They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither was “I Met A Girl,” the first hit single from William Michael Morgan. The Warner Brothers recording artist recently made it to the top of the charts with his debut single, setting a record climb of 58 weeks. The singer tells CMChat that he’s proud of the record, and the fact that the label didn’t give up on him.
“It all comes down to the team – Warner Brothers and my management. They never gave up on me or the song. They kept pushing it and believing it. There were so many times along the way that it looked they could have easily said ‘Let’s put something else out.’ But, they didn’t. They believed in both the song and us as an artist. That was second to none for me.”
With a new single, “Missing,” out, William Michael Morgan says that he’s excited to finally have new music on the radio.
“Hopefully, it won’t take quite as long,” he says with a laugh. “I’m excited about it. It’s simply a song about getting missing and being gone, just turning off the world for a little bit, turning your phone off and getting gone.”
How good is the newcomer at tuning the world out? He says he’s not the best at it, but he is trying. “It’s tough catching up the day after – on all the calls and emails, not to mention social media. But, sometimes you have to do it, even if it’s just an hour or even 10 minutes. Just take a walk around the block. I just recently bought a bicycle, and I’ll bike when we get to a show, and see what’s around me, and where we’re at that day.”
A native of Vicksburg, MS, one might wonder if he’s a fan of Mississippi State or Ole Miss. He says neither, as he’s a fan of Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. That aside, he does take pride in the way that Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott has caught on this season with the Dallas Cowboys. He says his stomach is still in knots over the team’s thrilling come-from-behind victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 13 at Heinz Field.
“I am a huge Cowboys fan,” he admits. “That last touchdown that Ezekiel Elliot made against the Steelers was unreal. My girlfriend kept asking me ‘Are you going to be ok?’ She was preparing for the worst. I told her ‘You’re talking about Dak. He’s going to get us there.’ He is having a great season. I thought we’d get close enough to get a field goal, because we’ve got the best kicker in the league, but Ezekiel took it home for us.”
When it comes to his influences, he credits 1990s hit-maker Mark Chesnutt – on both the career and the personal front. “He’s a friend of mine, too. I’ve got a song on his new album called ‘You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore,’ which I wrote with Jimmy Ritchey and Roger Springer. That was my first cut, which was such an unreal feeling coming from one of my biggest heroes. It was unbelievable,” he says proudly. When asked about the best piece of advice Chesnutt has given him, he says “Be yourself. Don’t let anybody tell you what to do. Listen with open ears, and act accordingly, but follow your heart.”
That heart led him to Music City a little over four years ago. He confessed that the town can be a little bit intimidating. After all, there is so much talent. “I’ve been here about four and a half years. I was very scared. I didn’t know anyone, other than at the label. I moved here right after I signed with Warner Chappell. The label deal was just about done when I moved up here. You go down to Broadway on any given night, and you’ll find 20 people better than I am.”
But, needless to say, William Michael Morgan is making the most of his opportunities. When asked about his 2016, he says “There have been so many firsts. I guess the birth of my little girl would be the best one,” he says, allowing that on the career front, “It never hurts to have your first No. 1. My dad records the countdowns every week, and he would send them to me, and say ‘Proud of you, you moved up two spots,’ or ‘you moved down three.’ He was keeping up as much as I was. That means a lot to me.”
William Michael Morgan’s debut full-length album, Vinyl, is in stores now.