Ryan Hurd on How His New Duet With Wife Maren Morris Is a 'Full-Circle Musical Moment' (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
For Ryan Hurd, his new duet with wife Maren Morris is already a highlight of his career. ET spoke with Hurd ahead of the release of "Chasing After You," his and Morris' first duet together, which is out now. Despite their long musical and personal history, Hurd told ET that he never "expected to do" a song with his wife.
"I have always worked with Maren and written songs with Maren. That’s how we actually met, we had a creative partnership before it was ever anything more," he said. "This is really fun for me. It feels like a full-circle musical moment. It hasn't quite hit me yet that we’re actually doing it."
Hurd and Morris have been aware of the song, written by Brinley Addington and Jerry Flowers, for years, but "the timing hasn't been right" for its release until now.
"I just really love the writing of this song. It's really simple, but the melody is just so effective," Hurd said. "It's a song that I wish I had written and those are the ones I think that you end up recording when you’re not the writer... It kind of makes me mad that I didn’t write it, to be honest."
The recording of the song was "a family affair" for Hurd and Morris, along with producers Aaron Eshuis and Teddy Reimer.
"We recorded all the vocals in our basement, which is crazy to think about these things, like, making hit records where you sleep. It's nice," Hurd said. "The whole thing doesn't even feel real. I don't know if it's because of the pandemic, or because we haven’t worked in so long... but it's odd the journey something like this takes."
The early fan reaction to the track has been "really cool" for Hurd, who had been on a social media break until promotion for the song began.
"It's kind of nerve-wracking when you get back into [social media]. So to see all the positivity surrounding it, it's really cool," he said. "I'm so used to being the passenger on Maren's rocket ship. I think having my name and my face on the art and having that many people really excited about it, it's just something that really did make me feel great. It made it feel real. I’m just really excited that we get to do something that’s not behind the scenes together."
Hurd assured fans that he and Morris will "always make music together." In fact, he said, they're busy at work on her third album now.
"We’re writing right now for her third album. I love being a part of that process," he said. "It's not the most important thing anymore, but it is something that we get to do together that's really special. Most couples don't do the same job, let alone get to work together in something that they both love."
As for if another duet is possible between the pair, Hurd didn't rule the idea out.
"I think if Maren had the time and the creative capacity to do something like that, I think that it could be something that we could do more of," he said. "I'm just really excited about being able to do one thing right now. If we only get to do one, I'm really proud that it’s this one."
Aside from work, the couple has a lot going on personally, including the GRAMMY Awards -- Morris is nominated for her song, "The Bones" -- their son Hayes' first birthday, their third wedding anniversary and Morris' 31st birthday, all of which come within weeks of each other.
"It sounds like an expensive few weeks for me," Hurd quipped, before expressing happiness about being able to spend uninterrupted time with his family over the past year in quarantine.
"I would've been gone all year touring. [Hayes] would've lived on Maren’s bus, so we would’ve seen each other half the time," he said. "That's been pretty much the only blessing of this period of our life, is being able to spend all of our time with him. I don't think we've missed hardly anything... It's been really a great opportunity to get to just be a little family for a year."
Any and all celebrations during the "wild" month will be kept small due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't bother Hurd one bit.
"It's a lot of stuff to celebrate," he said. "There's always a lot to celebrate when you get to do what you love and be with the people you love to do it with. We’re all very blessed."
In the next year, Hurd, who said he's been busy writing music for other artists and earmarking songs for his next EP, is looking forward to a return to "some kind of normal."
"We really miss doing the things we were born to do, riding on a bus and playing music. I'm just really excited about that part of our life coming back," he said. "I'll miss seeing Maren and Hayes every single day, a lot, but I’m ready for things to get back to normal."
"In the meantime, we'll keep doing our best, making music and putting what we can out," Hurd added. "I'm really proud of her and this song. Hopefully in the next year we'll have a really big hit to celebrate."