Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Arlington singer Maren Morris wins “Artist On The Verge” contest in New York
Morris will receive more than $160,000 worth of marketing, music equipment, and promotions.
If you frequent the Dallas-Fort Worth music scene, chances are you’ve probably heard the name Maren Morris. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter first popped onto the Texas music scene at the ripe age of 10, performing at showcases such as Johnnie High’s and J. Gilligan’s in Arlington, and The Moon in Fort Worth and Granada Theater in Dallas. Over the past 10 years she has gigged in just about every music venue, bar, and restaurant with a stage across the state of Texas. She has also played two music festivals in France, toured across England, and played in other various U.S. states such as California and Oklahoma.
Morris has gotten much recognition over the past 12 years for both her live performances and her three self-released albums, which have spawned No. 1 hits on the Texas music charts (if you haven’t already heard her latest album Live Wire, go. Now. Take care of that).
Needless to say, Morris has conquered the state of Texas. But it looks like her most recent success might be her ticket to national fame.
Every year, the New Music Seminar in New York City compiles a list of the top 100 Artists on the Verge (in other words, artists that are about to make it big). The list is based off the artist’s number of music downloads, social media interactions, gigs, etc. This year, Morris not only made the list, but was ranked in the top three, which meant a trip to the Big Apple to perform in the Artist on the Verge showcase June 17-20, which included performances by the other two artists as well in a final showdown.
Morris performed first, on June 18, followed by contenders Black Cobain and Ninjasonik, both New York-based artists. Many famous names were in attendance at the seminar, including Wyclef Jean, Tommy Ramone, The Pierces, and Sean Parker. The next day, votes for the winner came in through text messages, tweets, and emails from around the country. Performers and guests gathered in Manhattan’s Webster Hall on Tuesday night to hear as the winner was revealed.
“I was saying hello to Wyclef Jean as he was coming off stage when all of a sudden a stagehand starts yelling at me to get on stage. I had won. I didn’t even hear them call my name!” Morris told Indie-Verse. “It really is an honor. The seminar has been around since before SXSW … Madonna was at it in the '80s. I was very fortunate to even be included, but to be a finalist and end up winning is just out of this world.”
As the winner, Morris will receive more than $160,000 worth of marketing, music equipment, and promotions. This includes private consultations with various record labels, music publications, and publishing houses such as BMI, an ad campaign on Spotify, a heavy week-long promotion through iHeart Radio, and a 1961 Gibson Les Paul guitar.
In a state like Texas, it can be difficult for non-honky-tonk artists to get noticed. But Morris has stuck to her originality over the years, and it has paid off. With a unique sound, original songwriting, and incredible voice/guitar/piano skills to match, the rest of the world has begun to notice. Don’t be surprised when the title track on her latest album, “Live Wire,” starts being compared to Norah Jones, or her upbeat track “Best of Me” to Metric. But you can still catch local shows, like her song swap at The Grease Monkey in Arlington every other Thursday.
Morris' music is all available on iTunes.
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