Judges weren’t quite sure what to expect when Nashville-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mia Morris stepped on stage for her audition on America’s Got Talent (AGT) on June 28. The 17-year-old artist proceeded to loop vocals, guitar and bass, and play drums as a one-woman band while continuing to sing “Gone My Way,” an original song she wrote.
Videos by American Songwriter
“My dream is to share my music and my writing with the world,” said Morris to the judges prior to her performance. The audience roared following Morris’ performance, and the judges offered their praise and feedback for musical talent.
Judge Howie Mandel kicked things off by complimenting Morris’ uncommon band set up. “I just think you’re a star,” said Mandel. “I think looping is so cool. That fact that you’re playing every instrument … I could watch a concert with you doing this.” Sofia Vergara added, “I think you’re one of the coolest girls that’s been standing on that stage.”
Simon Cowell told Morris that her performance wasn’t perfect, which is why it worked. “It was, at times, a bit of a mess, but then again it should be,” said Cowell. “It’s all done in the moment and it’s not perfect, and it shouldn’t be perfect, which is why I loved it so much. I’d rather listen to someone like you who’s original and talented rather than someone who comes with some horrible backing track and sings a song I’ve heard a million times.”
Finishing off on some high notes during her first AGT appearance, Morris has already been performing for some time—even playing the Grand Ole Opry—and has written and released dozens of songs.
Here are three things to know about the teen songwriter and one-woman band.
1. Musical Prodigy
The Indianapolis native, who moved to Nashville with her family when she was in the 7th grade, began playing the drums at age 9 and started to gain recognition when she began posting her drum covers on YouTube at the age of 13.
To date, Morris, who also plays piano, bass, guitar, ukulele, harmonica, Cajon, and melodica, has written more than 125 songs and has released 30, according to her website. She has also backed more than 120 artists live in 2019 alone.
2. Millions of YouTube Views
Morris’ YouTube page has already pulled in more than five million views. The artist shares mash-ups, drum covers, footage from live shows, and her original music for tens of thousands of followers on YouTube and Instagram. The Nashville artist recently followed up the 2003 Fountains Of Wayne hit “Stacy’s Mom” with her own “Stacy’s Song” and has shared drum covers of songs from everyone from The Police, Paramore, Pantera, Rage Against the Machine, Van Halen, Jack White, and more.
3. She Played the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium
The AGT contestant has appeared on television, toured, and performed on some of the biggest stages. In 2020, Morris played the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with artist Jamie O’Neal. By 2021, she toured with Big Machine’s Calista Clark and made an appearance on the live talk show Kelly and Ryan. She also performed at The Grand Ole Opry, with country artist Kalie Shorr, in addition to writing and performing a duet, “Bitter,” with singer Bailey James.
Photo: Trae Patton/NBC