Story Behind the Song: Ryan Hurd, ‘To a T’
"To a T" also happens to feature background vocals from Hurd's wife, Maren Morris. According to Hurd, the song was almost a duet between the two -- but that wasn't the vision either of them had for the song.
Read on to learn more about how "To a T" came to be, in Hurd's own words.
"To a T" was Laura’s idea for a title. She presented it to me almost as a challenge, and it really was a hard song to write, but it was also so fun. It’s such a relatable feeling, but it’s said in such a fresh and unique way, and I think that’s why so many people react to it when they first hear it.
We wrote it at Nathan Spicer’s studio in Nashville. Nathan used to play guitar for Katy Perry and Matt Kearney. He’s played with Maren a little, and we got to know each other through that. I remember writing the first verse and chorus and then needing a second day. It really was such a challenging song to write, but when you know it’s great, it makes it really fun.
There were multiple sessions [to get the song finished]. I think the thing that took the most time was figuring out how the wordplay would work. Finding that melody in the back half of the chorus really influenced how it all fit together, and sometimes, it takes a second to get where everyone knows it needs to be. The trick is just knowing when you have something that’s really worth chasing.
I’m a sucker for second verses. That’s my favorite part of the song, and I love to add some energy to the back half of second verses, so I think that ramp up to the second chorus is my favorite part: "You should see how you look ...” Just looking at it on paper, it isn’t what you’d consider brilliance, but it changes the perspective and adds to the compliment, so I feel like that’s my favorite part.
Our label had the idea that they wanted this done as a duet, but neither [Maren nor I was] super excited about making it that kind of moment. We sing together all the time, write songs for each other’s records, so we decided to just play it cool and have her put the harmonies down. She was the first one to really love the song and get our manager and team behind it, so it was really natural. She knows she has an open invite to sing on whatever she wants, so when the album comes out, I’m sure her voice will be on a few things.
Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd's Love Story in Pictures