You’ve probably heard David Morris’s songs on TikTok, whether it was his viral remix of George Strait’s classic “Carrying Your Love” or his new viral hit “Dutton Ranch Freestyle.“ We had David Morris on our show way back in 2020, which pre-dates our website. He rarely does interviews but was gracious enough to agree to sit down with Chuck and Big John to talk about how West Virginia has influenced his music. Check out some of our other episodes.
Full transcript is below. Partially edited, and for clarity.
Big John Isner: David, we appreciate you coming on. We have been together for most of your musical career. Chuck and I have listened to your stuff for a long time, returning to the D-WHY days.
David Morris: Yeah. I appreciate you guys having me. I appreciate it. Honestly, I get many requests from people wanting to interview me for podcasts or YouTube blogs.
And I typically, I just I, I shy away from it just because there are so many interviews you can do, and they’re typically all the same. And I just feel like when you guys reached out, and I looked into the podcast and saw what you were doing and how you were doing it, I was just like, this is cool, man.
This is very on brand. This is very, very cool and something I want to be a part of because you guys talk about it—the people you’re interviewing, but also about West Virginia and Appalachia and about that culture. And so, that’s what interested me in connecting with you guys today.
Big John Isner: You’re a pretty exclusive guy. Chuck and I were talking about a lot of interviews.
David Morris: Yeah. And it’s not because I’m trying to be mysterious.
Again, it’s just because a lot of interviews you’re going to have; it’s going to be the same questions, the same thing, the same topic. And I connect with mine. So directly regularly. And I’m a pretty open book that I feel in this stage of where I’m at. I can be selective down the line. Suppose an extensive publication, a big podcast, or something would reach out. In that case, I’m going to do it because it’s great exposure, but it’s more so now where I am in my career about wanting to do it strategically.
That’s why I think it’s cool. What do you guys do? I listen to a lot of podcasts, especially on Apple. Podcast app. So just to see what you guys are doing and how you’re doing it, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to give the fans something to come and listen to and check out well.
Big John Isner: we appreciate that.
So for this interview, I think our goal for this is to introduce you to maybe some people who don’t know who you are. If there are still people out there, I’m not sure if you live in Appalachia and haven’t heard of David Morris, but if you haven’t, we have a treat for you. I’ll jump right into it.
I’d like to introduce you. What brings you back to West Virginia? We’ll jump into everything. So when people think of David Morris, what should they believe?
David Morris: That’s a great question. I hope they would consider their childhood and upbringing, especially in Appalachia. I believe that much of this new music I’ve been making as David Morris is rooted in that. I took some time. You guys have been listening for those who may not know, I used to release music, and my artist name was D Y.
And I’m from Charleston, West Virginia. And so I grew up there, and I think I ran away from my roots for a long time. I moved away from West Virginia. The second I could, the second I graduated from WVU, I moved to New York. I got as far away as possible. I moved to Los Angeles, California.
And for a while, I was making more hip hop and rap music. And I was really running away from the country roots in West Virginia. Cuz when you’re a kid growing up in West Virginia or in a small town anywhere, it’s not cool. It’s the last thing you want. Wanna you get out? Wanna you leave? You know that’s and that’s.
And I think that is what I’m trying to get across in this music is that the story of me being from West Virginia, being from Charleston, which if you’ve never been to Charleston, I don’t know if it’s technically defined as a small town. Still, if you’re from Charleston, you grew up in a small town. That’s just part of everyone’s journey.
And so when people think of David Morris, they should think about their upbringing, their childhood, their journey, their life, their story in Appalachia, wherever that may be, because I think that’s my number one goal in music is just to tell these stories from my perspective, that hopefully resonate with.
Chuck Corra: That’s a perfect way to start this. I love that story because it’s something that I think I can say resonates with me. And I’m sure it resonates with a lot of people that listen to this for people, especially that who moved away from West Virginia and from Appalachia. And it was actually something that I wanted to ask you about.
So I’m glad you brought that up because it was very much the same for many of my friends and me growing up. We wanted, as soon as we could, to get out, to go somewhere else and get away from where we grew up. And I’m interested in your perspective because it wasn’t until I moved away from West Virginia that I really started to reflect on where I grew up and realized how important and unique it was and how special it made me.
