Hailing from High River, Alberta, is country singer/songwriter, Chase Morgan.
This past July, he released his latest single, “Home to Me,”– a contemporary country track that speaks to the importance of the small things (or people) that make home what it is. The song is also his debut release to country radio.
Recently, I spoke with Chase about his start in country music, his latest single and more.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with you and your music, can you tell us a bit more about how you got your start in music? Why did you decide to pursue country music specifically?
Chase Morgan: Absolutely! I got my start in music by teaching myself guitar during concussion treatments when I was 15. One day, kind of out of the blue, I felt like I wanted to play guitar. Actually, it felt more like I needed to play guitar. There were only two problems with that though… 1, I didn’t have a guitar to play. And 2, I didn’t know how to play guitar. I remembered that my mom had an old beat up guitar stashed somewhere from when she’d wanted to learn how to play. I found it, googled how to play the intro riff to La Bamba, and it was off to the races from there.
I hadn’t even considered a career in music as an option, coming from a small town in Alberta that I do. It just didn’t seem plausible, but I wanted to learn purely for the love of the music and the therapeutic benefits that playing an instrument can have. I’d played saxophone throughout middle school and the beginning of high school band, and had loved playing the blues & jazz songs. Making music is when I’ve always felt most enlightened.
My Great Uncle Lloyd and my Uncle Bill would always play guitar for family and friends, and I’d always looked up to them as role models. I was in awe every time they would pick up a guitar and sing songs from memory. They were my rockstars – still are. My Grandpa Holmes is also an exceptional piano player and hearing him make magic on the keys filled my heart with joy at a young age. Needless to say, I instantly fell in love and haven’t stopped since. I love playing and I’ll always be playing – it’s just a huge perk that other people like listening to. I feel very fortunate for the opportunities that have come my way since I picked up that first guitar.
I decided to pursue country music after I had ventured into the world of songwriting. Before then, and even now, I have a very eclectic musical taste. Again, I had no conception that I could ever make a career out of writing — I just did it because I loved it.
I was at a low point in my life a few years ago, contemplating which direction I should steer my life next. My mom had suggested to me that I try songwriting, as I had been writing poetry for some time, alongside learning and playing guitar. “Songs are just poems set to music,” I remember she’d said.
I was laying in my bed one night, battling with a terrible flare of Crohn’s disease, when I watched a YouTube video of Riley Green playing his song, If It Wasn’t For Trucks. “I could do that,” I said to myself. I made my way to the living room, picked up my guitar and wrote my first song– “Race Car”. It was about my $2700 “race car” and the significance that a boy’s first vehicle has on him during his transition into manhood.
I don’t ever sit down with the mentality that I need to write a country song. Country music is just who I am, and so those songs are just as simply all that I can come up with (Haha).
Kyla Pearson: Your music draws inspiration from classic country, as well as incorporates traditional instrumentals. What inclined you to pursue this route, instead of pop-country, for example?
Chase Morgan: As I said earlier, I don’t really sit down with the intention of writing any style or type of song in particular. I always go into my writing with an idea, usually pertaining to things I’ve been going through or experiencing in life recently.
As far as the sound I go for in my production, I try to keep the music as simple, pure and beautiful as possible. Lots of times, I hear absolutely amazing songs acoustically, and then am disappointed in the “studio” versions. Although it’s cool to have all of the bells and whistles, there’s volume in the spaces of silence within a great song.
Like in Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” – If you listen closely to the song, you can hear the slap-back of the drum hits during the verses – In today’s world of perfect production, you never get that anymore. It loses its mojo, in a sense, if it’s overdone. The closest music ever is to perfection, in my mind, is in its imperfections. Those “ah crap” moments on recordings that end up being hell yeahs. That’s what I love.
My producer, Josh Nadeau, is absolutely brilliant because he has a super fine ear for detail. He makes the songs as clean, and relatively as close to perfect as possible, and he does an incredible job! He’s a wonderful producer from a technical standpoint. He’s a legendary producer in the making, I believe because he also has an ear for perfect imperfections.
