fan. I reached out to her and I was like, I really would love to collaborate with you. I think that we are very on the same wavelength. So we got together and we wrote this song because it was an ongoing phrase that you would hear, but no one ever wrote this song. And it’s ‘If He Wanted To, He Would.’ And so she actually played me… This is so funny how we get inspiration, but she played me a TikTok of this girl talking and ending it with, If he wanted to, he would. And I was like, how has that not been written yet?
So you started with the title?
Yeah. And I was like, this is exactly what I needed to hear when I was in this. And I was like, you know what? We just need to be really blunt and honest and say it as in, we have no personal connection to who we’re talking to. As in, brutally honest.
It’s so funny, I get comments all the time and they’re like, Why’d you have to target me like that? Can you at me next time? And I was like, literally it was at me when I was 16 because I was in it. And so I just said all the things that I needed to hear. And this is what I’m a big proponent of too; we finished the song, and it was almost there, but it wasn’t there yet. The lyrics were, but the vibe wasn’t. And so I brought in my producer, Ben Johnson, we’ve been writing together since I was 19. I was like, ‘You know my sound, you know what I love to do. I want this feeling anthemic. I want this to feel like Tom Petty meets Imagine Dragons meets Shania Twain.’ And he was like, ‘Okay, I got you.’
We finished the demo and at that moment I was like, yeah, I think we did it. I think this is the song. And I’ve only said that three other times. And it just was one of those moments that I was like, I’m going to always remember this day. Because I feel like it’s going to change something.
How long ago did you write it?
It was only nine months ago…The songs that you hear on the original EP, Love, Kylie, and as well as P.S., some of those songs are years old. When I wrote ‘Cuss A Little,’ that I put on the original EP with Walker Hayes, I wrote that song when I was 19. And I didn’t get to release it until I was 25. So it’s one of those things where, especially as a songwriter, I’m like, I just want to make music that doesn’t have a timestamp or an expiration date. And if I can still write a song and feel that song years later, then I feel like it’s one of those timeless things that will forever be one of those parts of my life that I do.
Sorry that you had to postpone your Opry debut! How are you feeling about it now?
I cried, balled. I was heartbroken. I mean you wait for your whole life for this day. And then it’s like P.S. got COVID. Cool. And what broke my heart even more is the fact that I tested positive. And the only reason I even tested was because my radio rep that I was with that whole week tested positive. And he was like, ‘Hey, you should take a test.’ And I was like, ‘I feel fine.’ I had really bad anxiety that whole week, which was the very first side effect that I got for the first time I had it. But I was also on radio tour and I was like, it’s radio tour. And so I didn’t even think anything of it. And then I took a test and it was positive. And this was Sunday, so I already canceled. And then I tested Monday and Tuesday and it was negative. So I had it that whole week. Didn’t know it.
So I absolutely could have done it. But I already canceled. It actually turned out better because now we have more time to plan. My fiance wasn’t able to come to the first day and now he can be there. So it’s all going to work.
What are you looking forward to the most about performing at the Opry?
Oh my God! How long do you have? I think my biggest thing is, I’m all about, I don’t know why, but I’m really a big proponent of signs and number signs. For instance, we were just talking about my biggest influence was Shania Twain. And I just watched her documentary last night, and I was just so inspired from it. And I just realized all these things. And then my opener, Taryn Papa, just started singing a Shania Twain song. So it’s these little moments that you have. And what’s crazy is 10 years ago, close to the day, I was on this reality show called Opening Act on the E! Network when I was 17. And I went and visited the Opry for the first time and got to step in the circle. And as a part of the show, Dierks Bentley walked out and surprised me. And he was like, ‘Oh my God, how does it feel to stand in this?’ And I’m of course crying. I’m 17. Just baby Kylie, freaking out. And now that we rescheduled the date, it is literal almost 10 years to the day, a decade later. It’s so crazy. It’s just those moments where you’re like, happened for a reason. I get it now. And I think just the most special thing that I’m most looking forward to is the fact of my mom, her dream was to do what I’m doing. And her dream was the Grand Ole Opry. And knowing that she will be in the crowd with my Papaw, who taught her how to sing. It’s one of those full-circle family moments. It’s almost like when the first kid goes to college in the family. I just feel like it’s that. But in the most country music, anthemic, historical way.
Congratulations on your engagement. How is the wedding planning going?
It’s great. I had a minor panic attack two days ago. It’s fine. I literally was on the phone with my wedding planner and I straight up was ugly crying, because she made me so nervous. We weren’t going to have enough space at this venue blah, blah, blah. All this stuff. And then I was like, what am I doing? I am such a show-up, everything’s going to be fine, kind of person. My favorite is, we’ll figure it out. And then my management’s like, Yeah, but we need to actually do that. It doesn’t just happen. I’m like, It’ll be fine. And so Jay [Allen], my fiance, is literally the planner to the T, and I’m a, we’ll figure it out, off the whim kind of person. And so after I had that minor panic attack, I was like, what am I doing? This is not going to be the thing in my life that I’m going to treat any different than any other aspect. And so we figured it out; it’s going to be totally fine. I grew up dreaming about my career, my first project, being on the radio. While all these other girls are dreaming about their wedding. And not in a bad way. That was my priority. I didn’t even think I was going to get married…I was married in my career.
I was just like, you can’t have both. And that’s why I wrote ‘Independent With You,’ because when I met Jay; he’s an artist as well. And for the first time, I didn’t have to explain anything. I didn’t have to make excuses for anything. I didn’t have to do any of that because he was like, I get it. It just was one of those moments where I, for the first time ever, don’t have to apologize.
Fans can keep up with Kylie Morgan on Instagram.