And I’m wondering. Maybe you had that realization, or you had a similar realization when you moved away.
David Morris: Yeah. I think that realization is ongoing. I wanted nothing to do with West Virginia. I tried to get away and never came back.
Obviously, I wanted to see my family, but, in a larger sense, I wanted to never come back. I live in Los Angeles and Nashville, so I’m splitting time between both places. And the older I get now, the more appealing settling down and starting a family in West Virginia would be not sure that I’m gonna do it, but just really soaking in being in places.
I’m traveling the more appealing West Virginia life is, and it’s a simple life. Aside from our current quarantine situation. But I’m typically between these big cities, and the more time I spend there and the more time I spend going, across the country, when I’m touring.
It’s inexpensive compared to what I could get, and this is no joke, guys. I could get 400 acres in West Virginia, three bedroom, 2,500 square foot house, all the above in West Virginia for the price that I could get a regular
1500 square foot house with no yard, no privacy at all. California or Nashville. And so it’s just, there are so many things that as you get older, you realize that West Virginia is appealing in those more tangible senses of finances and things like that. And then the more you understand how appealing West Virginia is in the sense of community, family, and belonging, right?
Like in a big city, you’re one of the millions of people, but when you’re in a small town or Appalachia, West Virginia, there’s a sense of belonging. Everyone knows you; everyone looks out for each other. Everyone is nicer and kinder. It’s just an ongoing realization.
As you grow up, you understand more, maybe your perspective you do, and perhaps why your parents chose to settle down or raise you in West Virginia. And so I think that’s really where it’s at and. Every state and place has its struggles, their problems, whether it’s a socioeconomic thing, cultural thing, or whatever. Still, you start to really, as you get older, I think I understand what makes a place like West Virginia unique and what it was about that place that made you unique.
And so I think that’s really where it’s at for me.
Chuck Corra: One thing I was interested in and aside from like your music, which I think is a way that you communicate about where you’re from different, but like when people find out that you’re from West Virginia, when you tell them you’re from West Virginia in a place like California, how do you explain to people where you’re from?
David Morris: That’s a funny question. There are three essential reactions. I get the first being, whoa, really? I’ve never met anyone from West Virginia. Two is, and I know you guys have both got it. And many of the listeners have this too, which is maybe the most common response to go, which is, oh, that’s really cool.
I have some friends in Richmond, and it sounds like I’m like it’s a different state. And then the third, most common response I’ve gotten throughout history was much more, in high school and college. And in those days is people, they have stereotypes about West Virginia rednecks and hillbillies and incest and things like that.
And they’re like, oh, West Virginia, do you kiss your cousin and all this stuff and just poke fun at it. Cause I, I think that a lot of people, if they know West Virginia and where it is and its own state, I believe that there’s a lot of just misconceptions and stereotypes about it.
And have definitely gotten that a lot, and I don’t sound. Very country in how I talk, but people instantly assume things about you when you’re from West Virginia, that you’re a redneck or this or that. Yeah. But genuinely speaking, when people now say, when I say I’m from West Virginia, people are just like, oh, that’s cool.
And, I think it’s one of those things where when you meet somebody from a state like you meet somebody from Alaska, you’re like, oh wow. What’s it like there? No, no way. Like I’ve never met anybody from there. And so I get a lot of questions about West Virginia about John Denver like I love country roads or I’ve driven through there at such a beautiful state.
But I think that’s probably more than just a thing you get as an adult. When you’re younger, it’s a little harder to explain West Virginia to people because of those. You might have jokes and whatnot, but it’s always an exciting conversation.
Big John Isner: Yeah. Chuck and I can definitely relate. We’ve I’m in complete agreement with these top three. I think that you’re spot on there. I don’t want to harp too much on your past career. I wanna focus mainly on the current and your feelings towards the region. Still, I have to ask that you transition from D-WHY to David Morris, and you’ve hinted at this a little bit in terms of the kind of connection, reconnecting with the region and maybe who you are, and what brought that transition about.
I want to be David Morris. And was there a moment where you were like, I have to change it? Or what was it that really made you think?
So we’ll go back to the people who are listening. I may not know who I am or anything about me. So a little expedited history lesson.
