One listen to her soulful, acrobatic vocal, and it’s self-evident that song was made for her. But it almost wasn’t hers at all.
In a new interview with Variety, the songwriting team behind the megahit revealed just how long the journey was to get the song out into the world and how it eventually got to the right vocalist.
Seriously, you won’t believe the A-list pop stars that recorded their own versions along the way.
Demi Lovato (“Sorry Not Sorry”), Camilla Cabello (“Havana”), Carly Rae Jepsen (“Call Me Maybe”), Tove Lo (“Stay High”), Bebe Rexha (“Meant To Be” with Florida Georgia Line), Daya (“Sit Still Look Pretty”) and Elle King (“Ex’s & Oh’s”) were among several artists who took their shot at the song’s lead vocal. They were all outstanding, too, but various circumstances from scheduling to style always interfered with the single landing in the right place.
That team: writer Sarah Aarons, Monsters & Strangerz, duo Grey, and DJ Zedd were about to give up hope that their song would ever see the light of day. That is until Morris came along in January 2018. Monsters & Strangerz’s Jordan Johnson describes her as “the angel that saved us all.”
Morris told the New York Times she had no idea that the team was floundering in finding a lead vocalist.
“I didn’t really know about all the drama finding a vocalist,” she admitted.
And Zedd didn’t really know about Morris. He admitted to the Times, “I had never even heard her music until I heard the demo, so I was like ‘Who is Maren Morris? She sounds really good!’”
Zedd flew to Nashville to record Morris’ vocal for the official version, which Monsters & Strangerz’ Marcus “Marc Lo” Lomax declared was “the best one yet, no question.”
He added, “It sounded a little Nashville and felt right. We were pumped.”
And as part of a thank you of sorts, Morris took Zedd to get some real Nashville hot chicken, which truly is a gift in itself.
Aarons, the song’s mega-talented young writer, still cannot get over the fact that the song is now a multi-week No. 1 smash.
“It seems crazy, I mean bits of it were made in my small apartment!”