All this week, Billboard.com has previewed the annual New Faces Show, which closes the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville tonight. Without a doubt, the performance that is the most anticipated is Grammy winner Maren Morris. The entire year has been a high point for the singer, and being voted onto the show by her supporters at Country Radio is another career moment.
“I’m very excited,” she tells Billboard. "I remember the line-up from last year, and thinking how all those people have done so many incredible things in a year's time. So, to be included in this year’s show is a really big deal. I’m very honored to have been included into that.”
Since the release of her self-titled Columbia EP back in November of 2015, it's been nonstop forward momentum for the singer-songwriter -- far exceeding any expectations she might have had. “I hate to sell myself short, but at this point last year, I was just hoping that my album wouldn’t be shelved,” she confesses. “It’s been crazy to see what all has happened since then. I’ve been fortunate that the album came out, and was received the way it has been. The sky was the limit last year. I just had no hope of how insane that things were going to get.”
Things kicked into an even higher gear when her single “My Church” began to take off. The song peaked at No. 5 on the Country Songs chart, paving the way for the success of her Hero disc, which debuted atop the Country Albums list in June. The album’s second single, “80s Mercedes” has fared well also, currently sitting at No. 20 on the Country Streaming Songs chart. Morris explained that while she loved each step along the radio tour, there were a few stops that were near to her heart.
“I always love playing Chicago, as well as my home state. I’m from Arlington, Texas, so I grew up listening to KSCS and The Wolf, so to have those stations and DJs playing my music is very cool," Morris beams. "It’s a little-girl dream come true, to turn on the radio, and hear them playing your song. You just feel giddy. When I was home for Christmas, I got to experience that a few times, which was nice."
Morris promises that she’s going to give it her all when she hits the stage tonight. “I love the music that I put on this record, and I feel that every time my band and I walk out on stage, we have a good time. It’s great to feed off the energy from the audience. I think that since this closes out the week, everyone is going to be in a good mood. It’s music. It’s supposed to be fun.”
The singer has just kicked off her first national headlining tour, with each date a quick sell-out. She admits to being floored by the response to the on-sale dates. “We had a few tickets left in Houston, but it finally sold out. It’s crazy for me to think about that. My first tour is completely sold out. That’s exciting. The fans came through, and bought tickets within the first few minutes of them going on sale. I’m excited to get out there.”