If you haven’t heard Maren Morris’s name, what rock have you been living under for the last year? The 27-year-old won a Grammy for her sensational single, “My Church.” Her debut album, HERO, was certified gold. And she’ll join former One Directioner Niall Horan on his Flicker World Tour in 2018. So what’s Maren up to now? After opening for fellow country breakout Sam Hunt on his 15 in a 30 Tour this summer, she’s heading back out on her own headlining tour this fall.
The HERO Tour began earlier this year, but Maren wanted to extend its run, after many months on the road, in large part because of her fans. “I think I’m the most proud when I can really, really connect and have a special moment each night with that crowd—whether it’s an emotional one or we all are just laughing together,” she tells Her Campus. “It’s never scripted, so I think I always leave those shows feeling my proudest when I truly open myself up and am honest and unafraid to be up there and really connect with them.”
Teasing what concertgoers can look forward to on this leg of the tour, Maren says, “I think everyone that comes to the show can expect a lot of fun songs and danceable songs, and, you know, we’re going to laugh and cry together. Ryan Hurd, my fiancé, who’s an amazing artist, is opening for me, so it’s going to be just kind of like a family band feel.”
Ryan and Maren met when their publishing companies randomly paired them to write songs together. Their years of collaboration eventually turned romantic, and Hurd proposed in July 2017.
It only makes sense that Maren’s fiancé would open for her on tour—not only because Ryan is a talented artist in his own right, but also because it allows them to spend more time together.
“It’s obviously an excuse to see each other more, so we try to do as many shows as we possibly can together,” Maren says. “It just makes it more fun. We started our relationship on a very creative level, and we started writing songs together like four years ago…He’s a writer on my album, I’m on his songs here and there. So it just felt like a really organic fit, and I think the fans have been so supportive of us as a couple as much as our music, so I think it’s going to feel great to have him alongside me.”
Taking pieces of home with her on the road—including Ryan and her white German Shepherd, June—keeps Maren from burning out. “You always do feel a little homesick because a bunk on a bus is not the same as your bed at home, but I try to make it feel as homey as possible,” she says. “And I have my dog come out with me, and Ryan’s going to be out this fall. So, you know, those pieces of home really make it feel like you’re there, so even if you’re in a totally foreign place, there’s still like a piece of your home there.”
Downtime is rare for a touring artist, but Maren likes to explore the cities she’s playing in when she can. You might catch her shopping, sampling the best food the city has to offer (she calls herself a foodie), and blending in like one of the locals.
On stage, you’ll find Maren performing songs from HERO—her favorites to sing live are “My Church,” “I Could Use a Love Song” and “Once”—and introducing brand new music from her forthcoming second album. “I’ve been writing so much here recently—like the last month—for my second album,” she teases. “So I think this leg of the HERO Tour in the fall is going to be a great foundation to debut some of those songs and test drive them on the road…The fans that go to those shows will be the first ears to hear them.”
A landmark year of successes and another leg of her headlining tour haven’t convinced Maren that this dream-come-true life she’s living is normal, though. “Every time I feel settled and like it’s finally sunk in, something else crazy happens to me, and it just brings all of that excitement back…Sometimes Elton John will call me or, like, John Mayer will start following me on Twitter or some crazy shit like that that just makes me feel like, wow, I mean, this is real. This is my life, and it’s not someone else’s. It’s actually happening to me. So I try not to take any of that for granted or let it get normal because it’s not.”
The fall leg of Maren's HERO Tour kicks off Oct. 5 in Kalamazoo, MI. For more dates and tickets, visit marenmorris.com/tour.