Singer PJ Morton Says Very 'Personal' New Album Is About Wife, Kortni: 'This Was Our Lives'

The Maroon 5 keyboardist's vulnerable and raw album features collaborations with both Stevie Wonder and Nas

PJ Morton released his most personal album to date on Friday with Watch the Sun.

He stopped by the PEOPLE Every Day podcast to chat to host Janine Rubenstein about how the pandemic made him dig deeper for his eighth solo album.

"I knew it was important for me to be intentional and give more than just good songs because we've been through too much to just entertain," he said.

Morton, 41, said he's "very proud" of the 11-track album that includes the recently released single "Be Like Water," featuring Stevie Wonder and Nas. The Maroon 5 keyboardist called the experience of collaborating with two music icons "amazing."

While all three creatives weren't able to be in the studio in person together, Morton did get to experience the music-making process live with Wonder, whom he calls a "huge mentor."

PJ Morton by Laiken Joy
Laiken Joy

"Stevie and I were together and I recorded his vocals and that was amazing. Like, even getting to produce Stevie's vocals? Wow," he said. "The greats, man… They want to be great. He really allowed me to be comfortable and be myself and get what I needed."

While recording with the 25-time Grammy winner was a highlight of the album, Morton received the true "stamp of approval" for Watch the Sun from his wife, Kortni.

"It's definitely different for her because a lot of this that I'm talking about is referring to her, you know," he said. "I usually talk about her in a general sense, [but] this was more – this was our lives. I'm sure she can hear lines in there. Like, Wait, he actually said that?"

One example of that vulnerability comes in "Please Don't Walk Away," which Morton said is the most personal song on the album because it discusses the couple's "potential breakup." It was the first song he wrote, and he says it captured the "rough time" he was experiencing.

"I don't usually talk about that stuff or usually have to process that stuff, but I thought it was important to let people know that we're all going through it," he said.

While the song explores deeper truths about his and his wife's marriage – "Please don't walk away from my love," the chorus goes — Morton said Kortni is OK with his honesty.

"She always understands the importance of me being able to express myself creatively," he said. "And she loves the album. She feels like it's my best."

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