Washington, D.C. native Willie Morrison first fell in love with the music of Delbert McClinton, Merle Haggard, Eric Clapton and more when he was a child. After taking piano and guitar lessons for years, he enrolled at Los Angeles’ Occidental College for a year, where he played baseball. In his free time, he continued bettering his skills through his work in The Morrison Brothers Band alongside his brother Truman. Morrison then transferred to the University of Miami, where he studied political science. Along the way, he met fellow D.C.-area native and music artist Maggie Rose, and he moved to Nashville in 2015. The Morrison Brothers Band earned a development deal and later a Top 3 video on CMT’s 12 Pack Countdown for the track “Loud Love.” After the brothers decided to go their separate ways, Willie decided to pursue a solo career. A songwriter as well as an artist, Morrison earned writing credits on songs recorded by Ashland Craft, Clay Walker and Shemekia Copeland. He then released his debut single “One More Time.”
Morrison wrote his latest release, “Heartbreak Girl,” with Benjamin Johnson and KK Johnson. In his bio, Morrison recounted the writing session that led to “Heartbreak Girl.”
“When I came into the writing session all I had was a bassline, which is what you hear first when the song begins,” Willie said. “I was playing it while we were catching up, and Ben (co-writer/producer) was like ‘that’s cool, keep playing that’, and then KK started riffing on it. It became pretty clear right away this was something we were going to run with.
“We ended up on the topic of girls that can get guys to do anything for them. I joked that they could probably walk into a bar without any money and not even worry about having to pay for a drink all night! Ben’s face lit up, he left the room, and came back and said, ‘I got it, Heartbreak Girl.’ We all knew that was the title once he said it. We started talking about that kind of person — the one who you know isn’t good for you and you know you’ll regret, but they have this magnetism that inevitably draws you to them. The song kind of wrote itself from there on out.”
Morrison told CMT about the song’s video, which was directed by Ford Fairchild.
“We shot the video the day after I got back from my bachelor party. We squeezed sooo much into one day, with a tiny budget. We started at 11 am and went until 3 am. Despite being exhausted by the end, I remember it being one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had in a long time. I’m so lucky to have a community of incredibly talented friends, so working on set also means hanging with all your people, and we had a blast.”
“The video brings the song to life by taking a creative and exaggerated approach to the song,” he continues. “If you’re gonna let a girl break your heart, why not go all the way and have her frame you for auto theft and breaking into a home (lol)?? It was a playful take on the idea that I am so taken by this woman, I’m not only willing to have my heartbroken just for the experience, but I am completely oblivious to her con.”
Morrison related to CMT how it felt to see the finished video, saying, “It was so incredible to see the finished video for the first time. I am so lucky to work with Ford Fairchild who can bring any idea to life. I remember saying to him, “What about a prison?”…pretty much joking…and he goes, “Let’s do it!” It was also pretty amazing getting to see my fiancé as the vixen in the video. Chemistry is so much easier to have when it’s real! She did such a good job and I’m so proud of her. I also couldn’t have done it without my friend, Raina Gir, who always comes in clutch styling all of the outfits and set designs.”