Morgan Frazier - MORGAN FRAZIER: COUNTRY STARLET TALKS ABOUT HITTING THE "YELLOW BRICK ROAD"
June 24, 2013
Morgan Frazier has only recently turned 20-years-old but she already has more than a decade's worth of experience as a professional singer. Recently the accolades and accomplishments have really been piling up for the young country star; she's writing songs with the cream of Nashville's top songwriters, one of her co-writes has won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the country category and she's been signed to vaunted Sidewalk/Curb Records who've just released her hit-bound single "Yellow Brick Road" and an EP of the same name. Morgan gave us a call, not from the Yellow Brick Road but from a highway near Santa Maria, California, to give us an idea of how she's making it all happen.
Examiner.com: I saw this CD for sale on Amazon; the cover has a picture of a little country cutie wearing a cowboy hat and sitting on a fence rail.
Morgan Frazier: (Laughs) That’s me!
E: Tell me about that era. You were kicking off your singing career, but weren’t you also involved in a rodeo queen competition?
MF: I was. I was doing the rodeo queen thing where you had to go house to house and sell tickets to the rodeo. My parents made that CD when I was nine and ordered 1000 copies of them, expecting that we would sell them at the little shows I did. We weren’t really getting rid of them so I asked my mom, “Why can’t I go, not from house to house like with the rodeo tickets, but from business to business and sell my CDs?” So we went down to our little town square (in Breckenridge, Texas) that day and sold about 80 CDs. Long story short, we packed them on the road for two years and sold 30,000 CDs.
E: Do you know what that CD is selling for these days?
MF: How much?
E: Fifty bucks.
MF: Shut up! Wow!
E: Well, the copy I saw had your autograph on it.
MF: Once in Nashville a lady showed me a copy of that CD and I had signed my autograph right over my face. (Laughs) I was really little. I had no idea.
E: Fast forward to more recent times; now you’re co-writing songs with Dean Dillon, whose credentials include writing many hits for George Strait.
MF: When I first came to Nashville and signed a record deal one of my first writes was with Dean Dillon. I didn’t know how important he was and I’m kind of glad I didn’t, because I would have been very intimidated. I had heard stories about how he’s very blunt and honest and he goes, “Listen little girl it takes a lot to excite me” and I said “Well it takes a lot to impress me too” and we hit it off from that point on. I was very fortunate to write with John Scott Sherrill and Paul Overstreet---Hall of Fame songwriters---I was very lucky to be able to learn from those guys when I first moved to Nashville.
E: You signed with Curb Records at 16. Was there a particular incident that got you the contract?
MF: My manager had been hounding (Curb Records executive) Doug Johnson for two months to meet with me and listen to me sing and he kept putting it off. I think at the time they were really scared of signing young female artists. Then when he was down in Texas anyway we went and did an outdoor bar show and he ended up coming to see me and I guess that was what sealed the deal.
E: There’s a lot of “Wizard of Oz” imagery in “Yellow Brick Road,” both in the lyrics and in the cover graphics for the single where you appear to have knocked out the scarecrow.
MF: As a songwriter you get ideas that pop into your head late at night and that was one of those ideas. I was laying there thinking about why there hasn’t been a song about a guy that’s played all these girls because he doesn’t have a heart, like the tin man. When I went in to write with my friend Jim “Moose” Brown, he plays keys with Bob Seger and he wrote “Five O’clock Somewhere,” I told him this idea and probably in about 45-minutes we had the whole song. It’s about this guy who doesn’t have a brain in his head like the scarecrow, a guy who plays on girls because he doesn’t have a heart and a third guy who’s afraid of commitment; he’s the cowardly lion. It was a very fun song to write.
E: It seems like it would be a lot of fun to make a “Yellow Brick Road” video.
MF: We’re working on it. If I can be home for more than four or five days! We’ve already got a concept drawn up for it.
E: Are you working on a full album too?
MF: Yeah. We cut some more sides but we kind of just want to see where this single goes and then build an album around it.
E: How are you handling the increase in attention that you’re getting now?
MF: This is what I’ve been waiting to do since I was itty bitty. I’m enjoying it. It’s awesome when you’re doing a concert and people drive miles to see you. It’s pretty cool.
E: With that in mind, if you could somehow go back in time and give little Morgan some advice, what would it be?
MF: Oh gosh. Probably just to keep your head up and don’t let anything discourage you. I wish I could have written that song “Letter to Me” by Brad Paisley; I think that is a brilliant song and everyone wishes they could go back and give yourself advice. But I would definitely say just don’t get discouraged and keep moving forward.