I grew up in Charleston, went to George Washington high school, and graduated from West Virginia. And during my time there, I started releasing music as D Y was my artist’s name and had a pretty successful career as an independent artist was just in charge of everything that you can be in order as an artist. I had a lot of freedom and was able to build a fan base.
The music was mostly hip hop and rap. Some Bragga does show lines some entertaining stuff, but it got to a point. I was being grouped in with a specific subset of artists I wasn’t comfortable with. I always played guitar, wrote songs, and wanted to do more. So it came to a point, maybe 20 16, 20 15, where I took about a year and a half off from releasing music.
And I just realized, like, Hey, I’m David Morris, that’s my name. I’m gonna stop hiding behind a moniker. And I’m gonna figure out what makes me. So I think as an artist, I guess, you have to have a story to tell, and some artists just make music, and that’s fine.
But the artists I love have always been the storytellers who bring you into a world. And so it’s just been a natural evolution for me to figure out. I’m a kid from West Virginia. I grew up writing graffiti, skateboarding, and listening to all sorts of music, from Johnny Cash and Simon, a Garfunkel to Tupac, to E and M.
And I have a deep respect for all these genres of music. And I understand what it was like to grow up in a place wanting to get out, to have seen many unfortunate things happen to friends and to this state itself. And I just really started to carve out the picture of who I am and I wanted to reflect that in the music.
And that’s been the journey, and I’m continuing to do with this music. You have songs like this town that I’ve released or where the back road ends that are more emotional and lyric-driven in a storytelling sense. And then, even in the rap songs that I’ve been releasing with F-350 and Live from the Heartland when you break down the lyrics of that same story and DNA, is there just panning this picture of who I am and what my story is?
And so I think that’s really been it’s just been a journey, and it’s been a conscious decision to say, Hey, I’m old enough now to realize what I’ve been running from for so long is what has made me so special and really just reconnecting with my roots in Appalachia, in West Virginia. And my upbringing.
I think that is what’s gonna help me have a career and continue to have a career. And so it’s just an evolution, and I think we all evolve as people. In reality, if you’re not growing as a person, if you’re not growing as an artist, if you’re not growing as a podcast or whatever it may be, I think you are probably selling yourself a little short.
And so that’s what the journey’s been like for me. And that’s the attitude that I have going forward as well.
Big John Isner: Yeah. I think that’s a gr a great explanation. I remember listening to your earlier stuff, and then the big one that hit me, that I thought that I started to notice a change in at least how you, it was before the whole transition, but when you released young love, hated and broke.
I think that was in like 20, 20, and 13. I remember buying the EP. And that song is when I started to notice that it was a little different than some of your older stuff. And then, fast forward, what three, four years, David Morris is now front and center and releasing songs that you can tell is far more near and dear to your heart.
I think it’s pretty obvious.
David Morris: Yeah, it absolutely is. There’s just a different hunger inside me. That’s driving me now. It’s just I just feel like I have a message. I have something to say finally. And I’ve just every song that I release, I just give more feedback from fans and from new listeners, and it just motivates me more, and it just shows me that Hey, you’re on the right track.
You have a story to tell, and. Just like you guys, like there are so many people, most people in America grow up in a small town or a rural area or a non-urban area in a sense, there is that understanding of what it’s like to grow up, to wanna get out and to see stuff.
And I think it’s cool because it’s so easy to make music, right? It’s so easy to just make a podcast or just do, it’s so easy to just do whatever, but what is harder to do and what is more fulfilling is to do something that, that means something that elicits something from yourself and from a listener.
And so that’s where I’m at is I always wanna just stay true to myself, stay true to my roots and tell a story that I hope. People can relate to it, and that’s what I think’s cool about this podcast. Everyone listening right now obviously has some sort of roots or interest in Appalachia.
And that’s why it means more than just another podcast where they’re just like interviewing random people.
Big John Isner: We appreciate that. And I want to point out to our listeners who may not know David that although he’s humble about this transition, DUI was very well known in terms of rap.
When you walked away from that, you were essentially walking away. I’ve checked some of the streams. You have. You have millions of streams as DUI. It’s no one knew who you were at that point. And then, you must; I fully agree when you made this transition, you definitely were true to yourself.
And to be able to do that, I’m not sure if I’d be able to do that. So I respect you for being like, look, that doesn’t matter. What really matters is how I feel.
