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It’s been a long time coming for Maren Morris who has distanced herself from the country music community in recent years. She has been outspoken again the genre, even saying that she wasn’t comfortable attending the CMA Awards in 2022 after a public dispute with Jason and Brittany Aldean. She did attend, but skipped walking the red carpet.
In a new interview with the LA Times, Morris announced her decision to leave country music behind, already moving from the Columbia Nashville label to mainstream Columbia Records that carries an impressive roster of artists that includes, Adele, Harry Styles, Beyonce, Miley Cryus and more.
According to Maren, she’s felt “very distanced” from the country music industry and what she considers the politics the genre represents.
“I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” Morris told the outlet of country music. “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”
Morris, an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and the Black Lives Matter movement, said that her beliefs made her unpopular in the country music community.
“I’ve always been an asker of questions and a status quo challenger just by being a woman. So it wasn’t really even a choice,” Morris said. “The further you get into the country music business, that’s when you start to see the cracks. And once you see it, you can’t un-see it.”
She added that she has chosen to distance herself from “a lot of the drama within the community,” instead focusing on her music. “I’m trying to mature here and realize I can just walk away from the parts of this that no longer make me happy.”
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Maren also dismissed the success of songs like Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town,” saying that the high streaming numbers came as a result of spite.
“It’s not out of true joy or love of the music. It’s to own the libs,” she said.
Morris insists in her interview that she isn’t on a campaign. She’s simply making a personal choice.
“I’ve kind of said everything I can say. I always thought I’d have to do middle fingers in the air jumping out of an airplane, but I’m trying to mature here and realize I can just walk away from the parts of this that no longer make me happy,” she told the Times.
The songs, and more specifically the accompanying video for “The Tree,” are a thinly-veiled hit at country music.
In the video, the “My Church” singer appears to be walking through a small town set, and tiny props are hidden throughout, including a “Welcome to our perfect small town, from sunrise to sundown” sign. The wording is assumed to be a dig at Jason Aldean’s controversial song.
Also seen are “Don’t Treat On Me” and “Go Woke, Go Broke” signs. The latter motto has often been used to target Morris due to her public confrontations of conservatives.
The video ends with the 33-year-old setting fire to a tree at the end of a small town street. The tree is seen burning behind her as she leaves town.
In a post made to Instagram, Morris reflects on writing “The Tree” on the 10th anniversary of her move to Nashville. She references the town as a “toxic family tree” that is burning itself to the ground. “Halfway through, I realize it’s burning itself down without any of my help.”
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