Maren Morris Clarifies She's 'Not Left Country Music': 'I Want to Take the Good Parts with Me'

The singer-songwriter appeared on 'Watch What Happened Live with Andy Cohen' and revealed she's working on new music with Jack Antonoff

Country music will always be a part of Maren Morris.

On the Wednesday night episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, the country-pop star, 33, took a moment to clarify her past comments about no longer wanting to be a part of the country music industry. The singer-songwriter explained that she’s “not left country music” entirely because the genre will always fuel her sound, but that she wants to “leave behind” the “toxic parts” of the industry.

“I would just clarify I’ve not left country music — that was the headline,” Morris said after a fan tuned in to ask what her music might sound like going forward, if she’s no longer making country songs.

<p>Taylor Hill/WireImage</p> Maren Morris in New York City in May 2023

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Maren Morris in New York City in May 2023

Related: Maren Morris Talks Leaving Country Music and Taps Mickey Guyton, Brittney Spencer for 'The Tree' Performance

“Actually, what I said was I’m leaving behind the sort of toxic parts of it,” the “Chasing After You” singer continued. “And that’s like any part of the music industry — just certain things that I’m in control of.”

“I want to take the good parts with me,” she added, before mentioning that she’s written in a genre-defying way for years and thinks listeners don’t “label” genres as much anymore.

The “Circles Around This Town” artist then shared on the talk show that the country genre will always fuel her sound because it’s so ingrained in who she is as an artist. “I’m from Texas, I grew up on all that music, so the way I write, the way I sing, that’s what comes out — whatever genre I’m doing or feature I’m doing,” she said.

<p>John Shearer/Getty; Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty</p> Maren Morris and Jack Antonoff

John Shearer/Getty; Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty

Maren Morris and Jack Antonoff

Related: How Maren Morris Spent Her First Night Away from CMA Awards After Stepping Back from Country Music

The star also revealed that she’s working on new music with Grammy-winning producer and frequent Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift collaborator Jack Antonoff. “He’s amazing,” she said of the recording artist who was among the co-producers of her track “Get the Hell Out of Here” off her EP The Bridge. “We’ve been working on and off all year. We’re working with other people, too, so I’m kind of in writing mode.”

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Morris first opened up about her decision to “take a step back” from the country music industry and release music on Columbia Records, instead of Columbia Nashville, in a September interview with The Los Angeles Times.

At the time, she said she felt “very, very distanced” from the industry and its politics and expressed frustration at trying to challenge the status quo within it. “I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” the CMA Award winner said. “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”

<p>Taylor Hill/Getty</p> Maren Morris

Taylor Hill/Getty

Maren Morris

Related: Maren Morris on Her Friendship with Taylor Swift: 'She's Been So Supportive of Me and My Career'

She signified the transition with the release of the two-track EP The Bridge, featuring the songs “The Tree” and “Get the Hell Out of Here.”

In an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she spoke about the meaning behind the release. “I wrote these two songs, 'The Tree' and 'Get the Hell Out of Here' and I just felt like I was leaving some things in country music behind that didn't really serve me anymore," she said.

"Calling it 'The Bridge' felt like the step to the next thing, whatever that is,” the star continued.

On the late night show, she also clarified that “leaving” country “was very hyperbolic” and again said that she intends to take “the good parts with [her].” She added, “There was some facets of it that I didn't really jive with anymore. I'm a lot happier now."

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