David Morris: Yeah. And it wasn’t something where I felt like I was walking off the deep end into the great unknown abyss.
It was like it was just at a point where I was listening to music, and I had all this music that I wanted to release, and it just didn’t fit. It just wasn’t it; there was a disconnect. And so I took some time, and I was just like, I got to a point where I was just like comfortable with not releasing music because I knew there was a bigger picture.
And I still it’s. It’s great. People are still listening to the Y stuff. I still make money off of that. So that’s a nice bonus, but There definitely was a point where, if you had said, Hey, you have to walk away from this, delete every song, ever erase the memory of I would you do it?
And I would’ve said, yeah, just because I believe so much in, in myself and my talent and what I’m doing, that, I would’ve been willing to put on the line. So now it’s cool cuz it’s the best of both worlds. People are going back; they’re discovering the DYS stuff. People who are fans like yourself from back in the day are still listening in and appreciating it.
So it’s the best of both worlds. Really. Yeah. And
Big John Isner: that’s the last question I’ll ask about the past. Now let’s fast forward to today and really 20, 19, 20, 20, you released small town Friday night, that album, which that’s yeah. EP. Yeah, that EB EP.
That was really where we see. More of this like Appalachian feel and really you getting down to your roots and one song in particular that you’ve mentioned already, which I think I would argue to the end of time that it is like an Appalachian Anthem and that’s this town. Thank you. Thank you. Tell us about that song.
What brought it about, and what made you want to release it?
David Morris: It’s a great question. So the way that song came about was a lot of times when I’ll be writing a song, and it comes about in, in a few different ways with that particular one, it was, I was sitting my dad’s house in Charleston. And I was sitting at the kitchen table.
My brother was there, so we were probably in town for a holiday or something. And I was sitting there, and I had my MacBook and fruity loops, which I use. I use logic pro tools, depending on what we’re going for. And I remember I just had, I just put in some mid keys, like some chords, and it had a vibe to it, and I just started singing over the top of it.
And the first thing that came out was something about this town. And I had the verse melody, and I was, I think I might have freestyled the opening lines like it just came to me. And so it took some time. I picked up a guitar and then messed with it. And then I just started to slowly start building the track.
This town is the only song on that EP I produced myself. A lot of the other ones. I have other producers build out tracks. Collaborate, but that one is just one that came to me and was real special. I remember once I added some drums in and I got the hook idea, I was like, man there’s something special here.
And I just took a couple days to refine the lyrics and to add stuff. I added the acoustic guitars, and then I had a buddy of mine come over, and I was here in a guitar solo, and I had him play it. And yeah, so it was one of these things where it just happened, a lot of times I’ll have preconceived like concepts.
Like I wanna write a song titled boom, or I wanna write a song about this, but in this circumstance, it was really just something that came to life. And I’m glad it did because if you guys haven’t heard, it can; you can look up David Morris, this town. I’d recommend going to YouTube, cuz there’s a music video that accompanies it.
That’s really special. It’s definitely a song that I think perfectly encapsulates where I want the music to go. So sometimes we might have stuff that’s more hip hop, or we might have stuff that’s more country or folk, but I think this town is the perfect balance of both of those worlds where there’s a real story in a real message.
While also having a little, a little modern production in there as well.
Big John Isner: Speaking of that music video, you filmed that in Charleston, is that right? In West Virginia?
David Morris: Yeah, it was all filmed in Southern West Virginia between two locations, one Charleston and two down and Wharton, which is in Boone county, in the van and wards two.
Those, yeah. So that’s where my dad works. My dad works at a nonprofit clinic down there. He’s a doctor, and so he is just really in touch with the community there. And every time I go down there, it’s always love and people, Or just showing love to my dad and me.
And so I wanted to really not only tell my story of growing up in Charleston but grow, tell the story of these communities and these people in Appalachia that I think is so important to tell, because I think that they don’t, I feel like that the spotlight is shined on those communities for the wrong reasons.
And so I wanted to shine it for the right reasons.
Big John Isner: Now I, we, that’s why we created this podcast, in all honesty. I think we all have the, really, the same mission here. And that’s the point: Appalachia is more than what people perceive it as. And I think that’s why artists, like you pushing it forward and being front and center and saying I’m not afraid to be Appalachian.