An example of this is in “Home to Me,” where I’d done a take where the end of a line kind of just falls off the note. I’m in no way a trained singer, so I’m just trying to pitch-as-I-go, until I develop muscle memory enough to be confident in that range. But because I’m sort of just guessing where the note’s gonna land when it comes out, I can make these kinds of mistakes. The only thing was, Josh chimed in and said, “Listen to that.” We listened to it over again. “I kinda like it. I’m down to use that if you want, but we’ll get a few more, just in case.” We kept it. It sounds cool. It’s perfectly imperfect, and that’s a lot to do with the way Josh produced this song.
Then, Mike Sands came in and basically just understood exactly the tone and everything that I was going for. We spoke some broken Spanish and I tried to pick up on what he’d learned on Duolingo. He added the electric rhythm and the electric feel in his lead parts. I was quite honestly blown away. I was just like, “Yep, man. That’s actually perfect. Exactly how I wanted that to go actually hahaha.”Put everything together, you get a song that we’re all very proud of! I’m excited to share it with everyone.
Kyla Pearson: What is the primary message you want to share with your music? Why is this message important to you?
Chase Morgan: In my music, my other ventures and in life, I would love to share the message of empathy. Most people now all have their blinders on and are so focused on their own life or are on their phones. We tend to forget to look up and hang out a little while. We forget too often to just look out across the planet we’re on. We’re all wrapped up in our daily dilemmas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stop off on the side of the road and watch the sun go down.
I love the country sky, as another example. In the city, all of those lights drown out the stars, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. We have to seek them out. We have to see through that blinding light in order to see the magic that lies beyond.
Ultimately, I would be thrilled if people can listen to my music and see me as themselves, in a way. I want to provide perspective. I want someone feeling alone to know that I’m right there with them, sitting in their shotgun seat saying, “Me too. We got this!”. I want to leave this world in a better condition than when I came in.
P.S? I’m so excited, actually because my birthday is on July 2, and my mom is getting me an eye exam. I’m going to order some nice glasses online for super cheap off a website my cousin uses. I’m excited because the world becomes so much more beautiful, detailed and worth taking in with glasses on. Quite simply, I can see again. I want to be people’s glasses.
Kyla Pearson: You released your first single of the year, “Home to Me” on July 7th. Can you tell us a bit more about the song, as well as the songwriting & recording process?
Chase Morgan: I would love to! I wrote this song with my good buddy, Doug Folkins. I brought up the idea of wanting to get out of town fast at the end of the day and get home as soon as the quitting whistle screams. I’d worked in High River all of my life, up until adulthood, so I’d never had to deal with the commuter traffic of the city. Needless to say, I preferred when I could zip down a backroad and be home in five minutes after a long day on the job. Heck, even in town you can get from one end to the other, diagonally, in 10 minutes or less. I don’t do well with traffic.
Doug really brought this song idea to life for me, as he always seems to do in our writes. He’s able to take my classic and alternative country chord progressions, themes and tone, and mould them into a real toe-tapping hit. He knows more about guitar phrasing than I do, so he’s always got ways to make it sound just a little bit better. We always have a blast writing together for this reason – we can feed off each other’s ideas with relative ease – and I think that chemistry between writers has a massive impact on how the song comes across.
In my life, I’ve always struggled with feeling like I have a home, or at least a sense of home, anyway. This song is about finding those little things that make where you live home to you – simple as that. Whether it be your partner’s kisses, kids running to hug your legs as soon as you walk through the door, that cold beer in the fridge, or whatever, really. It’s different for everyone, but everyone’s got that thing. It’s a song about that thing you’re rushing home to… that thing that you can’t wait to get back to. I’ve got mine now, and this is a song dedicated to that discovery and its everlasting impact on how I live my life.
