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Heather Morgan Is Ready To Share Her 'Borrowed Heart'

"Part of your job is to loan pieces of your heart out everyday in the world of songwriting," Heather Morgan says.
Blythe Thomas
Courtesy of the artist
"Part of your job is to loan pieces of your heart out everyday in the world of songwriting," Heather Morgan says.

Heather Morgan has written songs for some of the biggest names in country music — Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Brett Eldredge just to name a few. She's the writer behind Eldredge's " Beat of the Music," which won BMI song of the year in 2015. Now, Morgan is ready to move into her own spotlight. Her debut album, Borrowed Heart, out now, tells her story and what it's like to lend your words and experiences to somebody else.

Making a record of her own has always been a dream for Morgan, but that aspiration has often taken a backseat to songwriting for others. However, while working with producer and engineer Paul Moak, Morgan began to form artistic connections to what they were writing. One song in particular, "We Were a Fire," stuck out, and instead of searching for an artist to match the music to, Morgan decided to take it on herself.

"I felt connected to the story," Morgan says. "It was definitely from a personal experience. I just had so much ownership in it that it felt like the right thing to do would be to put it on a record, and be the one that put it out in the world."

Though she admits she had a bit of apprehension, the songwriter seamlessly transitioned into a performer role, fully baring her soul in songs as opposed to collaborating with others to tell a shared story. "I think there's a bit of fear and vulnerability that comes into play, but also I felt this strength that I've never felt before," Morgan says. "It felt really good to go into a place that's really raw with emotion and telling my own story and not sugarcoating it."

Morgan's solo debut is a testament to the vulnerability that writing songs for other demands. Even the album's title, Borrowed Heart, mirrors what must be loaned during the collaborative process. Morgan sees the process of writing hit songs for others as mutual borrowing, of both the heart and voice. "Maybe it's a mutual borrowing," she says.

Hear the full interview at the audio link.

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Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.