I’m not afraid to be in West Virginia. Is a big deal. And that’s one reason we really wanted you to have to come on and discuss these feelings. And I think to transition just a little bit more in terms of the region itself when you come back; I know that you said you live in LA and Nashville, and when you come back to West Virginia, what brings you back?
You have all the opportunities in the world. In terms of those two cities, especially with the type of music you make, what drives you back here?
David Morris: Number one, of course, is family, right? My dad and my stepmom live in Charleston still. I have good friends that still live there.
So that’s obviously gonna be number one. Number two would be, it’s just a nice escape. It’s a nice escape from the big city, fast-paced industry, and all that stuff you experience in LA and Nashville. And so when I go back, I not only get to see my family, but I get to just take a breather.
And there’s so much inspiration in being back in Charleston and driving around and reminiscing on things and putting things into perspective. And I think that’s important when you’re an artist is putting things into perspective and having that time to reflect and to, to just, look back and, every time I go back, I’m inspired in a new.
Chuck Corra: that’s a great reason to go back. And I think that’s certainly one of the reasons why I go back is family and just really wanting to reconnect with where I’m from. One thing you mentioned earlier was shining a light on the good parts of Appalachian, the good parts of West Virginia, especially when you mentioned your dad being a doctor. Were there people? It could be your parents, but other people growing up served as that inspiration.
Someone that you could shine a good light on and people are doing that good type of work that served as an inspiration for you.
David Morris: Absolutely not. So my whole family is all in medicine in one way or another. So, my dad’s a physician. As I said, he works down in; he actually works at two clinics.
He works for a nonprofit company with a clinic in Warton, West Virginia, and one in Whiteville. So he’s depending on the day of the week, he’s at one of those places, which some of you listening might know where those are, but their very rural parts of West Virginia. My grandfather, may he rest in peace, was a dentist in the military.
My mom, now retired, was a nurse. My aunts and uncles were dentists. And so it’s just one of those things where I grew up and I saw how. In our army, you can make a choice to make your mark with over 150 fields to choose from, join forces with us and take on anything.
They dedicated their lives to helping others, so I always thought that was great.
At a point in time, I thought I might be a doctor. And the music was the path that you know, was calling my name and now I think it’s cool because they support my musical career.
I’m able to follow in their footsteps of helping people. I’m not equating myself being an artist to being a doctor. I’m just saying all I wanted to do my whole life was, have a positive impact on people like my dad and like my mom and stuff.
And I feel like now I am able to have that impact. And I have super respect for people right now, especially who are on the front lines, in, in medicine and the military and stuff, because I grew up with just a deep respect for service. And so I think that, if I can help to shine a light on.
I think that with this new music, with the David Morris music, I’ve seen a definitive increase in people from West Virginia.
I think that since I’ve tapped back into my roots and released songs, like settle down and this town and where the background ends, I’ve seen so many people from all over West Virginia. Show me love and extend an olive branch of support. And, I’m humbled by it. I think it’s great. And what’s cool is I think that, I think a lot of music from Appalachia, from West Virginia, from country areas and small towns it’s pretty much folk or Americana music, or it’s just straight country music.
And I think what’s cool what my intention is and what I think that I’m doing successfully is I’m blending the genres and I’m giving people, or even like when I do a rap song with life, from a Heartland, it’s blatantly a rap song, but what I’m talking about is. Appalachia, small town vibes and upbringing, and as a fan of music, right?
There’s no, nothing. I would say there may be a very small niche group of artists that even try to do anything like that. And so if I was a kid growing up like kids nowadays in 2020, listen to everything, right? Like the same kid, that’s a fan of Luke. Bryan is a fan of post Malone who is also a fan of Drake.
And that’s how I’ve always been. And I think it’s more prevalent now, but I think those kids if I was a kid and I was interested in all this and here is a, an artist who’s seeing, sometimes who’s rapping sometimes and who’s telling a story that’s relatable to me. Like I’d be into it.
And so I think that’s what I’m seeing. Cuz I’m having a lot of kids. Who are 14, 15, 16 year old high school kids hitting me up. Yo dude, can I use your song as my walkout song for baseball? My it’s my senior year. And I’m like, dude, of course. Sure. And then I’m having 50, 55 year old women hitting me up and saying, thank you so much for where the background ends.
