We’re super-excited to speak today with accomplished and celebrated musician Nathan Morris; greetings and salutations, Nathan! Before we begin kicking the proverbial tin can down the dusty road, how has 2022 been treating you?
2022 has been a challenging year. Personal loss, difficult decisions. All of if has come out of the wash, but not with a few scrapes and great songs!
Congratulations for your upcoming new single YET, which is scheduled to drop onto turntables the world over this May 27! What was the genesis of YET? How did this gem of a tune come into being?
I’ve stood off to the side countless times. More times than I’d like to admit, just waiting, watching the family members stand over the casket of one they love so very much, knowing it will be the last time they see that loved one physically on this Earth. Trying to find that “right time” to say “right this way” and escort them to the family limos, that’s what YET is about. It’s never the right time. You’re never ready to go.
YET plies the fertile territory of prolonged farewells and memories that cling to us. Why do you think these are such evergreens in the world of music?
Death comes to us all. We’re a people who hold on to things, memories, moments, as a way to forever remember and pay tribute to someone. These painful pieces in time are the best of songs. Grief and knowing we all suffer remind us we’re in this together.
For someone listening to YET who may have undergone their own goodbyes with friends and loved ones, do you feel that the song itself offers some form of catharsis for the bereaved?
In a way, it’s validating to know your prolonged goodbye and delayed cooperation with the funeral director is to be expected. Justifiable, even.
Who was your producer on YET and what did that collaboration look like in the studio? What do you hope fans walk away feeling after listening to YET?
A sincere desire to listen again. The last memory with the one you loved before the illness or tragedy that got them, and the happy moment in time you experienced. And all the ones before that which made the final goodbye so difficult.
Inquiring minds want to know: Is YET an opening charge which will eventually bring us to a full-length album? Is there such a creature in the offing?
You’d be correct. COVID did a number on so many people. Including funeral directors. To cope with over two years of loss after loss, I wrote and I wrote. The honest songs which came from this pandemic, I’m certain, will allow listeners to know their loss is acknowledged, and we’re all still putting some pieces back together.
Can fans look forward to seeing you on tour in the near future?
Management just left my office discussing this. With so much buzz with TikTok blowing up these last few months, I intend on getting out to perform these songs and meet the people who have been so incredibly supportive.
You’ve not only solidified a major reputation as a consummate musician, but you’ve also established yourself as a success in other lines of work, the most intriguing-sounding one being that of a mortician. How did that come about for you and, more importantly, how does that inform your career as a musician?
I came home for my birthday in 2010. I was living in North Carolina, and went to dinner with my brothers in Owensboro, Kentucky. I saw Megan, my wife, for the first time, yet never met her. Embarrassingly enough, I was mad she hadn’t recognized me. We spoke for a brief moment, where I learned she broke the stereotype and was a funeral director. I said I had to go to the restroom, and just left, but we reconnected the following day, where I got a tour of her funeral home. The rest is history!
As a singer and songwriter, which comes first for you – The lyrics or the music?
Lyrics, always. I feel the lyrics make the sound for me.
How did you first become interested in music? Is there a Secret Origins story you could share with us?
Summer days at Paddock pool as a boy. Listening to the Boyz II Men, Jon Secada, Michael Jackson songs on the radio, singing to the songs. Voice lessons. Piano lessons. This desire to entertain and remain the center of attention.
Is there anyone on the music scene right now that you enjoy listening to?
SYML, Lights – I love their grit and obvious depth to their hearts.
The social media darling known as TikTok has been a real boon to getting your name and music out to the fans. What do you make of your incredible popularity on TikTok?
It is reaffirming to never waiver from who you are. You are good enough, valuable enough, entertaining enough. Haley posted that video a few months back, and we were smart to just keep posting. It has opened so many doors with management, shows, partnerships, you name it. Always be intentional.
Final – SILLY! – Question: Favorite movie about the music scene – Almost Famous, This Is Spinal Tap or La Bamba?
That Thing You Do – by far!