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Maren Morris says she doesn’t ‘have anything to prove anymore.’ Now, she’s embracing ‘singleness’ and a new era of independence

Maren Morris says she doesn’t ‘have anything to prove anymore.’ Now, she’s embracing ‘singleness’ and a new era of independence

Maren Morris is embracing a new era of independence, both in her professional and personal life. On Thursday, the Grammy-winning star drops an emotional cover of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” which also happens to coincide with Singles Awareness Day.

“I’m in this new slate in life and I want to sort of lean into the vulnerability of the lyrics, because when I was [writing] them down, I don’t know, it kind of struck this melancholic note and I feel like that’s such a relatable theme to singleness,” Morris, who recently finalized her divorce from singer Ryan Hurd, tells Yahoo Entertainment. “[Being single] is fun and you’re really getting to know yourself, which is important because you are the longest relationship you’ll have in your life so you need to tend to that one. But there’s also, you know, moments of bittersweetness when you feel on those occasional nights a little lonely.”

Morris’s cover can be seen in a new spot for Visible Wireless, the one-line wireless service designed for singles.

“I partnered with Visible because I loved the theme of their messaging, which is independence and ownership,” she adds. “For me right now, I’m really leaning into my sort of singleness and it’s daunting but exciting.”

Morris says shooting the video for this was “cathartic” and “a really emotional experience.”

“We filmed it at Grimey’s here in Nashville. It’s such an iconic record store in Nashville, it’s independently owned. It’s in East Nashville where I used to live when I first moved here. So there’s just a lot of emotional ties I have to that venue,” she says. “I just put my entire heart into not giving a shit and dancing and looking stupid. I felt really emotionally connected to the song… I just was like, I am dancing with myself.”

Morris says recording the cover was “one of the easiest” days she’s had in the studio.

“I don’t have anything to prove anymore. Like, as an artist I feel really untethered and free in this moment of my artistry and also just, like, personhood right now,” Morris says.

“You know, I’ve proven that I can do a giant vocal on songs, I’ve proven that I can sort of weave through genres. So in this song, I feel like it was more about the emotion than trying to sing the shit out of it,” she laughs, adding she wanted to “keep the tenderness of the song intact.”

Morris is also channeling that energy into a new album — and not the one she thought she was putting out into the world five months ago.

“I am in early, early creative stages of music right now. I was working on something all last year and then, you know, my personal life had some massive shifts,” she explains. “So I sort of went back to the drawing board. Right now I’m in the kind of fun early stages of not knowing where it’s heading…. I’m working with all my favorite people and they’re just really carrying me through this season of my life through song. I’m writing stuff that is really unlike what I’ve done before. So I’m, I’m definitely excited for people to hear it.”

In September, weeks before Morris filed for divorce from Hurd, she told Los Angeles Times she was taking a “step back” from the country music industry as she started working with pop producer Jack Antonoff. Headlines quickly declared she was leaving genres, which Morris tells Yahoo isn’t exactly accurate. (“Those were obviously not my exact words.”) As for whether her forthcoming album is more pop than country, Morris says it’s “too early to tell.”

“I feel like I’ve always been a little bit both. So like the departure [from country], I mean in an institutional way, I’m leaving some things behind, but I think I’ll always make music that’s weaving tons of genres throughout because that’s what comes out when I write,” she says. “I think it’s gonna lean more alternative and pop just because those are the sounds that I’m experimenting with. I feel like it’ll be more in that realm, but it is too early to say, on record! But it’s definitely like a new sound for me.

As for her “Dancing With Myself” cover and Visible Wireless ad, Morris is “excited for my fans to see this side of me just truly letting go.”

“I hope that people feel like they wanna dance when they hear it, but also empowered,” she says. “I feel like we added a lot of moments of bittersweet vulnerability to it as well in the verses. I feel like it’s just one of those few times I’ve covered another person’s song and got to truly make it my own.”

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