Morgan Higgins became an overnight celebrity in her small SoCal beach town of San Clemente during her stint on ABC’s former music competition show Rising Star.
The now-18-year-old brunette beauty made it to week six in the one-season, Josh Groban-hosted series (which featured Brad Paisley, Ludacris and Kesha as experts) – but it was Jesse Kinch who took home the title.
Although Higgins – known for her bold song covers – fell short of a win, she hasn’t given up on her passion for music. She updates her YouTube page regularly, and she is just about to release her new song “Hey Boy,” an empowering pop track she associates with her boyfriend and taking control of making their relationship happen.
Keep scrolling to read about what Higgins learned from her star experts, which song she’s covered with regret and why she’s “confidently flirtatious.”
skyelyfe: Are you still based in San Clemente? What have your friends and people you know from home thought of your success?
Morgan Higgins: I am still based in San Clemente, but I spend a lot of time in Los Angeles. The people around me are very excited about my success, but no one knows how hard the music industry and entertainment industry truly is. It takes a lot of work and time to “make it.” Patience is a virtue!
SL: You’re known for some amazing covers. Which cover did you find most challenging to sing and which have you received the most praise for?
MH: The hardest cover for me to sing was “The One That Got Away,” by Katy Perry. I remember wanting to enter it for some competition and then realizing that my voice was not mature enough at all to sing it. I still won’t listen to it to this day, but it still has a decent amount of views, which is nice. My favorite cover and the one people like the most is “Someone Like You,” by Adele. I’ve always loved this song and I still sing it frequently. Adele is one of my favorite artists!
SL: Which Rising Star expert did you connect with best? What was the best piece of advice they gave you?
MH: I don’t think I had a favorite expert on Rising Star. They all gave me different pieces of advice and focused on different parts of my voice/performance. I think the biggest piece of advice they gave me was to be true to yourself no matter how much people around you try to influence you or put you down. That’s been a big thing for me in my music career as well as in my life in general.
SL: If you could collaborate with any three artists, who would they be?
MH: Oh, boy, the three artists I wish I could collaborate with are Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles or Adele – or Whitney Houston if she was alive. But my favorites change by the day.
SL: Tell me about how “Hey Boy” came to be. Is it about a real person or is it just a fun song?
MH: “Hey Boy” is inspired by a real person – my boyfriend! The idea came about when I was trying to get him to date or notice me. I figured lots of other girls could relate to liking a boy who may like them back, but having them be too shy to make a move. In a way, it’s a song about empowerment. There is this traditional idea that guys have to be the ones to show interest first and make the first move. However, in today’s progressive world, women are becoming much more powerful in every way and this song is partly influenced by the mentality that girls can do anything guys can do, including being confidently flirtatious and forward!