A few years ago, Heather Morgan wrote in her journal that she wanted to write a song that felt like her own story.
Morgan, a Richardson native, moved to Nashville at a young age to pursue a career in songwriting. She has written songs for some of today's top country musicians, among them Brett Eldredge, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus and others.
Now she has her own album, Borrowed Heart, and will perform it at the Kessler tonight.
Borrowed Heart and its first single, "Your Hurricane," is about a heartbreak Morgan couldn't shake.
"Friends thought I should be over the heartbreak and let it go," Morgan says. "But I couldn't let it go. I would be like, 'I don't understand why this still hurts; I think I need to write about it and maybe that will help get it out of my system.'"
Morgan went to Joshua Tree, California, and stayed in an Airbnb for five days. She watched the sunrise each morning and sat alone with her thoughts and wrote "Your Hurricane."
"It's so crazy to think about why things happen in your life and why experiences happen," she says. "Before I even had that heartbreak and before I knew the person who caused it, I had written in a journal that I was really wanting to have a song that felt like my own story. And that was kind of a wild card."
She says she feels as if she held on to the heartache for so long because writing a song about it was the best kind of therapy.
Morgan has been writing songs since she was 6, she says. Her first song was "Walk Away," which she still can sing today. "Walk away, walk right out the door," Morgan sings to us over the phone.
In Dallas, she performed at Poor David's Pub, The Rustic, Love & War in Texas and other venues. Her first song that ended up on an album was Randy Rogers Band's "This Is Goodbye" off the band's self-titled album. She then went on to write "Slow Me Down" by Sara Evans, "Beat of the Music" with Brett Eldredge and more.
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"Beat of the Music" reached No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, and it was the first time she and Eldredge wrote together.
"We were working on a track and it was the middle of January and Brett had just been to the beach. The producer started playing a Fiji-sounding track and I just remember saying, 'I feel like this is a song you can fall in love to with the beat of the music.'"
Morgan says she never held back lines for her own music. Instead, when she writes with someone like Eldredge, she meets them in the middle with their own ideas. But putting out her own album, she says she feels the excitement and pressure.
Heather Morgan performs at 8 p.m. tonight at the Kessler with special guest Frankie Leonie. Tickets are $18.