I lost my husband and it’s and that song resonates with me and it’s just really powerful. And so again, I’ve been making music for a long time. I’ve seen like John reference, I’ve seen some success, but there’s nothing as fulfilling as seeing people from West Virginia, from Kansas, from Idaho, from places that are similar to where I grew up telling me that they relate to it because I think that as an artist, that’s the highest honor, right?
It’s it’s not the hardest thing to do to. To make money as an artist, if you’re successful, it’s not the hardest thing to do to, travel and tour and see places and cool things and yada. But what I think is hard is really connecting with people on a cellular level, to where you’re getting these messages from them that are heartfelt.
And that’s what keeps me going. And I think that’s been the number one thing that I’ve seen from a reception point of view from people from West Virginia is just Hey dude, I relate to this. Thank you. And then I always say, dude, thank you for listening. I appreciate it. And I’m always working on more stuff and just wanting to consistently give people, something to listen to.
Big John Isner: Yeah. And I’ve gotta say you are probably by, I would say by far. One of the bigger artists who are actually willing to talk and communicate with their fans. I’ve DMD you before and just, talked to you about random stuff and you’ve always answered. You’ve always been really cool about everything.
And even though I think this town is your best song for Appalachia, I don’t think it’s your most relatable. I actually think your most relatable song is what you’ve been hinting at is where the back road ends. In that song. It’s a super powerful song. So if you haven’t listened to it, go to his Spotify and check it out because I guarantee you that you’ll be able to relate to it.
But in that song, and in that video, you include an in Memorial section at the very end, which little fact actually has my wife’s grandma’s name in it. So I sincerely appreciate you doing that because when you released that that was on like May 26th. And I didn’t tell my wife about it because her birthday was the next day.
So I got to give her a pretty cool birthday present and she loves your music. So it’s really neat to see that. What made you, that’s awesome. Wanna do that? That’s a pretty special thing to do, where does that come from?
David Morris: So just to give people more perspective on it the song is called where the back road ends.
It’s a song about loss, about love, about life, about missing people. And I wrote the song after one of my best friends who was like a little brother to me, Adam, who I grew up with. He passed away in December, 2018 after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. And so he is just the latest in a string of friends that I’ve lost prematurely due to various reasons.
And when I heard a buddy of mine send me the instrumental a producer, he was like, what do you think about this? And I listened to it and I started writing and. It just, it’s, as I finished the song, I knew that there needed to be a video for it. And as we finished the video, I knew that people were gonna relate to it.
And I knew that although the song had personal meaning to me, I knew that it was going to touch other people and that other people were gonna be able to relate to it. It was right around, I think the day that I found out that, Kobe had passed away and that was a rough day for, I think a lot of people, because we grew up with Kobe Bryan and, always, definitely a hero of mine and someone that I look up to and always watched his games and stuff.
And I just, I saw something, a video of like highlights of him. And at the end there was like a credit’s flashed of like rest in peace to like the people who passed away in that accident. And I just thought, you know what, I should do this. In my video, I should give fans and give people that opportunity to memorialize and honor their loved ones.
And so I just put out a video on my social media and was just like, Hey guys, the next song I’m releasing has a video. It’s about people who are no longer here with us. I would love to honor, anyone that you’ve lost. So send me a message or a comment with the names of of these people.
And I got over 300 and some names and at the end of the video, the in Memorial session says in loving memory of, and then these names start to scroll and it’s a pretty powerful, slow and painful two minutes or so of just these names, just scrolling and scrolling. It is really cool, for you to be able to see your wife’s grandma.
And I’m really happy that I was able to do that for her, but in a, it, it does put things into perspective and it is a little painful to just see those names and just realize how many people, in reality, all of us have all of us have lost someone, right? I guess as a, as adults, for sure, depending on how old your listeners are, but and I just think that’s something that connects all of us is that we’ve all lost somebody we’ve all gone through hardships and hard times.
And the motivation for it was just really let me see if there’s a way that I can help better connect, people. And I’m glad that it worked out. I’m glad that people were able to have the names of their loved one loved ones in there. And I’m just honored that I was able to do that.
