Singer-songwriter Cindy Morgan was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for co-writing Natalie Grant's hit single "Hurricane." Other than writing for Grant, Morgan has also written songs for Mandisa, Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, John Tesh, Avalon, Sandi Patty among many others. As a singer, Morgan's debut album "Real Life" earned her 6 Dove Award Nominations. Over the years, she has blessed us with her own hit songs such as "How Could I Ask For More," "I Will Be Free," "Praise the King" and "Listen," a number one single written with her late father Cova Morgan. For her latest release, "Some Glad Morning: Hymns & Spiritual Songs," the Nashville songwriter revisits the historic catalog of music that helped shape her musical, and faith, journey. We are honored to be able to catch up with her for this Hallels' exclusive interview:
Hallels: Congratulations Cindy on your Grammy nomination for co-writing Natalie Grant's single "Hurricane." How did you come to write the song and how did Natalie Grant end up recording it?
Natalie and I have known eachother for a long time. I was asked by her management to write with she and Matt Bronwelee for the record. As always, when you have an artist with a great understanding of what she wants to say (like Natalie) and a great writer producer (like Matt) the odds are in your favor for them to cut the song. Hurricane was an idea that Natalie resounded with in her personal life and Matt brought the production to life on the demo. It was a great day.
Hallels: Being a song writer as well as a singer, how do you decide when to keep a song for yourself and when you give it away?
This is a great question. I think when something is very personal or specific to your life then as an artist you want to be the first person to record it. After that, you certainly welcome other artists to record it. That happened with two songs I Wish and My Ransom from a couple of my indie records.
Hallels: You have written songs for artists as diverse as India Arie, Michael W. Smith, Sandi Patty and Mandisa. Have you ever thought of recording an album full of the songs you've written for others?
Well yes. As a matter of fact, i have been thinking if doing that. I'm not sure I would do them all but maybe a few.
Hallels: Are you planning on releasing a new album soon? And if you are, what's the direction of the new record? Will it be live worship? Contemporary Christian pop? Another album of hymns?
I have been working for a couple of years on a record about the stories and struggles of my family. My history is in Kentucky. Very rootsy acoustic with a touch of blue grass. It feels very important to do it well but in the midst of writing full time and touring, it has been a challenge to complete it. I hope to release it within a year.
Hallels: Are you currently writing for any artists right now? Are there ay forthcoming projects we need to look out for with your songs in them?
Yes. I have been writing with a lot of new country acts- Kylie Ray (from Texas Troubadours) Racquel (with Josh Turners managment, a gal named Charlene from NY that sounds like Dolly. HawkNelson,David Phelps, Marcus Hummon, Kris Allen(american idol) and others my brain isn't letting me recall:)
Hallels: Recently you were involved with the "Hymns for Hunger" project, can you tell our readers more about it?
I love this tour. Andrew Greer and I sing rootsy arrangements of old hymns while partnering with local relief effort to raise awareness and funds for those in need. (www.hymnsforhunger.com)
Hallels: You have had quite a lengthy career with lots of fabulous songs and albums (my personal favorite being "Postcards"). Over the course of these years, what is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about God and the Christian faith?
Being open. Not living or creating art out if fear but of love. Giving away credit to others. Simplifying your life to make a lot of room for serving God through serving others. Taking risks and trying things that might fail to discover something new.