We’re back with another installation of our latest series, TuneCore Tuesdays, which aims to highlight artists and other music professionals who are writing, recording, and hustling on their own terms. By showcasing creatives doing it their way all over the globe, TuneCore Tuesdays aims to empower and inspire our diverse community of artists.
This week we caught up with Alabama-based singer/songwriter Brent Morgan, whose witty & relatable lyrics and raw acoustic-pop voice have paved the way for his independent music career. Discover more about his journey by checking out the video below.
Morgan’s musical talents were revealed early in life when he taught himself piano at age 11. In futile efforts to win the attention of his sister’s friends, he would learn popular songs from the radio. Even so, the unexpected positive feedback from family and peers pushed him far beyond any original expectations. By the end of high school, Morgan was writing his own music and aiming to profit off of his skills. That’s when he ventured into writing jingles for major brands.
“When I found the jingle world, I started writing for companies like PetCo, Folgers, and Walmart. Eventually, I’d made enough money to set up my own studio. Since then, I’ve been writing and producing music full-time for myself and other artists,” Morgan states. “I feel like I’m actually living my dream.”
That dream, however, didn’t come easily. Morgan worked tirelessly for years to reach fans and build a name for himself. “I’d play small gigs in Nashville and sell CDs and put my booking info on the back, just hoping to build a fanbase. I’d be happy if three new people would like my music and follow my journey” he confesses.
Once he discovered that he could engage with fans digitally, Morgan says everything clicked.
“When I started using live streaming, I gained hundreds of thousands of fans on YouNow. Then I put my music on YouTube. Now, on TikTok, some of the songs that I’ve released through TuneCore have gone viral. It’s completely changed my life. In today’s age it is so much more accessible to get your name out there. If you’re putting out good music, it’s going to be found.”
Morgan also maintains that live streaming was his artistic lifeline through 2020, allowing him to play live for fans throughout the pandemic. “I still got to sing to thousands of people on YouNow every week. That really kept me sane. All musicians, especially independent musicians, need to leverage the live streaming world because it’s a whole other way to perform when you don’t have time or the means to go out on the road and tour constantly.”
Having the freedom to interact with fans and release music from his home base, Morgan is able to stay connected to his most important support system: family and friends. “They’re the ones who tell me to not settle on the music that I put out.”
“I’ll get tired of a song that I’m working on but then they’ll say, ‘You know you can do better than this. Let’s go onto the next part of the song. Just step back and refresh.’ When I feel like I get the end result that I want it’s because of the people that I surround myself with.”
Speaking on networking in the industry, Morgan extends this same philosophy to other aspiring musicians, “Some people might have all of the connections in the world, but if you don’t jive with them and they don’t truly see you as an artist, it won’t help you in the end.”
“Labels and various management teams have reached out to me over the years, but none of them fit or made sense,” Morgan admits. This reluctance to sign with a label evolved into a fortitude. “Now it’s my goal to stay independent forever, so I can keep putting out the music that I want to put out.”
“Having TuneCore reassures me that I’m on the right path. Artists don’t need a major record label backing them to be successful. Putting out my music independently means that I’ve built my career by myself and for myself, and I’ll continue to do just that.”