Chuck Corra: That’s a, that was such a neat idea. And it was, I think so powerful for so many people and really in my opinion, cuts at the heart of what it means to be from Appalachian, really show that kind of respect. As I typically do, I get a little introspective being from West Virginia and having left, I take a lot of the lessons that I learned growing up there with me.
And and for John and I, both being from West Virginia has influenced us so much. I’m wondering what’s the most important thing from growing up in West Virginia, that you take with you today, and that influences you today. And just to give you an example, for me, it’s appreciating hard work from others.
My dad was a union steel worker who worked his fingers to the bone daily. My mom put herself through community college to help make the family more money when my dad was on strike and seeing that level of work ethic driven by love, that really inspires me even to this day. And so I’m wondering like, what’s that takeaway for you from where you grew up, that you keep with you
David Morris: today?
That’s a great question. And I think that the answer to that question for me has only come in recent years, since I’ve gone through this journey musically, and since I’ve been able to look back and it’s just, it’s really appreciating the simple things in life, and you realize that like you have these big goals and dreams and they’re important, right?
You need to work towards your goals and dreams, but what typically with most people, especially artists, right? It’s a money thing or a status thing of platinum plaques or hit records or money. And then you get so caught up in achieving whatever this is or aiming for it and working towards it that you realize that what is at the end of it.
And at the end of it all you can really ask for. For most people for me at least is I want a family. I wanna settle down. I wanna raise them. I want to, in a bigger picture and a bigger sense of things. So it comes to where you realize oh man, like none of the shit actually matters.
What really actually matters is the things that you saw growing up is community is family, is, people appreciating the simple things in life in a new song that I’ve been working on recently, I said I it’s he goes, shout out to my country, folk the working class, the little guy, some of us don’t want to be famous.
We want a simple life, a healthy and a happy family. We just want to get it right. A house and a steady job and a cold beer on a Friday night. And it goes on, that’s like a four minute song of me just talking about these. Things answering this question. And it’s really that look like as much as, people in Los Angeles have this bubble around them and they wanna be famous, they wanna be influencers and they wanna be this like a majority of people on top of a majority of people, once an artist or once a celebrity or once influencer gets all the cool stuff they want, they join this majority of people who realize that the important things in life are family are friendship are having having a house owning, owning your own property or whatever it may be.
And it’s the simple things. And I think that’s, what’s been most important to me is I feel like my perspective on West Virginia and Appalachia has helped me to realize that Don’t focus on the wrong things. Don’t focus on the money. Don’t focus on the success. Don’t focus on the fame, focus on the journey, focus on the story, make sure that in the midst of aiming for these goals, that you’re not losing track of who you are and where you’re from.
And so that’s where I am now, where I’m understanding that I’m already so blessed. Having a family having a, an amazing relationship with my family, having an amazing girlfriend, having an amazing group support group of friends and being from a place where, I can still go back and still get perspective on things.
And I think that’s what I was getting caught up with for a while, being in, in New York and being in LA and being in Nashville is like, this music industry stuff is pretty crazy. But just realizing there is there’s more than that and those sort of things. Aren’t stuff that money or success can buy.
You grew up with it in West Virginia, you grew up with in Appalachia when you thought you had nothing, you actually had all that you needed. And so I think that is the biggest
Big John Isner: takeaway. I think that’s very well said. Chuck and I can tend to Have a, commonality with you there?
Both, both Chuck and I went to law school and at the end of it thought, man, I don’t wanna be an attorney. So we rather do something else and help people and really turn down some of the things that maybe other people think we’re crazy to do. Exactly. But we definitely agree and it took me a long time to really come to grips with it being okay that I wanted a certain life.
And I definitely can relate to you on that. And I could go all night long and ask you millions of questions cuz I’ve got plenty, but I’ve got two more to wrap this up. I know that you’re a busy guy and we’re very thankful that you did this interview in terms of this region and really, the country as a whole I think that we’re boxing you in as an Appalachian artist, but honestly, most of your stuff is very relatable. And you’re talking about your goals earlier, you had, you have all these goals. What is your goal now? Cuz your goals obviously have changed from 10 years ago. Where does David Morris wanna be?