Kyla Pearson: How would you say you’ve grown as an artist since the release of your two previous singles? How does Home to Me set the stage for what’s to come?
Chase Morgan: Well, I’m always growing as a person and as an artist, just trying my best in both. I would say that since the release of my first two singles, I have made so many more wonderful connections with people in the industry, like yourself – haha – as well as, I have expanded on my understanding of how to build and market my music & my brand my way.
Many of my friends and other artists in the industry that I look up to the most have carved their own path towards creative freedoms and independence. Kind of a ‘build it and they will come,’ mentality. By being a do-er and pursuing my career in the way that I want to do it, I have made great strides towards developing myself into an asset for the industry.
Best part yet, I’m just being myself and absolutely love getting to pursue this dream of mine. I am steadily becoming accepting of who I am as an artist and as a person. I think that has helped me a lot too. I want to become a successful artist and make great changes in the world, but everyone starts somewhere. I believe that I have come a long way in a short period of time and things are only picking up speed and getting more exciting as I go. I can’t wait to see what the future entails, both personally and career-wise. I’m always going to be trying, so it’s gotta pay off sometime, right? I believe it already has paid off – now everything else is just extra dividends.
Kyla Pearson: According to you, what is the ideal setting to listen to the song in order to fully experience it?
Chase Morgan: Remember that “Me too. We got this!” while sitting in your shotgun seat feeling from earlier? That’s exactly how I’d like people to experience this song. Whether that be in traffic behind a never-ending sea of tail lights, or cruising down a backroad once you finally get past city limits, this song is for that.
Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this song can’t transport you into that place – that rush of feeling like you’re almost home. Almost at your street, which is almost to your laneway, which is almost to your garage, which is almost to your front door, which is just a few steps from almost getting a kiss from that special someone and cracking open an ice cold barley soup.
This song is for any time from windows down, and breeze in the air, to honking horns, middle fingers, and fender benders. No matter where your travels are taking you, or how enjoyable the trip there is, it’s comforting to know you have a home.
You’re gonna get there eventually; and when you do, you have somewhere that you’re wanted — somewhere that loves you as much as you love it. A home. And that’s so much more than so many can say. Things are gonna be alright. You’ve got that thing. That thing that makes that place home to you.
Kyla Pearson: Do you have any upcoming shows where fans can hear you play “Home to Me” live?
Chase Morgan: As of right now, there are lots of shows coming up this summer and more being booked everyday!
It’s been a blast getting to play to different crowds in different places. It really feels like my dreams are already coming true, to be honest.
If anyone would like to know where I’ll be playing near them next, I’d love it if they would follow along on my social media accounts. Come along for the ride! I promise to try my best and you can say, “I supported him when…”.
I’d love to share my journey with everyone that wants to listen and come along… Any and all support, no matter the form, is so greatly appreciated. Whether we’re cruising down a gravel road, or slammed bumper-to-bumper, I’m right there. “Me too.”
Kyla Pearson: Lastly, is there anything you'd like to share with your fans & my readers?
Chase Morgan: I would just like to take the time to thank Kyla (yourself) for this opportunity and for reaching out to do a feature and interview. Things like this can be hard to come by when you’re an independent artist, so having support and promotion like this is incredible and tremendously appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me and for believing in me and my music – or at least believing in me as a fellow Dean Martin fan.
I can’t begin to explain how surreal all of this is. I feel like a kid in a candy store everyday that I get to pursue music and connect with cool people, who are passionate about what they do. It’s amazing. Life can be as fun as you make it – but it won’t be easy. Thanks again, Kyla!
Morgan, Chase. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, June 11 2023.
Unknown. “Featured: Official cover art for Chase Morgan’s latest single, “Home to Me”. Photo courtesy of Chase Morgan. Accessed June 11 2023.
Jade Grace Photography. “Featured: Canadian country singer/songwriter, Chase Morgan.” Photo courtesy of Chase Morgan. Accessed June 11 2023.