November 10, 2014

Meet a Blogger Monday || Featuring Morgan

For today's Meet a Blogger Monday, I had the privilege of interviewing a dear friend of mine. Morgan blogs at The Tennessee Life where her love for country music is showcased. Her blog features many interviews from great artists and is continuing to grow. If you are ever in search for new country artists to listen to, then I highly suggest visiting her blog.
What is your occupation?
I graduated in May from Tennessee Tech University with my degree in elementary education. I am currently working with 20 Pre-K kiddos in the Maryville City school district. 
I also just received the honor of working for Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and his wife Brittney as a blogger for their soon to be released clothing line Tribe Kelley! It has been such an amazing opportunity already and I can’t wait to work even harder when the line comes out December 1st! I’ve never been one to say no to an adventure. And this adventure, well its just getting started.

Where is your hometown located and what do you love about it?
I live in a pretty small town in East Tennessee. Maryville is about 15 minutes from downtown Knoxville and right on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s absolutely wonderful to live in a city environment but also have the great outdoors literally right in your back door. I live in a tiny little community where everyone knows everyone. I’ve grown to really admire the beauty of the south and my little hometown.

List any hobbies/talents you posses.
Anyone who knows me would answer this question correctly. My absolute favorite thing to do is attend concerts. I am a HUGE music junkie! I’m guilty of spending way too much money on albums and concert tickets. As far as talents go, it also involves music. I have the ability to kind of pick artist’s singles before they release them! I swear, it’s a gift!

How would you define your personal style?
If I had to describe my style in three words I would say classic, unique, and ever changing. Some days I will wake up and throw on a peplum skirt, plaid shirt, cardigan, and J. Crew flats. Other days, I’ll wear velvet bells, a basic white tee, and a printed kimono with lace-up motorcycle boots. I feel like I’m right on the edge of mixing preppy and boho. A lot of my new found ‘boho lovin vibes’ have come from being inspired by my boss B Cole and Tribe Kelley!

Tell me a little bit about your blog (e.g. name, genre, etc.)
My blog is called The Tennessee Life and it has evolved from a fashion blog to more of a southern lifestyle/music blog. If you went over to my blog you would mainly find posts about country music. I have interviewed over 30 country artists and I have about 20 more in the works for the next few weeks. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some people I never imagined would even know my name. Without my blog I wouldn’t have such cool friends! Haha

How did start blogging and how long have you been a blogger?
I started blogging about a year and a half ago. It started as a way for me to keep up with all my thoughts and ideas. It was more or less just a place for me to store things online that I thought I might like to remember later on or share with others. After about three months my blog kinda took off. Even though the success of my blog happened kinda overnight, I’ve learned things like this don’t happen by luck or by accident. They happen because I had a vision, a commitment, and a dream. I’m far more than what’s happened to me. I am what I’ve worked to become. 

How do you find inspiration for your blog?
I find new inspiration to blog EVERY SINGLE DAY. For me, inspiration occurs when I’m in the car, shopping in a store, or online browsing Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, etc. Anywhere I go that has music playing in the background inspires me or gets me thinking. I am HUGE fan of The Highway on Sirus XM. This station features a lot of new artists and their music. I always find new talent I wish to interview.

What do you ultimately hope to accomplish through blogging?
My ultimate goal is to work hard, write about things I love, and inspire people enough to keep reading. Basically I never want to run out of things to post or share. I never want the music to stop. I know that sounds lame but it’s true. I hope I can continue to keep my readers interested with fun and entertaining interviews with some of country’s biggest names. To this point, I’ve worked with a bunch of new artists or artists on the rise. I hope my blog continues to grow in size and I can then move on to working with even bigger names. At the end of the day I’ve realized the things we are passionate about are not random, they are our calling. I just wanna do what I love to do.

What do you love most about country music?
Country music has a way of telling a story that I always seem to relate to. I used to only be fans of the actual artists singing the songs I heard on the radio but nowadays, I like to truly sit down and listen to the lyrics and think about the story or hidden message behind them. I have honestly grown to love and respect so many amazing songwriters in the last year alone. (Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Sam Hunt, etc) It’s one thing to sing a song. It’s totally different to write one.

List a few of your favorite lyrics
“It’s like I went out of style. It’s like I’m old news. You wanted to try me on like a temporary tattoo.” Disposable || Kelsea Ballerini
“Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.” Springsteen || Eric Church
 “Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots. And ruined your black tie affair.” Friends In Low Place || Garth Brooks
“I don’t wanna think about tomorrow. I don’t need anything money can buy. I don’t have to beg, steal, or borrow. I just wanna live until I die.” Live Until I Die || Clay Walker
 “It can happen so fast. Or a little bit late. Timing is everything.” Timing Is Everything || Garrett Hedlund
“My faith. Your love. Our freedom. I hold on.” I Hold On || Dierks Bentley
“I don’t wanna blow your phone up. I just wanna blow your mind. I don’t have to take your heart. I just wanna take your time.” Take Your Time || Sam Hunt
(Pretty much every line ever written by Kelsea Ballerini, Josh Kerr, Jason Duke, Ryan Griffin, Sam Hunt, & Ryan Bizarri can also be added to this list.)

What country song best defines you and why?
I feel as if I could never pick one song that defines me or my life completely. I relate in so many ways to so many different songs. If I HAD to pick one song though, it would be Dirt by Florida Georgia Line. No matter where I am or what I’m doing I always stop and just think whenever it comes on. It’s one of those songs that brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.
But I will add this, I have an unlimited amount of “girl power” songs and a break-up playlist that could change lives! Lol

Which artist are you dying to meet/work with?

Cole Swindell, Raelynn, and Sam Hunt. Plus I feel like this might be totally predictable but I’m just gonna say it anyway: Florida Georgia Line. I would love to be able to share an interview with BK and Tyler and find out a little bit more about how this amazing journey they are on has brought them closer together.

I’m not sure I could live with myself if I didn’t put Garth Brooks(and his wife Trisha Yearwood let’s just be real) at the top of my list. Meeting someone like him or George Strait would quite honestly be the coolest moment of my life. Good music doesn’t have an expiration date. Country music is like wine, it gets a little sweeter with age.
I also have this 90’s kid thing where I dream of meeting The Dixie Chicks, Clay Walker, and Mark Chesnut! Sorry I’m not sorry!

Out of the thirty artists that you’ve worked with, which stand out in your mind? Do you have a favorite?
I absolutely love all the artists I’ve worked with! Each one was so different and brought so many different things to the table, which reflected in their interviews. I am somewhat biased to my interviews with Chris Lane and Ryan Kinder. They were two of my very first interviews and I remember being so excited that they agreed to work with the random girl asking them for interviews for a tiny little blog.

I also loved being able to showcase the talents of some of my friends by working with Kelsea Ballerini, Josh Kerr, and TJ Hamilton. They have so much talent and are amazing singers, songwriters, and people. Dylan Scott has been my favorite new male artist for a little over a year so being able to share an interview with him was pretty awesome…even if it did take me going all the way to Ruston to prove my love for his music! Ha!

I am also really excited to be working with two pretty big country stars on reviews and interviews right now! They have been incredible people to get to know personally, and I cannot wait to share what I’ve learned about them soon on The Tennessee Life!

Who are your favorite artists at the moment?
Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Jackie Lee, Sam Hunt, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, Chase Rice, Dylan Scott, Dan + Shay, Raelynn, Frankie Ballard, Lindsay Ell….seriously, I could go on all day!

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