David Morris: That’s a great question. And I don’t know if I would necessarily consider myself an Appalachian artist. I would consider myself an artist from Appalachia, for sure an artist from Appalachia. I think that, but I, again, I think it’s back to I am trying to tap into something where I’m using different genres of music to tell the story of West Virginia of growing up in a small town of growing up in Appalachia.
So I think there is some cross pollination there, I have a great love and respect for mountain stage. Appalachian music in its truest sense, bluegrass and folk in country in Americana. So I have a deep appreciation and respect, and I’m very tapped into all those artists as well. But your question, I think was what is my goal, right?
What are my goals? My, my goal, where I wanna be. That’s a great question. I really, so in a bigger sense, I just want my music to reach the largest audience possible. And I think that artists are like, oh, I want fame, or I want money, or I want success, or I want status. And in reality, those are just a byproduct of your music being as accessible and as ubiquitous as possible.
And so I think with everything, with every artist, you wanna make music that the widest group of people can relate to. So that’s really the thing is just to continue to release music and grow the fan base. And I want to be back on the road touring and meeting people cuz. I take, like you referenced earlier, I respond to every fan.
I try to respond to every message. And I just wanna get back on the road and meet people. So I would say just continue to grow fan base and get back on the road. And then I think the next goal will be to, get it to where I can continue making the different genres of music that I want and have them be equally represented on different platforms and fan bases.
Cause like I have very country songs, very folk songs, very hip hop songs, which you guys, I think to know by having listened to my music, but I just want other people to know that I am. Multidimensional artist. And I’m just trying to tell my story. I don’t know if that’s the answer you’re looking for, but I think that’s it.
Big John Isner: I don’t think, I don’t think anybody can answer that question, but you, so there, there was really no answer I was looking for and I, when we first go ahead.
David Morris: No, I was just going to say, I think many artists would be like, I want, okay, my goals, I want a number one, hit single. I want money. I want this.
And it’s yeah, I’ve already established why those answers are problematic. Hey man, I just want to continue to give my music to the people and get it to more people and hopefully be able to relate through this music.
Big John Isner: When we first started this interview, I asked you.
How would you describe David Morris to me if somebody asks or whenever they ask who you are? I always say range—the amount of stuff that you have. You’ve talked about it. You have rap; you have this almost R and B sound. You have a country sound, you have, literally whatever music you’re into, David’s probably made it.
And I think that is impressive, and I’m not musically talented. I don’t know much about music, and I’m not a music producer, but I am a betting man. And I would bet on David Morris. So I will say that thank you. I appreciate that. And I could tell you that if you go on tour, I could name a few people buying front-row seats.
We appreciate everything that you’re doing for the region. We appreciate you coming and interviewing with us. And just so everyone knows, how can they learn more about you, and where can they listen to your music?
David Morris: So my music, you can listen to it on any platform, wherever you listen to music.
Just type in David Morris. A good place to start would be maybe the most recent song I’ve released, which we discussed called where the back road ends. So if you go on iTunes or apple music, Spotify, Amazon, Google, YouTube, SoundCloud, whatever it is. And you just type in David Morris, where the back road ends. That might be a good place to start.
And then, you can just check out the other music I have. You can also tap in with me on Instagram, David Morris. It should be the first one that pops up there. And Facebook and Twitter, I don’t think, are as active and engaging as Instagram is currently.
So I would say you could check me on those platforms, but to keep updated with everything I’m doing, I’d say Instagram might be the the best move.
Big John Isner: We’re definitely. Urging all of our listeners to go and check Dave Morris out. David, we, again, really appreciate it. When we first started this podcast and started to think about who we wanted on it, we had a little bit of a if we ever get big enough section and you were in and you were in it.
So we’re really thankful that you were, willing to come on. We’re honored to have you. And we wish you nothing but success.
David Morris: Chuck, John, I appreciate it. Likewise, if there are other people in that section that you are, haven’t been able to get ahold of let me know. Maybe I can connect the dots for you.
I’ll also brainstorm and see if maybe there are some other people that might be a good fit for this podcast. Cause I, I like what you guys are doing. I think it’s important and I wish you guys nothing but the best. And I’m excited to promote this episode to, to my fans and friends and have them come and check out what you guys have going on.
Chuck Corra: I appreciate that, David; thanks so much.