At just 18, Morgan Robertson is quickly gaining momentum in her music career.
Recently, she received the 2021 Saskatchewan Country Music Association (SCMA) Youth Development Bursary and won a songwriting competition based in Nashville.
Hailing from Carlyle, Robertson spoke to the Mercury about these achievements and how essential local venues are to musicians in the area.
Robertson has played and performed music for over 10 years, beginning with the fiddle and eventually expanding to playing guitar, singing and songwriting. In the past, she has performed across the southeast with the youth vocal fiddle group Focal Point.
About five years ago, Robertson began taking singing and songwriting seriously. Since then, she has fostered her individual performing skills. Notably, she performed at the Bow Valley Jamboree in 2019 and opened for Tyler Lewis at the Happy Nun Café in Forget in 2020.
Robertson realized that songwriting was something she could peruse after performing an original song at a music camp and receiving a very positive response.
“I thought, oh my gosh, I’m actually writing stuff that people can relate to, and I’m actually doing good at this. Maybe this is something that I want to keep doing. I think that was probably a pretty big moment.”
Robertson’s recent success emerged through her talent and the opportunities created by the excellent support system for local musicians in the province. She became a part of the SCMA about a year and a half ago. As a member, she receives emails about gigs and opportunities that are available. In this way, she received the opportunity to apply for the Youth Development Bursary.
Additionally, she spoke about how supported she feels by the Happy Nun Café, a lively venue that creates space for local musicians. The business won Music Venue of the Year at the recent SCMA Awards.
“The Happy Nun has been amazing to me. They’ve done a lot for me and many, many, other local artists. They’ve given a lot of people some really great opportunities. They’ve kept live music going through the pandemic, which is great because it hasn’t been easy to do. Local venues are very important for the music industry, and I’m very happy and grateful to feel that the Happy Nun has my back.”
Along with her local success, her original song Goodbye Train was selected in a competition run by Henhouse Studio, based in Nashville. Robertson sent in a voice memo of the song and received the opportunity to create a polished recording.
She recorded her vocal track at SoulSound Recording Studio in Regina to a guitar track that was sent to her by Henhouse Studio. She looks forward to receiving the finished song with complete production.
“I sent in the song that I thought had the most potential for something that I couldn’t do on my own. They’re all amazing musicians. They are very talented, so I’m super excited for the finished project because it’s going to be awesome to see what I can do with the help of others.”
In the future, Robertson plans to obtain her red seal as an electrician while continuing to grow her musical career. She aspires to spend time in Nashville after completing her apprenticeship.
Robertson would advise someone starting out in songwriting to “write from your heart. It’s not always the easiest to just let out your emotions, but if you just write what you’re feeling, you’ll get places eventually.”
Currently, Robertson shares covers and original songs on her Instagram page, @morgan.r.music. You can find updates on the goings-on of her music career and get access to any new music there.