By Heather Stas and Brian Ives
Maren Morris has already won one ACM Award this year: it was announced that she is the winner of Best New Female Vocalist. She’s also up for Best Female Vocalist, Single Record of the Year (for “My Church“) and Album of the Year (for Hero).
Hero has yielded a pair of hit singles—”My Church” and “’80s Mercedes”—but the album is filled with great songs, including “How It’s Done.” And, as she recently told Radio.com, to get the song done, she had to press her producer to let her finish it. Happily, her intuition won the day.
“I had this line, ‘Let me show you how it’s done.’ And I wanted it to be sort of a love song, but a sexy love song and not take itself too seriously. But my friend and co-writer Natalie Hemby—she’s amazing—we were downstairs at her publishing house one day and we just had this crappy organ sound going, and we wrote the verse and the hook of the chorus, essentially, and we ran out of time that day. And I was saying I was going to LA next week, and I’m gonna be writing with [producer] busbee, who we’re both friends with, and I was like, ‘Do you mind if I show him this song and maybe we finish it out there?’ And she was like, ‘Go ahead. I would love that.'”
“I brought it to busbee, and he was like, ‘Yeah, this is cool. Let’s start something new though.'” And that was the wrong call.
“I was like, ‘Actually, I would really love… just give me one hour on this song and play around with it, and I feel like it could be really, really cool and big and just like R&B-sounding, but still have this country-structured lyric and say a very confident statement.”
“And I loved that perspective because I don’t think it’s shown enough: the girls sort of taking charge. It’s always the dude in the song that’s like, ‘I’ll pick you up when you fall,’ and blah, blah, blah. It’s like sometimes they need a woman to come in and save them.”
“So I was glad that he humored me. And we finished the song, and I remember he said, we were listening back to it and he was like, ‘Yeah, you were right. I’m glad that we hammered on this.'” In other words, she showed him how it’s done.
See if Morris wins any more trophies at this year’s ACM Awards this Sunday night at 8:00 pm on CBS.