Craig Morgan: Everyday Life
by Janelle Landauer
"Everyday life... I think that's the important stuff and that's why people have gravitated toward this music and country music in particular
because we talk about real, everyday relatable material."
Craig Morgan got his start as a songwriter, writing songs about everyday life and singing his own demos. Bryan Switzer at Atlantic Records heard Morgan's demo through a friend. "I had been giving the demos to a buddy of mine who raised quarter horses and Bryan had horses at his place," explains Morgan. "My music was playing, he heard it and asked my buddy and the guy called me and offered me a record deal."
Morgan was signed on with Atlantic Records, but his real success came only after he made the move from Atlantic Records to the independent label, Broken Bow Records a few years later. Morgan has had one of the best independent careers and has really shaped the entire Indie community in country music. Though he feels like all labels are the same nowadays - the radio industry is definitely one of the main reasons why artists are starting to feel this way. "Thankfully, thanks to the radio industry, they're really focusing on artists and songs opposed to labels," says Morgan. "But once you have enough success, you kind of have the same things in front of you as a major label does. Our record label, even though it's an independent has all the same tools and elements that a major label has.
Morgan scored back-to-back hits on his third album release, My Kind of Livin', with his #1 singles for "That's What I Love About Sunday" and "Redneck Yacht Club." "That's what I Love About Sunday" spent 5 weeks at the #1 spot and was the most played song of the year in 2005 on country radio. "I felt like it was a hit from the first time I heard it," recalls Morgan. "It was everything I thought a hit needed to be." My Kind of Livin' was certified gold earlier this year with sales of over a half-million copies.
Fueling off of all that success, Morgan also received his second consecutive nomination for the "Top New Male Vocalist" award at this years ACM's which will air live on May 15, 2007 on CBS at 8 PM (ET/PT). "I'd love to get that award... I tell you if I don't, I'm not going to be sorely disappointed, but I won't be as excited as I would if I did," says Morgan with a laugh. It's an extreme honor to be nominated. I'm very humbled by the fact that people consider me one of the best new male vocalists. That's a huge honor and I'm humbled by that. But, I hope to get that award and have other awards follow, because that's rewarding for not only me but everyone that's involved in my career."
Morgan's fourth studio album (the third for Broken Bow Records), entitled Little Bit of Life was released on October 31, 2006. Little Bit of Life features the title track hit single plus his latest single, "Tough." Morgan recently shot the video for "Tough" which took about a full day just to get all the footage shot. "We just got a final edit so everybody should be able to see it on CMT and GAC in the next couple weeks," says Morgan. [as of May 3, 2007]
Morgan's next goal is a platinum album... "I hope that Little Bit of Life could be a platinum record," says Morgan. "We also hope to continue doing what we're doing... keep making country records, keep touring and singing and making a living at it."
There's no doubt that Morgan will be able to achieve what he sets out to do if he continues writing and recording music about life experiences in general. Take one look at the names of his previous albums and they have "life" written all over them. My Kind of "Livin'" - Little Bit of "Life"... Morgan begins, "I think that's the important stuff [everyday life] and that's why people have gravitated toward this music and country music in particular because we talk about real, everyday relatable material. [This music industry] - It isn't brain surgery, but you can have a huge impact on people's lives. Don't forget that... and don't take it for granite."