Cindy Morgan Interview

From the time she was a child, Cindy Morgan knew music was her calling.

Now, at the age of 23, Cindy has realized her dream. Her debut album "Real Life" has been released on the Word record label.

We talked with Cindy about the struggles of becoming a recording artist.

Q. A friend of yours passed along your demo tape to Word Records. Had that not happened, what do you think you'd be doing today?
A. Well, I was about to accept a position with Bachrach's Men's Wear as a visual merchandiser, and this started happening. It got me thinking, music is really what I want to do. Should I take this job that would be stable or should I take a chance and go for music. I knew in my heart I would never be satisfied doing anything else. I guess I probably would've been a visual merchandiser, but I would still be doing music. I don't know how. It's just so much a part of who I am that I don't think I could leave it. I'm not sure, maybe I'd be working in clubs, doing some sort of background vocals for groups. Sometimes you can find real nice restaurants that will have someone come in and play the piano and sing. Not clubs like bars, but just really nice places, where you could do ballads and stuff like that. I'm not sure. No one has asked me that question. I'm thankful that this worked out.

Q. You entered a contest at Dollywood (owned by Dolly Parton) called the National Mountain Music Festival. Out of 7,000 contestants, you were the winner. What was that all about?
A. Basically, it's a contest they have at Dollywood. It was a combination of where they had traveled around the year, listening to people, doing talent searches and then at the end of that season, they would travel around and have competitions. At the end of the season, they would have a talent contest and call the winners of the local talent contests, to come up and compete in the finals. So, I competed. There were three different levels. I went to just the first preliminary level and there were like 30 people that night. Then you'd go the next night which is the pre-finals and I just knew I wasn't gonna win, and I won that. That takes you to the Final Finals, which is you and two other people. And so basically I did two songs, two Christian songs. I hate to sound like I'm blowing my own horn, but it's kind of cool because I'm kind of blowing the horn for the Gospel. It was the first time anybody singing Christian music had ever won that competition. It usually went to someone doing country music. Dolly Parton and Hoyt Axton awarded the prize that night, and I got a contract to work at Dollywood, some money. Dolly paid for four demos I cut here in Nashville, and I got to be on the Dolly Parton show. It was kind of the beginning I guess of a career for me. It's funny, 'cause it started in the country direction which is not what I wanted to do. But it was some experience, some exposure and a good training ground.

Q. You then went to work as an in-house background vocalist at a studio in Knoxville. Whose albums did you sing background on? And, how were you treated?
A. I worked for a lot of custom records, for just local groups, and mainly what I did, I worked for no one that you would know, just really local people who wanted to do a record of their own. I did a lot of sound alikes for sound tracks. One day I'd do Linda Ronstadt. The next day I'd do Whitney Houston. The next day I'd do K.T. Oslin. It was just something different every day. I worked there every day. I was also the promotion coordinator which is the person that books studio time and kind of handles the studio as far as what went on in there. We were kind of like a family. So, it was very much a training ground for me, because being a studio singer is much different then being a 'live' singer. I went back to that studio about 4 months ago and that was kind of neat to go back where I started from.

Q. What are your thoughts on the Christian Heavy Metal Bands that are starting to emerge?
A. I think it's a great thing. Kids that like that kind of music, guitar, rock ‘n’ roll. Of course we know what the other side of the coin offers, you know. You go to a rock ‘n’ roll concert and you can see anything. You can absolutely see the most horrible, immoral things. So, I think it's incredible that the Christian market is offering an alternative as far as a message, but still giving the same kind of music. Groups are trying to be the best they can be, across the board.

Q. Cindy, what goes through your mind when you watch someone like Madonna? What do you think of her image?
A. First of all, you can't deny the fact that she's an incredible entertainer. She's got a gift. God has given her a gift and she's just misused it. I saw her movie "Truth or Dare" and it was very obvious to me that she was empty and that she longed for whatever it was that she didn't have. Anyone that's living that kind of life, that emptiness, I would love to see her turn her life around.

Q. Where do you perform?
A. I'm doing different dates. I'm doing a lot of weekend things, festivals, opening a lot for First Call, amusement parks, some youth nights.

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