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Artist Spotlight – July 2022

Morgan Brake – July Artist Spotlight

Do you remember what you had going through your mind when you were 16 years old? I know I was mainly thinking about playing softball and basketball, getting through high school and trying not to get grounded by my parents. My artist this month can tell you that she has written and created an album that is out and ready for you to purchase. Morgan Brake, now 17 years old, is from Plant City, Florida. Plant City is a small town that was named in honor of Henry B. Plant and his Railroad. The South Florida Railroad boosted the agricultural community in the late 1800s. Plant City is also known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, if you like strawberries make sure to check out the Florida Strawberry Festival during February to early March. It was also the spring training camp for the Cincinnati Reds at Plant City Stadium during 1988-1997.

On June 23rd, less than two decades ago, Mrs. Brake welcomed Morgan into the world and has provided her many paths within the music world. As Morgan grew up, her mom shared the knowledge and experience that she had as a young singer. At a young age, Morgan took piano and fiddle lessons but like most little girls she then started taking dance classes which then turned into musical theatre. Over a few years, the stage became very familiar and a big part of her life. The sound of an acoustic guitar and the versatility of one has always been a love and interest of Morgan’s. At the age of 12, Morgan had a blessing of meeting a wonderful guitar instructor and was able to begin guitar lessons. That is when bluegrass music became a huge part of her life.

Since the first grade, Morgan has been homeschooled but also made sure to be involved in outsourced classes and other educational programs. Now as a senior in high school she is also enrolled at her local community college. Balance is very important to Morgan! She feels that while she is young, it is important to take advantage of as many experiences as she can. Music has been one of her main focuses but has found that the biggest challenge is balancing studies, building and maintaining relationships, and continuing to make time for all the fun teenage stuff. While playing as a member of the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Youth Council, Morgan found that working as a team is the best way of getting things accomplished. As the last few years have thrown some challenging times her way, she feels extremely grateful for the wonderful opportunity.

To me it seems clear that this young lady has a great foundation and understanding of creating music that will hopefully be liked by many. She feels that life is all relative and that she hopes listeners can step back and enjoy the stories that her songs tell, even if they can’t personally relate to the lyrics. Obviously, she understands that some may question her ability to express love, loss and life at such a young age, but her songs have been written about her own personal stories and relationships that deal with love and loss and she always reminds herself that no one else can take that away from her. Although the years have been few, she has already found it neat to be able to look back at the evolution of her life through her music. One song that is dear to her heart is one she wrote about her great-grandmother. As Morgan and her mom sit on their comfy couch, they have been able to find that they are a great team of figuring out lyrics and melodies.

Morgan has had a handful of times where she has been hurt by people that she thought were friends but while it was hard during those moments, she can look back and remember those that supported her through the pain. Those times taught her to never forget those who were in her corner every season, to love them, and never to take those relationships for granted. When she has had bad times or negative feedback, Morgan focuses on the good and all the encouragement she has been given. The good always outweighs the bad or criticism. As new artist herself, she would encourage all other new artists to stay true to themselves, be kind and genuine, and to not let the words of others bring them down or dull their sparkle.

If Morgan could meet up again with someone that has passed, she would love to see her Grandmama Rosie again. Grandmama Rosie was a wonderful woman that was loved by many. Morgan knows that her grandmama would be proud, but she still would love to hear her thoughts about her music. While Morgan was only nine when she passed, her grandmama gave her a lifetime of memories. Morgan would love to spend time talking to her again about life and life as a teenage girl.

Morgan is very close with her mama and describes her as the most influential person within her life, as well as in her musical growth. Right behind mama is her daddy and Morgan doesn’t hesitate to tell you how amazing he is. When Morgan thinks of inspirational people outside of her family, she thinks of the Maravilla guys. Mike Maravilla is her guitar teacher along with being the backbone of their band. Mike has taught her so much and has been a huge supporter through every stage of her journey. The mandolin player, Barrett Maravilla, has also become a huge part of her life and an inspiration in songwriting. When these two write songs, they usually end up incorporating their relationship growth throughout the last few years. In some songs the story tells snippets of their story of how they were brought together through music at a young age, the growing pains of teenage years, and how their relationship has grown from a friendship between two people into a loving couple. As they both experienced a spark in life so young, they have enjoyed their time together and are proud and thankful for being able to continue writing together. As for a famous musical influence, she told me that Alison Krauss “has her heart”.

When Morgan put the final touches on the album and it became available for all to buy, she was full of excitement and relief with a few nerves thrown in there. As the process was long, she was happy to have it finally out there. She also has a feeling of vulnerability because people are going to hear her music in a way that feels so much bigger. Now that we have learned some about Morgan, I hope that you are as excited as I am to see where this young talented musician will go in the next years to come.

Fast Firing Fun Facts:

What is your favorite Holiday and why? Christmas, she loves being surrounded by family and there is just a warmth and happiness that surrounds the entire season.

What is your dream destination? Anywhere there are mountains.

What is your favorite type of car? One that runs and has AC!! “Obviously I am a true Florida girl”

Who is your favorite teen heart throb? Cole Sprouse in Five Feet Apart

Do you have a hobby outside of music? She has been a cross country runner since nine, so she would have to say running! She also enjoys anything artistic and baking!

What is your favorite kind of Ice Cream? Cookies and Creams

What is your favorite junk food? Sweet Tart Ropes and soft pretzels.

Do you have any pet(s) and what are their names? Australian Shepherd named Ivy Mae

What is your favorite book that you read or author that you like to read? The Hunger Games and To Kill A Mockingbird

What is your favorite movie line? “You’re not very pretty and you’re not very bright. I’m glad we had this talk.” A Cinderella Story (Jennifer Coolidge makes me laugh)

News from artist:

“My first ever EP has been released and I have been pinching myself every day to make sure it’s all real and not just a dream!” ‘Stuck Loving You’ is the first song Morgan ever wrote, together with her mom, which made sense to make it the first song on the EP. The song, ‘Stuck Loving You is special to her for many reasons, but it became even more special when she was honored to have Jaelee Roberts and Sierra Hull sing Harmony on it with her.

Website for artist, tour dates and/or merchandise:

Check out the artist/band website for all their new songs, tour dates and merchandise. The best way to support local broadcasters and artists are through their sales – CDs, albums, shirts and etc. Let’s show our support – go check their website.