Singer-Songwriter Christen Morrell is a force to be reckoned with. The classically trained artist possesses seasoned songwriting skills beyond her years and a versatile vocal range capable of conveying raw emotions in a delicate, heartfelt way. We recently had a quick chat with the Maryland native about her musical beginnings, her influences and her songwriting.
SR: What is your story?
CM: I was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland on a house near the river. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I would incessantly sing around the house, or anywhere really, so my mother introduced me to my older sister’s choir director. At the age of 6, I auditioned and was accepted into the “Children of Annapolis” choir. After a few years of that, I began to take serious interest in sports over music. I always love singing, but I have also always been very competitive and athletic, sports allowed me to get that energy out while learning how to be on a team. In middle school I begin taking voice and piano lessons. The piano lessons only lasted about a year, but I continued to take voice lessons for the next 7 years – all the way up until college, being classically trained.
Most of my piano skills, learning chords and such, have been self taught. At the age of 17, in my senior year of high school, I began building my music career through SoundCloud where I posted my original works, including a self-produced bedroom album, Waking Up, that amassed over 50,000 streams and charted in the top 10 of SoundCloud’s ‘New + Hot Singer/Songwriter Top 50’ within just a short few months.
Following that accomplishment, I was accepted into the Berklee College of Music and invited to do my first year at their satellite campus in Valencia, Spain. I knew music was the career path that I wanted to go into, and I’ve always had a deep love for adventure – so I accepted.
Within the first semester of studying at Berklee, at the age of 19, I was the youngest artist to be signed to Disrupción Records, a local Valencian label. Through this collaboration, I’ve had the opportunity to engage in the full experience of being a recording artist and working with the team to produce my self-titled debut album, Christen Morrell.
SR: How would you describe your music style?
CM: Pop/Indie – Many of my songs are acoustic with a few electronic elements.
SR: Does being a female artists motivate you to speak on everyday emotions females deal with in your songwriting?
CM: I’m honoured to be a female artist during this time of growth in the music industry. In the past, with many other issues in our society, there has always been problems for women competing for these jobs alongside men.
I have definitely written songs on this subject, but none were ready to be produced on my debut album.
SR: What current artists are motivating you?
CM: Some current artists that motivate me include: Adele and Demi Lovato – both artist’s voice control is just amazing. Allen Stone and Ed Sheeran – I admire both their lyrics and the acoustic elements to their songs. Gnash – his sing-song rapping
All of these artists are motivating to me, when looking upon their success and their song-craft, it’s teaching me on what skills I can improve on or what elements I can add to my songwriting/singing.
SR: What are the most challenging thing/s about being an artist?
CM: Time and patience. For me, I feel as if I’m always racing with time. There’s never enough time in the studios, never enough time to perfect a craft, never enough time to learn all the skills that I want to, while having a balanced life. I also have to remind myself to be patient, success doesn’t happen over night – it’s a long twisted road that only God has control of.
SR: What do you want your listeners to take with them after listening to your music?
CM: I’m inspired by many people, things, and experiences when writing music. But, I feel that self-reflection plays a large role when writing my lyrics. I find it very important to take the time to ponder over who you are, who you would like to be, and how that person could best influence this world.
My biggest hope for my listeners is that my work will bring them the same comfort and joys that I have found within music.
SR: If you could duet with any artist dead or alive who would it be and why?
CM: Adele – I feel as if we have similar styles and vocal techniques. I also really admire her music.
SR: What advice would you give anyone who aspires to be an artist?
CM: There will be a lot of people on your music journey who will try to tell you how to do your craft, keep an open mind and take everything into consideration, but make your own judgement in the end – stay true to who you want to be and your values, but don’t be afraid of the opportunity to change, because that can be beneficial in many ways too.
SR: What is next for you?
CM: After a year full of adventure, travel, and the release of my debut album. I am moving from Valencia, Spain to Boston to continue my studies at the Berklee College of Music and learn more about my craft.
Check out Christen Morrell’s Self Titled EP
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